Take a perfectly good W. G. Wells story and pass it through the filter of 1950's Sci-Fi Horror B-movie fears about nuclear radiation. Then set it in the 1970's where people wear buttoned up leisure suits to the beach [Seriously!] and have to face Joan Collins as the bitchy, ambitious real estate agent who will stop at nothing to make money. What do you have? Empire of the Ants, of course.
If you're looking for serious horror, then look elsewhere. Director/Writer/Producer Bert I. Gordon made over 25 Sci/Fi and Horror films during this career and most of them are right up there with the worst of Roger Corman. Bert is know for such "classics" as Attack of the Puppet People and The Food of the Gods [another H. G. Wells disaster] as well as Empire of the Ants.
The effects in Empire are groan-worthy. In an era that gave us such classics as Halloween (1978), and Jaws (1975) this kind of effects work is inexcusable. It's so bad that it is actually funny at times. But, ultimately, the joke cannot sustain itself for the entire length of the film.
Furthermore, the acting is fine but it's hardly spectacular. This film is fairly predictable every step of the way and offers no surprises to the viewer. Even Joan Collins cannot save this film form its own excesses. Perhaps a cat fight with one of the ants would have helped, but I doubt it!
If you like super cheesy B-movies, then you just might find this one entertaining. Otherwise skip this one altogether.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.