I’ve seen worse things come up over those desert hills in this kind of movies.
Them! is a movie about giant ants that show up in the desert near the location where a bomb was tested. It’s another one of those radiation making something bigger movies similar to but also much better than Attack of the Giant Leeches. During the 1950s there was a big atomic scare with everybody afraid of the effects of the bomb and you’d better believe that in Hollywood everybody exploited it during this time including Ed Wood with his solarnite idea in Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Anyway James Arness from the popular western show Gunsmoke and a couple other people track the ants to their nests across the country and destroy the nests so that the ants will not be able to kill anymore people with their acid. It’s a pretty good movie and probably one of the better large/out of proportion movies. There were a lot of these during this time and most of them had to do with some kind of radiation being the cause, but if you had to pick one to be the defining moment there wouldn’t be many others out there that I would say top this one.