In Key West, Florida in October 1962, boys Gene Loomis and his brother Dennis live on a military base (Naval air station Key West); their father is away on a nearby submarine. After hearing the announcement of an exclusive engagement of Lawrence Woolsey's new sensational horror film ''Mant!'' ("Half man! Half ant!" "in Atomo-Vision and Rumble-Rama!"), including Woolsey's appearance in-person, they arrive home to Cuban missile crisis#Speech to the nation, stating the presence of Soviet Union missiles in Cuba. Woolsey finds this atmosphere of fear to be the perfect environment in which to open his atomic-radiation-themed film.