The calving of an Arctic iceberg releases a giant praying mantis, trapped in suspended animation since prehistoric times. It first attacks military outposts to eat their occupants, then makes its way to the warmer latitudes of Washington and New York. A paleontologist works together with military units to try to kill it.
Craig Stevens ... Col. Joe Parkman
William Hopper ... Dr. Nedrick 'Ned' Jackson
Alix Talton ... Marge Blaine
Donald Randolph ... Gen. Mark Ford
Pat Conway ... Sgt. Pete Allen
Florenz Ames ... Prof. Anton Gunther
Paul Smith ... Corporal, Parkman's Clerk
Phil Harvey ... Lou, Radar Man
Floyd Simmons ... Army Sergeant
Paul Campbell ... Lt. Fred Pizar
Helen Jay ... Mrs. Farley
Director: Nathan Juran
Codecs: XVid / MP3
Resolution is a little low but is watchable. This is NOT the MST2K version but the proper cinema version.
The Deadly Mantis is a fine example of the best of the 1950's vintage science fiction movies. A good story line with enjoyable character interaction. The movies use of documentary footage to introduce scientific or geographic fact into the setting of the fiction was classic 50's. I actual learned something about the multi-million dollar "DEW" Line. Today's modern viewer may complain about the special effects, but remember that the movie was made in 1957 not 1997. With that in mind, watch the movie, pretend you're at the drive-in, and have an enjoyable evening.
This is an above-par gigantic monster thriller from the golden age, well-presented. A thawed, flesh-eating prehistoric preying mantis from the Arctic circle makes way for New York. Director Nathan Juran handles scenes well, including nostalgic map graphics detailing radar sites in the introduction, and using eerie nighttime photography covered in fog-shrouded atmosphere. Musical score is forceful and suspenseful, Clifford Stine special effects are fine for its era. Stock footage abounds but is not uninteresting, leads Craig Stevens and William Hopper are stalwart and wooden, but Alix Talton, a husky voiced former Miss Georgia and resembling Jane Wyman, is fun and natural. Last sequence still thrills, when we start to feel a little sympathy for this wounded animal, roaring and wailing as he meets inevitable doom.
# The first stock footage of the aircraft carrier is the USS Antietam, CV-36. The operations clip is of the CV34 USS Oriskany the first US carrier with an angled deck. The take off scene was from the deck of the USS Philippine Sea CV47
# The footage showing the Eskimos fleeing from the mantis is actually from S.O.S. Eisberg (1933).