The Deadly Mantis (The Giant Mantis)(The Incredible Praying Mantis) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Deadly Mantis (The Giant Mantis)(The Incredible Praying Mantis) Reviews

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November 24, 2015
Apart from the basic presposterous choice of insect, the most unusual aspect of the film is that the voracious creature has nothing to do with atomic mutation. No, our mantis is just some kind of prehistoric horror that ended up embedded in the ice of the frozen north, but now ‚?? much like Bela Lugosi‚??s caveman in¬†Return of the Ape Man¬†(1944) ‚?? has thawed out to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world. (And really, when‚??s the last time you expected a thousand ton mantis to show up? Exactly.) It‚??s all on the goofy side as we watch Craig Stevens (TV‚??s Peter Gunn) and his paleontologist buddy William Hopper (Perry Mason‚??s leg-man on TV) try to rid the world of this winged menace. However, that doesn‚??t keep it from being pretty entertaining in its own way.
November 21, 2015
A MUST-SEE!!!!!!!!!!!! (Y) (Y)
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2015
Yep so 1957 was most definitely the year of the big bug thriller movie, talk about over kill! After the huge success of 'Them!' in 1954 the genre was alive and kicking followed closely by the excellent 'Tarantula' in 1955. Since that explosion of insectoid goodness, studios at the time were systematically going through every known bug they could to make a horror sci-fi. Any bug that could be transformed into a huge slimy, fanged beastie was slapped up on the screen.

This third movie from the era (I think third?), as you can clearly tell, is all about the exploits of a giant Praying Mantis, cos they look scary right! A volcano erupts (as they frequently do in these films) which in turn causes the Polar region to shift and break apart, which in turn releases a giant Mantis that had been trapped in the ice for millions of years. Cue the Mantis running around and eating lots of stereotypical military types until it can be trapped and killed with extreme, yet polite, prejudice.

Now, far be it for me to take the piss too much, but...holy tentacles this was a fun flick! Yes that's right, you thought I was gonna shit all over it didn't you, well hold on. OK so the plot is ridiculous and virtually a carbon copy of every other big bug movie ever made. A natural disaster releases the monster bug or its the result of some kind of experiment, either or. From there on its the simple process of watching a predictable trio of, a good looking bloke, an attractive female and an old intelligent scientist type, discussing tactics to destroy the bug whilst others get eaten. Then eventually they manage to succeed but not before many innocent faceless people have perished, everyone's a winner.

The film initially starts out like a documentary for schools or some kind of news reel. It goes on for for at least 5/6 minutes about the military and how they are building this base in northern Canada with all these early warning barriers that cross the entire country. Its all your typical Cold war malarkey, in case the Ruskies attack via the Poles. But this intro goes on and on, I started to wonder if I had the right thing playing. Anyway the big question is of course how the hell did a giant Mantis get trapped in ice (or whatever it was before it was ice), at the Poles (where ever it was before it was the Poles), and manage to survive for millions of years. Although, I guess a bigger question would be, how the hell did a Mantis get to be giant in the first place.

The main attraction of this movie is of course the giant Mantis and the way the effects team created it. Overall its a bloody good rubber bug puppet and model combination, it actually looks like a genuinely real Mantis of epic proportions with all the correct details and shape. More importantly it looks quite scary and intimidating, it does actually lend some genuine scary atmosphere to the proceedings when it lurks in the background. A lot of that is down to the correct shape of the insect with its long, thin, pointy, jagged, sharp looking legs, the eerie sound it makes, and those two big silver emotionless eyes. The short sequences of the bug flying are also well realised, the only downside with this, and much like all giant bug movies, the bug roars like a flippin' dinosaur, or Godzilla. The best sequence on show has to be the quick scene where the Mantis climbs up the Washington Monument, that actually looks really good all things considered.

The movie takes on a very King Kong-esque approach as the Mantis eventually makes it way to New York, after fighting off some jet fighters along the way (ahem! copyright). To avoid a complete rip-off the big bug ends up crawling into the Manhattan Tunnel to recover, this in fact leads to a sequence where a group of blokes go in after the bug all dressed up in biohazard type suits. This one scene actually reminded me of many modern sci-fi movies. A group of characters all suited up in special outfits, creeping down a dark space with flashlights, all culminating in the heroic final group pose shot when they find the creature. This whole sequence was probably the slickest in the movie and gave it some real gravitas. Alas the ending lets everything down with such a weak cliched display of male chauvinism as the male lead virtually bullies the female into kissing him...right next to the huge dead bug. Its like they just killed it, and that turned them on (or him), sadistic tendencies.

As always plenty of good and bad to be found, the small Eskimo village sequence is probably the daftest and most amusing. And I still can't work out how no one thinks to shoot this thing in the eyes, it has two huge silver eyes, shoot those surely, pretty sure that would stop it straight away. Anyway despite the odd little expected flaws this is still a solid bug flick and easily one of the best in my opinion.
May 9, 2015
This movie shares many similarities with one film of the time: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Giant monster on a rampage, arctic atmosphere and scientific research. It's a good enough film, but there is an over use of stock footage and a sort of useless narration.
May 7, 2015
It's not too bad for a giant monster movie, though I suppose that isn't saying too much. Decent story, bland characters, and a good-enough ending. The mantis has many nice props, though they're not all too believable.
½ December 21, 2014
Duas ou trÍs sequÍncias espectaculares n„o impedem "The Deadly Mantis" de ser um sťrie-B de criaturas desproporcionais em geral bastante aborrecido.
June 9, 2014
If I can't see it how can I rate it?
January 14, 2014
One of the best of the 'Giant Insect" films, with a great story, a great monster, and great performances. All in all its everything a monster fan could ask for.
½ June 29, 2013
I'll go ahead and give you the straight truth about this one. I fell asleep on it and missed most of the movie and rewatched it again later. What I did see was unbearably dull. Like a lot of "nature goes wild" movies from the 50's right through to the 70's, The Deadly Mantis (AKA The Incredible Praying Mantis, AKA The Giant Mantis) suffers from what most of the films from that time period suffer from: an absence of fear from the Nuclear and Cold War eras. In retrospect, you can completely understand how and why these movies were made for the popcorn-eating drive-in masses, but unfortunately they just don't work today. They're just silly, boring and mostly tasteless and lacking any sort of feasible talent in any capacity. That's how I feel about these types of movies anyway. Thankfully the crew at Mystery Science Theater 3000 gave this one a right proper ribbing, which any "big bug" movie this dull and awful deserves, and then some.
January 12, 2013
It was a great classic I've only seen it once,but don't remember much,as i like old classic black and white movies and those that were in color.
October 6, 2012
very under rated universal movie.
October 6, 2012
As an aficionado of giant monster sci-fi B movies of the 50's (apparently not just a mouthful, but a major sub-genre), I think this ranks right up there with films about monster ants, tarantulas, Gila monsters, squid, gorillas, dinosaurs, blobs, rats, moths, turtles, bees, flies and various other irradiated, alien or prehistoric creatures that similarly terrorized movie theaters and drive-in's back in the day. Alas, Mantis does well locally but is led to eventually take his show to NYC where predictably it bombs just like many other careers that die on Broadway. No prayer for this Mantis.
August 3, 2012
For a movie featured on MST3K, it could've been worse. The effects are almost somewhat decent for 1957.
½ December 26, 2011
It was a fun enough wachable 50s sci-fi monster movie. But nothing particularly outstanding.
November 19, 2011
America was under attack by a lot of things and creatures in the 50's.
Here we have the story of when the U.S was under attack by one giant praying mantis.

This is pretty much the same story as in "The Giant Claw" from the same year but with an overgrown insect instead of a bird. What "The Deadly Mantis" does include more than the bird horror movie does is great portions of communist parania in the mix. There is a fascinating underlaying message to the people of america to be constantly ready to watch the skies for russian flying objects and that sort of things. This makes it part of an interesting piece of history as well as being a geeky horror movie besides others.
August 21, 2011
If the ice caps melt, dangerous gigantic mantis awaits! You must put a lot of logic aside watching this movie, but it does have the lady screams, the fit men barely to the rescue, and clueless civilians everywhere! You will certainly wonder how this giant insect can get around so many places in North America so quickly, even though the puppet looks so slow... but that's the dumb logic of 50's movies that charm. Definitely not the worst, but nowhere near the best.
April 18, 2011
An eighty minute-long RAID commercial.
December 23, 2010
√"ri√°s im√°dkoz√≥ s√°ska, Ň'r√ 1/4lt tud√≥sok √ (C)s egy√ (C)b izgalmas formul√°k 57-bŇ'l :)
Ha egy kicsit kev√ (C)sb√ (C) lett volna sz√ (C)gyenlŇ's az √°jtatos man√≥, sokkal jobban sz√≥rakoztam volna.
Super Reviewer
November 17, 2010
If you don't believe the Incredible Truth movie when they say the ice caps are melting, maybe this movie will make you think twice? Who wants a giant praying Mantis running around? This movie is silly, but it's got cool special effects and the story's not bad.
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