The Deadly Mantis (The Giant Mantis)(The Incredible Praying Mantis) Reviews
As silly as this all sounds, it's really not half bad. Classic cold war sci-fi with just a touch of romance thrown in for good measure.
It actually takes quite a while till we see the mantis. For approximately the fist 10 minutes the film is basically a documentary about the North American radar lines, almost like a promotion video. I suspect this might be for the 1950s audience who were living in constant fear of missile attacks. So this film spends a good while telling you how well protected America is with their expansive top of the arc radar system that can detect any threat heading their way. Including giant mantises...
Then we are presented with lots of footage of jet fighters and people in uniforms trying to act important and splashing cheesy 50s dialogue all over the place. Followed the same sort of thing when we are introduced to the main character, a stern man in a white coat who proves he's a scientist by giving us a few basic facts about insects. However he can't be such a great entomologist as at one point in the film he's showing a man an insect frozen in amber. He calls it an ant when it's very obvious it's a large beetle.
Then finally we are granted a clear look at the mantis as it attacks the building the scientist is in. Which is followed by a strange scene where the mantis attacks some Eskimos. The footage of the Eskimos is actually taken from a different older film which is why it looks so out of place. The speed of the footage is faster so it looks like they are scurrying about on fast forward.
That's about it really until the big action scene in Washington D.C.
The story is very straight forward and simple, the acting is cheesy and the dialogue even more so. The Deadly Mantis has everything you want from a 1950s sci-fi monster flick.
"The Deadly Mantis" is one of the many "creature features" from the decade of the 50's. In this one, an overgrown praying mantis begins its journey in the cold arctic region of the North Pole. Unlike many insects, the praying mantis is a flesh eater, instead of a plant eater. This compelling fact will probably make most people shiver, especially after finding out where the monster is headed.
The praying mantis in the movie has spectacular special effects for the time (1957). You'll see the mantis tower above buildings, fly over vast oceans, and more. Even better than the special effects is the movie itself. "The Deadly Mantis" is suspenseful, it's well made, and it's all the more interesting with the idea of a common insect taking over the life of humans. There are also other redeeming qualities such as seeing pilots shoot at it with several missiles, the various other military maneuvers, and more.
If you like other classic horror movies that feature a creature that tries to take over, I recommend getting "The Deadly Mantis." It's one of the best films that features an insect, without a doubt.