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The Deadly Mantis (1957)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GETTING TO KNOW OUR FAVORITE MONSTERS!
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We love the giant monsters from our favorite sci-fi films, but just how much science and how much fiction is involved in these movies?

I've always thought The Deadly Mantis was a lost opportunity to make a great "giant monster in the city movie". The film has fine FX, but the story does NOT take good advantage of just how "deadly" a mantis really is!

First of all, leave out all the ridiculous flying scenes and that annoying sound the mantis makes. The film should have a few scenes of the mantis taking off and landing, probably best filmed as night scenes, with the creature coming out of the darkness to gobble up a fews cows in a field, and then flying off into the night.

Second, have some spectacular scenes of the monster hobbling down a city street, knocking cars aside, snatching up people, and battling well-armed squads of policemen.

We could even have it climb a skyscraper and combat airplanes, Kong-style!

There could also be a stunning scene in which the voracious monsters invades the city zoo and grabs several medium-sized animals like bears and gorillas, the way a real mantis eats frogs and lizards!

The video below is less than three minutes long, but it shows how the vicious female allows a male to begin mating with her . . . and then starts eating his head and torso while the rest of his body completes the fertilization out of pure reflex!

This is a horrible version of dinner and sex on the first date . . . and there is never a second one! Shocked

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__ Deadly Praying Mantis Love | World's Weirdest


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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The video below is less than three minutes long, but it shows how the vicious female allows a male to begin mating with her . . . and then starts eating his head and torso while the rest of his body completes the fertilization out of pure reflex!


Sounds like my honeymoon.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Check out some of the threads I found for this movie on other boards. This is a sample of what's included on All Sci-Fi's Multi-Board Alphabetical Index, which is designed to encourage and promote large message boards like CHFB and small ones like Pushing the Envelope.

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* The Deadly Mantis (1957)

The Deadly Mantis (1957) @ SFMB

The Deadly Mantis (1957) @ All Sci-Fi

The Deadly Mantis (1957) @ Pushing the Envelope

The Deadly Mantis (1957) @ CHFB
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: The Deadly Mantis (1957) Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:

With the ants in Them! it was a high-pitched squeal that sets my teeth on edge. (It's supposed to do that, of course.)


According to Wkipedia™ [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Them!_(1954_film) ]: The sounds the giant ants emit in the film were the calls of Bird-voiced tree frogs mixed in with the calls of a wood thrush, hooded warbler and red-bellied woodpecker. It was recorded at Indian Island, Georgia, on April 11, 1947 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.[7)
Footmote "Hyla avivoca : Bird-voiced Treefrog - Hylidae - Early wildlife recordings - Environment and nature | British Library". Sounds. 1947-04-11. Retrieved 2018-05-06.

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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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_________________ The Deadly Mantis Trailer


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In this one, a giant preying mantis from prehistoric times is suddenly thawed out in the Arctic Circle.

This entry in the giant insect threat of fifties cinema is in many ways a generic, prototypical effort.

It copies quite a bit from earlier features, namely THEM! (54), TARANTULA (55) and IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (55) (this last is not a giant insect), but THE DEADLY MANTIS has a very similar beginning, featuring a long-winded explanation of our radar defense network, in documentary fashion.

The film it copies most, in fact, is IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955). It's got the same set-up with the 3 main characters of 2 guys and a lady — the military hero is played by Craig Stevens, while the scientist hero is William Hopper (from 20 MILLION LIES TO EARTH).

They form a familiar triangle, a benign 'let's get along' trinity. Then the plot copies elements from THEM!, as if it's a murder mystery in the icy north, when the hero (Craig Stevens) finds a wrecked base but no bodies of military personnel.

The difference is, in THEM! it really did come across like a mystery. In this one, the audience has already been shown the giant creature as it was thawing.



A later moment in the movie copies a famous scene from TARANTULA, when the female lead (Alix Talton) walks in front of a large window through which we can see the huge insect. She and the two guys in the room are oblivious to the creature's presence for several moments as the tension builds.

To the film's credit, the giant threat does come across as very tough and dangerous. At the midpoint, a couple of soldiers attack the monster with a flamethrower and a machine gun; this only annoys it.

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There's one innovative moment even later — a nice attempt at spooky doings: a lone woman exits a bus on a foggy evening and we think that she must be the next victim; but, the giant monster doesn't concern itself with such small morsels — it goes after the bus and all the other passengers.

But, such moments are very few in this film.

Most of the story drags; this is especially bad in the final act, when things should have picked up, but there are innumerable shots of the flying giant insect, emitting its annoying droning noise, as the military makes strategy.

Somehow, the giant mantis gets "mortally wounded" (in the words of the other hero William Hopper — the primary hero, Stevens, used the unorthodox method of crashing his jet into the creature. In the climax the monster seeks refuge in New York's Brooklyn Tunnel.

This final sequence again copies the final act of THEM. Finally, I've always found it extra hard to buy into the huge size of the insect (as large as the largest dinosaurs). I can understand a prehistoric insect the size of a car, but not much bigger than that.

BoG's Score: 6 out of 10



BoG
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Last edited by Bogmeister on Mon May 20, 2019 3:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I know I keep saying this (in different ways) but Bogmeister's ability to dissect a flawed move and describe its strengths and weaknesses is a joy to behold! If I made a determined effort to find something — anything at all — to disagree with in his post above, I'd fail miserably. Shocked

He pins this giant bug specimen squarely through the thorax and presents it for our examination without showing a trace of sympathy for it's shortcomings. Very Happy

Bravo, BoG!

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bogmeister wrote:
Finally, I've always found it extra hard to buy into the huge size of the insect (as large as the largest dinosaurs). I can understand a prehistoric insect the size of a car, but not much bigger than that.

There are a few problems with the reality of "giant" animals.

First would be their ability to take in enough oxygen into their bloodstream. Insects use "spericles", a type of pouras membrane that allows the intake of oxygen and exchange of CO2. These are located on the legs. Insects grew larger during the carboniferous age because the oxygen level of the atmosphere was much higher than today. This was also true during most of the existence of dinosaurs.

Second would be the difficulty of their legs to support the greater weight (mass) of a huge body.

In any regard, BoG is correct. An animal or insect of a size much larger than an elephant under current atmospheric and gravitic conditions would collapse gasping for breath!

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Beginning at the 3:30 mark in this video you'll see three minutes of raw test footage and unedited versions of scenes made for this movie. It's interesting! Very Happy
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_____THEM! (1954) Trailer and Behind the Scenes


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Maurice
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
Beginning at the 3:30 mark in this video you'll see three minutes of raw test footage and unedited versions of scenes made for this movie. It's interesting! Very Happy

THEM! (1954) Trailer and Behind the Scenes


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That BTS footage is terrrrrrrific!
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