The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Article #67 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 5-22-2001
Posting date: 10-5-2001

Nuclear testing releases a giant preying mantis from captivity, and it begins a reign of terror on the world.

This is another one of the Big Bug movies that appeared in the wake of THEM!, and like many of the others, it used that movie as a blueprint, even if it never quite understands why or how the original worked. I find the characters unmemorable, the story a bit clumsy, and some of the scenes poorly handled. (The scenes of the soldiers slobbering over the only woman they’ve seen in months is, in fact, embarassing to watch.) Yet, despite all this, the movie is fun and quite energetic; credit director Nathan Juran for having the good sense to keep things lively, a trait he seems to possess no matter what kind of ridiculous movie he was given to direct. In fact, I have a couple of favorite scenes from this movie; the scene where the soldiers run from the mantis amidst a snow field full of barrels, and the quite funny scene where the people talk about their inability to find the mantis while we see the legs of the beast walking around outside the window.

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