The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi  |  May 1957 (USA)
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Reviews: 65 user | 26 critic

A giant prehistoric praying mantis, recently freed from the Arctic ice, voraciously preys on American military at the DEW Line and works its way south.



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Complete credited cast:
Col. Joe Parkman
Dr. Nedrick (Ned) Jackson
Marge Blaine
Donald Randolph ...
Maj. Gen. Mark Ford
Pat Conway ...
Sgt. Pete Allen
Florenz Ames ...
Prof. Anton Gunther
Paul Smith ...
Phil Harvey ...
Floyd Simmons ...
Army Sergeant
Paul Campbell ...
Lt. Fred Pizar
Helen Jay ...
Mrs. Farley


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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Out of a million years ago ... a thousand tons of horror! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

May 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Giant Mantis  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the movie, the Air Force sends out a message to members of the Ground Observer Corps asking for help in spotting the mantis. This was a real group that existed at least since World War Two. It was comprised of regular citizens who received basic training in spotting and identifying aircraft, but was discontinued in 1959. See more »


The aircraft carrier tracking the mantis is shown as the USS Antietam (CV-36) and then as the USS Oriskany (CV-34). During the launch from the carrier, the planes are shown launching from the USS Midway (CV-41.) The ship's number is visible in all three instances. See more »


bus passenger: [Exiting bus in fog] You know, it's good to get home safely with all the strange things going around here.
bus driver: Oh, there's nothing to worry about, ma'am. You just be careful out there in that fog!
bus passenger: [Uncertainly] Thank you.
See more »


Featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Deadly Mantis (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Prepare to deploy giant tissue and smoosh the enemy
23 April 2004 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

I saw this on MST3K, and it's one of my great favourites. The endless map sequence at the beginning is quite hilarious, but my weakness for this movie stems from the fact that almost the first third of it takes place in Canada's arctic, and my dad actually worked on the DEW Line while I was a kid. The stock footage of the building of the radar lines up in the Arctic was fun (stirring music and all), but I think that someone connected with making the movie must have either been on the DEW Line, or knew someone who had. There were so many odd little details I've never seen in another movie, even though 'The Deadly Mantis' is not original in its use of the military to fight off a giant invader. The giant "Check Your Antifreeze" sign prominently displayed at headquarters was one - who would think of a detail like that, unless they'd actually seen it somewhere? And the most bizarre thing was the guys dancing together at the little party on the base; when you think about it, it makes sense - no women up there, so if you want to dance, you'd have to have men dancing together, but it's just not something a writer would just dream up while writing a movie. Alas, my dad died before I saw this movie, so I couldn't ask him how authentic it was in its portrayal of life on the DEW Line, but I think of him every time I watch it, and I'm sure he would have laughed uproariously.

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