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
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 enlisted personnel in several scenes are clearly US Airmen, but are addressed as Army soldiers. i.e. Calling an Airman First Class a Corporal in the scene where Alix Talton is initially introduced to the men in the recreation hall. See more »
[a volcano near Antarctic erupts, causing an ice flow in the Arctic, which releases the Deadly Mantis]
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
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This is an above-par gigantic monster thriller from the golden age, well-presented. A thawed, flesh-eating prehistoric preying mantis from the Arctic circle makes way for New York. Director Nathan Juran handles scenes well, including nostalgic map graphics detailing radar sites in the introduction, and using eerie nighttime photography covered in fog-shrouded atmosphere. Musical score is forceful and suspenseful, Clifford Stine special effects are fine for its era. Stock footage abounds but is not uninteresting, leads Craig Stevens and William Hopper are stalwart and wooden, but Alix Talton, a husky voiced former Miss Georgia and resembling Jane Wyman, is fun and natural. Last sequence still thrills, when we start to feel a little sympathy for this wounded animal, roaring and wailing as he meets inevitable doom.
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