This film was released on a double-bill with the original "Willy Wonka" movie (also a Wolper production) in the summer of 1971. See more »
Confronted with this incredible resourcefulness - this desperate desire to survive - we must wonder, why? What is the value, even for oneself, to sustain an existence that must ultimately end in death? The insect has the answer, because he never posed the question.
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For 10 plus years, "The Hellstrom Chronicle" was regularly plugged into the 2am/4am movie slot on a local station in the middle 80's through 90's. Too bad it couldn't get more coverage, because this is how a documentary should be made.
The problem with documentaries is if you focus too much on the clinical data, it becomes dry. If yo try to interject drama into it, you run the risk of sending up the piece, into parody or even farce. Hellstrom interjects just the right amount of fiction, in the form of Lawrence Pressman, that links the documentary portions at a pace that keeps it from losing one's interest. It's obvious that "Dr." Hellstrom, a fictitious entomologist, is paranoid that insects will take over the world through their superiority over men. The most interesting thing, though, is he may very well be right! If the insect world footage has any say in how future matters may turn out, it will.
Of particular interest is the portion of the footage devoted to the driver ants. As has been quoted in other reviews, this is a prime example of "How DID they film that?!" documentary in motion. It's an inspiration out of "Leinengen Vs. The Ants," only it's real!
If you can find this "movie," give it a roll. Expand your mind a bit with some facts, while at the same time, become entertained by Dr. Hellstrom... even if he isn't a real doctor, but, he plays one on TV! (Actually, he did! Pressman went on to play one on Doogie Howser, M.D.)
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