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
The first stock footage of the aircraft carrier is the USS Antietam, CV-36, the first US carrier with an angled deck. The operations clip is of the CV-34 USS Oriskany. They were both Essex-class carriers and most ships in this class received the SCB-125 upgrade, which installed the angled deck; however, the USS Oriskany was the LAST ship in this class to get the new deck. The take-off scene was from the deck of the USS Philippine Sea CV-47. The USS Oriskany (CV-34) was scuttled as an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico (May 2006). See more »
In the tunnel, one of the praying mantis' claws shakes like it is made of rubber. See more »
[the officers are all staring at Marge]
Dr. Ned Jackson:
It looks like you don't have too many women up here, Colonel.
Col. Joe Parkman:
Well, we have a little joke up here. The boys say there's a girl behind every tree. Only try and find a tree.
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Say you like this movie if you thought it wasn't a complete waste of your time. Seriously, folks, movies are largely just an assemblage of lies (including documentaries and biographies) strung together by some type of formulaic narrative strategy.
As Giant Monster Movies usually go, I've only two personal favorites: Japan's "War of the Gargantuas" and this one served up in the late '50s by America's Universal Studios.
This lie (In real life, even prehistoric dragonflies didn't get half as large as this cinematic 'creation') is told effectively enough; for its time, it must have seemed infinitely impressive.
So if you felt you had to say anything about DM, say enough good things about it as well...
Serviceable special effects, especially when we get close-ups of the titular Praying Mantis, peeping in windows and a roar to match its size and density. The monster has a special aversion to planes, trains and automobiles (all the miniature vehicles and sets met with my own personal 'satisfaction' standards).
The overall production is marred slightly by the film's initial 'public service message,' warning us that atomic energy is bad (Duh!), and its piddling knowledge about North American ground control (yadda, yadda, so what!), the story's most interesting moments are repeatedly slowed down by long stretches of non-activity (through the use of time filling dialog and scenes that take you 'nowhere' in particular).
In short, this would have made a fascinating half-hour production, with non-stop original thrills (Case in Point: the filmmakers in this one resisted showing a hyper-destructive opportunity when, as the flying monster alights on the Washington Monument, it doesn't destroy it; my guess is, it needed to rest its wings).
I must point out one error in DM: Although Mantis is supposed to be migrating due south, why is he heading north, from Washington, D.C. to New York City?
I found the ending satisfactory (Watch for the modest, yet interesting false alarm!).
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