7.4/10
634
19 user 18 critic

The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971)

A scientist explains how the savagery and efficiency of the insect world could result in their taking over the world.

Directors:

Walon Green, Ed Spiegel

Writer:

David Seltzer
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Lawrence Pressman ... Dr. Hellstrom
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Storyline

This unique and quirky offering combines elements of documentary films and horror movies to illustrate the potential threat posed by the world's insects. With their collective intelligence, high capacity for work and sharp instincts, the film argues, they are waging a struggle against humans for supremacy of our planet. Expert cinematography captures footage of the small creatures, some quite tiny and elusive, interspersed with clips from horror films to achieve dramatic effects. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Shocking. Beautiful. Brilliant. Sensual. Deadly... and in the end only they will survive. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Crônica de Hellstrom See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wolper Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is mentioned in Judith Guest's novel, Ordinary People. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hellstrom: For the male Black Widow, the most exciting part of sex... is to escape.
See more »

Crazy Credits

End Credits: Nils Hellstrom, M.S., Ph.D., is a fictional character who was portrayed by Lawrance Pressman. His statements relating to the impermanence of the human species have been synthesized from contemporary opinions. All statements about the insect world are factual and have been reviewed by Roy Snelling and Charles Hogue, Ph.D., of the Entomology Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. See more »

Connections

Features If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not since THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT have I been so disturbed by a movie.
12 March 2003 | by FeverDogSee all my reviews

"The earth was created not with the gentle caress of love, but with the brutal violence of rape."

This portentous statement opens THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE, a stunning quasi-documentary which is, in its own way, one of the most frightening movies I've ever seen, with themes that are eerily prescient in today's world.

Winner of the 1971 Oscar for Best Documentary, this mostly non-fiction film - the dark side of MICROCOSMOS - recounts the history and nature of the insect world, as well as the myriad ways insects are more equipped to outlive Man in the long run. Insects have a 200-million-year head start, don't have feelings, don't ponder their own existence, don't fight within their species, can adapt to their surroundings, live harmoniously with their environment, have been using "robots" and the airwaves long before we came to be, and aren't afraid to die. Nothing Man throws at them (like pesticides) can stop their reproduction; insects quickly develop immunities while Man chokes on its own weaponry while polluting its environment. And, it would take Man a million years to repopulate the world after nuclear fallout; insects could do it in three weeks.

This ominous storyline is framed in the film with Dr. Hellstrom, a fictional entomologist who narrates with an effectively brooding yet pragmatic tone that somehow comes off as dire but soothing. Some may feel that the human segments of the film distract from the force of the narrative. I, however, believe these breaks from the storyline give the viewer a breather, for the foreboding menace would be nearly unbearably intense otherwise. Also, there is one segment of the film that's obviously faked, but that's okay: it wouldn't have been prudent to film it realistically, and it nonetheless succeeds in making its point as is.

Similar to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT in that what's waiting for us in nature is scarier than any boogeyman, THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE raises questions about Man's arrogance - our fatal flaw which will be the reason for our ultimate downfall. While the film never uses the word "God," it speaks of a "Creator," and ponders the significance of the only species that believes in a higher power yet uses "intelligence" to disprove its existence. THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE is edge-of-your-seat drama about the horror of war and our inevitable fight to the death with the insect world - a battle that we're sure to lose.

10/10


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