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Beginning of the End (1957).

September 10, 2010

The Scoop:
Oops! Studly, well-meaning scientist Peter Graves accidentally causes a bunch of locusts to grow to giant proportions, slaughter hundreds and attack Chicago. But he figures out a way to kill them all, so it’s okay. Because pointless scientific tinkering is always blameless.

This film is one of writer/director/producer Bert I. Gordon’s worst. And, believe me, that’s really saying something. This is the man who pioneered the “giant critter on a rampage” genre. The optical processing used to create the giant grasshoppers is awkward, and the “buildings” they swarm over are really postcards of Chicago’s skyline. The incompetence of the visual effects is positively Ed Woodian. Graves, at least, gives a professional performance, and costars Peggy Castle and Morris Ankrum hold their own.

But this movie really belongs to the horribly rendered giant insects. It’s an inauspicious addition to the B.I.G. canon, which is pretty inauspicious to begin with.

Best Line:
“To most of the public, these giants are just freaks of nature — no practical value.”

Side Note:
Gordon did the special effects to all his movies with his wife, Flora M. Gordon.

Companion Viewing:
“The Deadly Mantis” (1957).

The Monster Shack.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

Death by big bug!

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