Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Deadly Mantis, Bug...Really Big Bug!

The U.S. Congress just opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) in Alaska for oil drilling.  This was a controversial move as learned men on both sides of the issue vehemently debated this opening for decades.  Sure, caribou populations may be endangered, and Arctic plains may be polluted, but one wonders if the U.S. Congress even thought about the real risks to humanity.  Bugs!  Big ones!  Hence 1957's "The Deadly Mantis."
A crumbling iceberg in the Arctic unleashes a pre-historic monster, a giant praying mantis.  The creature takes out a C-47 cargo plane, a radar outpost, and an Eskimo (a 1950s politically incorrect term, I might add) village.  At first these attacks mystify the U.S. Air Force, who man these radar stations in Canada's Arctic.  The very handsome Colonel Joe Parkman (Craig Stevens) calls in bug scientist Dr. Nedrick Jackson (William Hopper) for assistance.  Fortunately for the Air Force crew in the Arctic, who haven't seen a dame since the Roosevelt Administration, Nedrick brings a dame with him, the sultry reporterette, Marge (Alix Talton).  Marge, quite a dish,  will be sexually harassed unmercifully by the men at the base, but in true B movie fashion...she likes it.
Back to the story.  The bug continues its attacks and even decimates the Air Force base, sending our men, and the nubile Marge scrambling.  After some more sexual harassment, the Colonel and Nedrick take Marge (a sight for sore eyes) on the road, following the mantis as it attacks U.S. cities. While pursuing the monster, the Colonel parks the car and plants a big one on the dame.  As the two swap spit, the bug takes out a bus and the Washington Monument.  Now New York, Richmond, and New Orleans are in peril.  But which is more dangerous to this country...a giant bug monster, or the rampant sexual harassment prevalent in this male dominated society?
Marge, the doll that she is, screams great and wears tight sweaters nicely.  Will the huge bug be stopped?  Is the creature a metaphor for the dangers women face from military personnel groomed to kill?   So all you dames out there, take note, next time a serviceman, who fights off enemy terrorists or creature invasions, pinches you on the rear, smile and give him a wink.  Ah 1950s scifi B movies...can't beat them, and perhaps we can learn something from them...Harvey Weinstein did.

1 comment:

  1. Tight sweaters can end world wars so why not giant insects? I saw this years ago & it contains some fine B movie moments & acting. Good review