“This was the day that engulfed the world in terror!, so read the tagline for 1957’s The Deadly Mantis! In case the title hasn’t tipped you off it’s a sci-fi monster movie, which as I have stated before, is a genre I am quite fond of. I would watch all of these films on Creature Feature on Saturday nights when I was a child. Sadly those films began getting teased a lot in the 90’s on Mystery Science Theater. At first that used to annoy me as they were insulting my childhood memories. Then something magical happened, interest was created for these films, and they started popping up on DVD’s and now Blu-ray’s. The latest to get the Blu-ray treatment is of course The Deadly Mantis
Millions of years ago, I assume during the time of the dinosaurs a giant 200 foot praying mantis roamed the lands. Well, he got frozen and when a volcano blows it starts to melt the ice cap he is frozen in. He awakens and heads over to a military outpost not far from him. When no one there starts answering there calls Col. Parkman (Craig Steven) heads over to investigate and finds everything destroyed and all the people have disappeared.
Later the Col picks up a strange sighting on the radar and sends a pilot out to investigate. That pilot is then attacked by the Deadly Mantis who slashes the plane up but during the attack breaks off a piece of his foot. A paleontologist from the local museum is called in to examine it and comes to the conclusion it belongs to a giant praying mantis who has been eating people. By the time this discovery is made the creature is on a rampage taking out a village, a few military basis, and basically anything else that gets in its way. Bullets, missiles, flame throwers, nothing can stop it.
This film is very fun to say the least. Sure it looks corny as all hell and the Blu-ray transfer only helps make the effects look even more goofy but to me that only adds to the charm. I personally love watching these old films. The acting is so over the top (not bad) that it really sells the film. Watching everyone scream in terror at a clearly rubber half built mantis is hilarious. I also dig the fact that the monster in this film was not the product of radiation from government testing. That element was so overly used it began to get old. Simply having the creature thaw from a different era, to me, helped to make this one stand out a bit more. It uses all practical and stop motion effects that are good for their time. And yes, this one was also featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater. And now it cis getting the Scream Factory Treatment.
The print is, as all there print amazing. The film looks great, and yes it looks so crisp it does make the mantis look a bit cheap at times, but as I stated that is all part of the charm. The sound is fantastic as you would expect from Scream Factory. It even has special features
Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars!