In episode 804 we jump right back into giant-creature-wrecks-havoc-on-stuff-territory courtesy of producer William Alland, who gave us such classics as This Island Earth, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and its sequel Revenge of the Creature (featuring a very young Clint Eastwood in a very small role as a hapless lab assistant, looking for his missing rodent), Tarantula, The Mole People, Space Children ect. ect. This time mans attempt to build a "better, snowless arctic" results in the thawing of a giant preying mantis, which naturally takes out its frustration of being woken a century too early on its immediate surroundings. This includes balsawood houses and the local Inuit population. Realising it might be time to find a mate -- and that the arctic is not the most optimal habitat for a giant, flying bug -- it starts its search for warmer climate and suicidal mating rituals, which naturally brings it to New York - after a quick flyby of Washington DC and what seems to be a failed attempt at mating with the Washington Monument. Luckily, the US Army has a secret weapon to combat this menace to balsawood, Inuits and public transportation -- RADAR! Just exactly how efficient this actually is, can be questioned by the sheer number of times this GIANT PREYING MANTIS manages to give them the slip. However, they finally manage to kill off the poor thing in the Manhattan Tunnel. (Are giant creatures just naturally drawn to New York?) Though there aren't many things worth noting in this movie (except maybe for the bug's dislike of public transportation, Col. Parkman's odd jaw movements and the ability for something to be or not be jake..?) it should be mentioned that the director, Nathan Juran, won an Oscar for art direction in How Green was my Valley in '41 (considering this is from '57, and he also directed Attack of the 50 foot Woman, one might say that things took a turn somewhere). Oh yeah, and if the professor seems familiar, it may be because he's William DeWolf Hopper Jr., who played Paul Drake in the Perry Mason series. Anyway, look out for a bony professor, a sale on bowl haircuts, the presenting of tongue, the deployment of a box of men, sold out Greenland, Wilson Picket, Ventriloquist Island, the outlawing of iceballs, a random bone display, a cat, deployment of giant facial tissue, the hosing down of Pavarotti's sheets, a shockingly overdressed woman, a simple three-step evolution, Conan, ball spot vision, a female woman, Deathlehem, Sky King, the meeting of a colonel's privates, a bug hunt, the fruit loop brigade, a director with a cartography-fetish, the laziest and most unimaginative parents ever, co-dependent air force planes, deep-sea mosques, and a man with a mantis in his pantis. Enjoy! (And remember: Keep pumping!)
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The Deadly Mantis is a 1957 science fiction film produced by William Alland for...