I thought I thaw a big bug- and you will too, when, tonight on MeTV, we bring back the man-eating mantis that defrosted and destroyed- it’s “The Deadly Mantis!”
Remember those old high school educational science films? When this movie starts, you’d swear you were watching one of those- an announcer-like narrator intones the fact that “for every action, there is a reaction”. Do you need proof? Well- behold a volcano erupting in the South Seas! The energy it releases is felt across the globe, including the frigid far northern ice caps. As the glacial walls crack and melt- they reveal a long dormant prehistoric creature -frozen in the ice for centuries in a sort of suspended animation- but its long sleep has now been interrupted.
If a mantis thaws in the frozen north- and no one is there to see it- does it really happen? We’re about to find out soon- after more high school science class film, chock full of stock footage about establishing military bases up there, and about the Dew Line (Distant Early Warning) System. It appears something is amiss at a far northern Canadian Dew Line outpost that has suddenly fallen silent and unresponsive. Col.Parkman, a commanding officer, goes to investigate- and is shocked to find the outpost totally destroyed- with no sign of the personnel- not even bodies-on the premises. Even more disturbing- is a large oddly shaped imprint in the snow near the outpost.
Soon after,radar indicates an unauthorized and unidentified flying object in the same area- and , when jets are sent out, one plane is destroyed- but- by what? Col.Parkman again goes to inspect this latest wreckage- and finds amidst the destroyed aircraft a large pointed object – which appears to be organic in nature! The military decides to call in an expert – Ned Jackson, a paleontologist who should be able to identify what the object is- and what it came from!
Ned examines it, and can scarcely believe his own theory- that this spur-like thing is actually a body part of a familiar carnivorous insect- but it is of such great size, there have not been any such creatures that huge since prehistoric times! There are more reports of mysterious carnage in the frozen North- so Ned decides to head up there to try to discover what’s going on first-hand- accompanied by Marge,the magazine editor at his museum headquarters, who has decided she needs to go with him to chronicle whatever he finds. They fly to the Canadian DEW line base where they meet with Col. Parkman, and his staff, who react in stunned appreciation of Marge – since a woman is a rarity in their world. Unfortunately, they’re about to meet an even greater rarity- as a 200 foot long praying mantis attacks their base!
After its hit and run attack (or is it hit and fly?),the military attempts to find and track this gargantuan predator, as it instinctively heads to south where the climate is closer to its warm old prehistoric stomping grounds- as well as searching for food to satiate its massive appetite ! Its tour of international cuisine wends its way through various human taste treats- and it starts to sample the delectable flavor of American citizens- including a snack stop in Washington, D.C.- leading to a big city showdown with the big bug in the Big Apple!
We haven’t run this 1957 flick in a while, and know it’s a favorite of our viewers, with a cast that includes familiar MeTV faces like Craig Stevens and William Hopper, as well as that lone female Alix Talton. We ‘ll bring you a Sven song, explain where certain stock footage came from (NOT the source many originally thought)plus a new chat with our old pal, the great actor Lance Henricksen!
“Deadly Mantis” infests your screen on MeTV tonight at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, and, if you’re not sure of what time or channel where you can find us in your area- you can check your local listings, or visit www.com and click on “where to watch”. Our MeTV crew invites you to live -Tweet during the movie on Twitter- just use the hashtag #svengoolie – you’ll often find us trending nationally during the show! Our Chicago area viewers will get another look at “Brides of Dracula” this morning at 11 am on WCIU, the U.
Depending on when you read this, there still may be time to see me joining in on the recording of”The Dana Gould Hour” podcast at the Rosemont, IL. Zanies comedy club at 2 pm- or, enjoy the magic presented at the Raue Center in Crystal Lake, IL, tonight at 7 for “Nothing Up My Sleeve”- an evening of prestidigitation for the entire family-with a special appearance by yours truly. All the info is under the “appearances” tab on this site.
Watch for a new movie and some old favorites coming up on our show in the next few weeks- but tonight- keep the Raid handy- and don’t let the big bug bite!