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Beginning of the End

USA 1957
produced by
Bert I. Gordon for AB-PT Pictures/Republic
directed by Bert I. Gordon
starring Peter Graves, Peggie Castle, Morris Ankrum, Than Wyenn, Thomas Browne Henry, Richard Benedict, James seay, John Close, Don C. Harvey, Larry J. Blake, Eilene Janssen, Hylton Socher, Frank Wilcox, Douglas Evans, Paul Grant, Richard Emory, Hank Patterson, Steve Warren, Frank Connor, Don Eitner, Rayford Barnes, Kirk Alyn
written by Fred Freiberger, Lester Gorn, music by Albert Glasser, special technical effects by Bert I. Gordon

Bert I. Gordon's giant creature films

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Rather by accident, journalist Audrey Aimes (Peggie Castle) stumbles upon a story of a whole village being destroyed and all people gone missing. The military grant her special access to the area, but otherwise they have to admit they're as baffled as she is by the whole situation. But her inquisitive mind lets Audrey track down a science lab of the ministry of agriculture that works with nuclear material, and there she meets a friendly scientist, Dr Wainwright (Peter Graves), who tries to grow fruit to gigantic size to quench world hunger. He, actually an entomologist, is interested from square one (even though it's less than clear why at first) ... and then his assistant (Than Wyenn) is killed by a giant locust (that probably accidently developed out of one of Wainwright's experiments).

Wainwright and Audrey of course have difficulties to convince the military they are fighting giant (8 foot at least) locusts, but when several soldiers are attacked and killed, the military decides to handle the situation their way - with firepower. Thing is, the locusts are by now a few thousand strong, and are not all that vulnerable to gunshots (though at a later point in the story they are), so they have soon overcome the army and now head to Chicago. The city can be evacuated with only minimal loss of life mind you, but now the locusts are occupying Chicago. Military top brass does what it does best: Plan a bomb drop to make things go boom, but Wainwright and Audrey actually want to save Chicago, so they with a few soldiers capture one of the locusts, find out what the duck call for locusts is, and then, in a recipe learned from the early settlers, lure them all into Lake Michigan to drown them - and just in time to save the city from being bombed, too.

An uncredited Kirk Alyn plays the bomber pilot by the way.

 

Now Beginning of the End is by no means a great movie, its story was quite derivative of quite a few giant monster movies from its era (most notably probably Them and Tarantula), the scietific foundation of its story is ridiculous not only from today's point of view, and its special effects, the backbone of a movie of this ilk, aren't always great. At the same time though, the movie is fun, and in all its seriousness, too, it moves ahead at a decent pace, and is deeply enough rooted in pulp traditions to be totally likeable to any 1950's trash afficionado.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD