Synopsis: A giant prehistoric ancestor of the praying mantis escapes the arctic ice and terrorizes people as it migrates south.
Who’s in it? The movie stars Craig Stevens, William Hopper, Alix Talton and Paul Smith.
Review: I have been letting my daughter pick out the movies for our father/daughter monster movie night. However, since we recently had some success with the film “Tarantula,” I decided to stick with giant bugs and picked out the movie “The Deadly Mantis.” And, as it turns out, it wasn’t a terrible choice.
At first, I honestly didn’t think that was going to be the case because the first few minutes of this film consists of maps and stock footage. However, once the movie started to get going a bit, it was actually halfway decent. I don’t know if it was as good as “Tarantula,” but I liked it better than some other big-bug movies, such as “Them!”
The thing that really surprised me about this movie was just how creepy that giant mantis was. The movie was limited by the special effects of the time period. But, the mantis still managed to be just scary enough to keep me from wanting to run into it in some alley. My daughter, who doesn’t scare easily, definitely agreed with me.
I also thought the interaction between the various characters was interesting. The acting was pretty convincing, something that isn’t always the case in movies like this, and there was just enough mix of comedy and even romance to keep the movie entertaining even when the giant bug wasn’t on screen.
My biggest complaint about this movie, other than the very beginning, was the drawn out hunt for the mantis, which, interesting enough, was similar to a complaint I had about the movie “Them!” As I mentioned before, the film managed to keep things somewhat interesting even during this part. However, it could have easily have been shortened.
Final Opinion: It’s not the best big-bug movie I’ve seen but, at the same time, it’s certainly not the worst either. I think it’s worth watching. But, it might be best to save it for a rainy day.