Beginning of the End

beginning_of_end_poster_03

Beginning of the End is a 1957 American science fiction film directed and produced by Bert I. Gordon from a screenplay by Fred Freiberger (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms) and Lester Gorn. Its production was a direct outcome of the success of giant ant movie Them! (1954).

It stars Peter GravesPeggie CastleMorris AnkrumRichard Benedict and James Seay. Its typical ‘monster movie’ score was by Albert Glasser who composed over 200 soundtracks during his long career.

The film is about an agricultural scientist (Graves) who has successfully grown gigantic vegetables using radiation. Unfortunately, the vegetables are then eaten by locusts (the swarming phase of short-horned grasshoppers), which grow to gigantic size and attack the nearby city of Chicago. The film is generally recognized for its “atrocious” special effects and considered to be one of the most poorly written and acted science fiction motion pictures of the 1950s.

beginning of the end giant

Newspaper photojournalist Audrey Aimes (Castle) accidentally stumbles upon Ludlow, a small town in Illinois, which has been inexplicably destroyed. All 150 people in the town are missing, and the evidence indicates they are dead. Incredibly, the local fields are also barren, as if a swarm of locusts had eaten all the crops. Aimes suspects that the military is covering something up, and travels to a nearby United States Department of Agriculture experimental farm to learn what creature might have caused the agricultural destruction. She meets Dr. Ed Wainwright (Graves), who is experimenting with radiation as a means of growing gigantic fruits and vegetables to end world hunger. Dr. Wainwright reports that there have been a number of mysterious incidents nearby, and that locusts have eaten all the radioactive wheat stored in a nearby grain silo

Wikipedia | IMDb

“Peter Graves, the future host of Unsolved Mysteries, takes melodramatic performance to a new level. He is awesome. Despite being made as something to neck to at the Drive In, Beginning of the End is above average in terms of pure enjoyability. Of course the enjoyability doesn’t come from anything intentional. It really is a triple-super-cheese-deluxe with extra cheese. If you’re going to watch a 50s giant bug movie, Beginning of the End should be it.” Splatter Shack

beginning of the end poster

beginning-of-the-end-lobby-card-5-1957

beginning-of-the-end-production-still_7-1957

” …watch closely when the locusts are seen climbing up the side of the building in which Wainwright’s laboratory is located. Note the jarring difference in dimensionality between the quite substantial locusts and the curiously flat-looking building. That’s right, this amazing shot was created by having the bugs crawl around on a photograph of the building! Even better, in most prints of The Beginning of the End, a split-second shot appears in which one of the locusts actually crawls off of the building and into the fucking sky!!!!” 1000 Misspent Hours

“Beginning of the End is your standard radioactive giant bug flick, kicked up a notch by the ultra-serious acting of Peter Graves (Killers from SpaceIt Conquered the World). Graves plays his role so straight that it gives the already ridiculous premise an added element of absurdity.” Exclamation Mark

beginning-of-the-end-production-still_6-1957

beginning-of-the-end-production-still_5-1957

beginning-of-the-end-production-still_1-1957

beginning-of-the-end-lobby-card-3-1957

beginning-of-the-end-lobby-card-6-1957

beginning-of-the-end-lobby-card-8-1957

beginning-of-the-end-lobby-card-7-1957

beginning_of_end_poster_04

beginning_of_end_poster_02

Some of the above images are courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art and 3B Theater Poster Archive



Categories: 1950s, insect horror, monster movie, mutant, nature-strikes-back, sci-fi horror

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. They used all male locusts in case a few escaped, there would not be an outbreak. Reportedly after a few days, they all started to eat each other!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,282 other followers

%d bloggers like this: