Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971)

Academy Awards, USA 1972

Best Documentary, Features
Walon Green

Cinema 5
Directed by Walon Green and Ed Spiegel
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(Blu-ray, Olive Films)

This "documentary" combines amazing footage of insects with a rather contrived narrative by a fictitious scientist who spouts doomsday predictions. The insects sequences are vividly intense, at times gruesome, showing inter-species battles to the death, the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly, life inside a termite mound and the swarming of locusts, among others. The dialogue, written by David Seltzer (The Omen), contains similarly apocalyptic imagery, so over-the-top one has to wonder if it tongue-in-cheek. Regardless, this is a seminal documentary from the early 70s.

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