“You can’t drop an atom bomb on Chicago!”
Bert I Gordon (nicknamed Mr. B.I.G.) is well known for producing crap. Even though “The Beginning of the End” is one of those productions it has become an all out cult favorite. Staring Peggy Castle as reporter Audrey Aimes, Morris Ankrum as General John Hanson and a very young Peter Graves as Dr. Ed Wainwright this little gem takes big bug movies into the realm of too bad to hate. Filmed in the new format of “Horrorscope” (it’s on the DVD cover so it must be true) this movie shows what can happen when small things get too big.
I believe this qualifies as number 4 on our “How to make a monster” list “Man made disaster such as atomic testing, pollution or other world disruption of the natural order of things that alters the normal structure of a creature creating a monster.” In this case radiation experiments on vegetables have created contaminated food. Local grasshoppers have eaten the contaminated food and grown to huge size and in the process have become omnivores. It’s not till after the creatures have destroyed and eaten an entire town that the monsters are discovered. Now they are headed for Chicago and it is up to Dr. Wainwright to find a way to stop this terror before it really becomes “The beginning of the end”.
Yes this is camp in all its glory. The special effects are the dumbest you’ve ever seen. Everyone knows that the grasshoppers climbing up the buildings are really regular grasshoppers crawling over a picture of the Wrigley building that is laid out on a table. It’s also obvious that the giant grasshoppers are actually regular grasshoppers projected on a back screen. And don’t forget the car ride where the same footage is used over and over on the rear projection screen and you see the same two cars pass by three times. As I said this Bert I Gordon at his worst and I loved every minute of it.