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Not Rated
Copyright 1957 AB-PT Pictures Corp.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Ed - Scientist whose experiments with radioactive isotopes caused this mess.
  • Audrey - Female reporter, she's always snooping around but does she get chomped? Oh no...
  • Frank - Deaf mute guy, a giant locust eats him.
  • General Hanson - In charge of the defense of Chicago. You might recognize him from The Giant Claw.
  • Colonel Sturgeon - National Guard Commanding Officer, he charges off into battle. Presumed grasshopper chow.
  • The Giant Locusts - Huge grasshoppers (I mean big, elephant sized big.) created by radiation.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Huge people chomping grasshoppers! Hehehehehe! Not only that, they're huge people chomping SUPERIMPOSED grasshoppers! A true b movie here, it starts off with something attacking two lovers parking (We don't get to see what, just the girl reacting to it.) and then a town is destroyed. Audrey stumbles across this breaking story, with the assistance of Ed and "I'm human bait" Frank we find the true horror is special effects. Pretty soon the ravenous insects have chewed their way through National Guardsman and Chicago is in peril. Mankind's only hope might be nuking Chicago to stop them! Can Ed find another way? Time is running out and you'll have to watch to find the answer... ...ah heck, he uses stereo equipment to imitate their call and drown them in the lake. The darn thing was filmed in 1956, like it's any secret. I really wanted to see more shots of people getting eaten, this is accomplished by showing the locust, then the person's face (contorted in fear), and shoving some suitable music in. You still need to see this just for the effect of grasshoppers walking around on photographs of buildings.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Radiation can render you deaf and mute.
  • Doing fifty miles per hour in a convertable will not mess your hair.
  • A mute guy trying to scream is ghastly but amusing.
  • Public disturbances, natural disasters, and giant grasshoppers are the responsibility of National Guard units.
  • Oversized insects prefer people over foliage.
  • Locusts screech before attacking.
  • Polygraphs work on giant grasshoppers.
  • Chicago looks like a photograph, I mean really...

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 7 mins - Not this road again. How many times are we going to see this scene? Well, in just one moment a dark then a light car will pass by...
  • 16 mins - A car phone? In 1956?
  • 20 mins - Those are some darn big tomatoes.
  • 23 mins - Here's that scene with the cars going by again...
  • 37 mins - How in the name of all that is common sense did a screeching grasshopper, the size of a dump truck, sneak up on them?
  • 47 mins - I'm pretty sure tanks and napalm will do the trick.
  • 56 mins - Ed, how exactly are you planning on catching a very large, very annoyed, grasshopper?
  • 70 mins - Observation posts my butt, those are snack stands for locusts.


  • Audrey: "Town of a hundred and fifty people just doesn't disappear."
    Ed: "This one did."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note beginend1.wav Ed: "We saw Frank Johnson killed by a giant locust."
Green Music Note beginend2.wav Ed: "I think you'd better call in the regular Army Tom."
Col Sturgeon: "Where would I get off calling for the regular Army to handle some oversized grasshoppers?"
Green Music Note beginend3.wav Announcer: "The giant locusts have reached the Chicago south side and nearby suburbs."
Green Music Note beginend4.wav Ed: "Well, there's one thing I have to get myself, something that will tell me when I've succeeded."
Gen Hanson: "What's that?"
Ed: "A live giant grasshopper."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipbeginend1.mpg - 1.6m
No, don't eat the mute guy!

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 4
Beginning of the End
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Meowlin
What I learned from this movie:
 - There are mountains in Illinois.
 - You can't drop an atom bomb on Chicago.
Beginning of the End
Reply #2. Posted on May 10, 1999, 09:17:09 AM by
I think it is appalling that the role of the University of Illinois, my home institution, in this terrible environmental tragedy has never been acknowledged!  Some ill-considered agricultural research on growing giant crop plants by exposing them to radiation went horribly astray -- with the result that photographs of Chicago skyscrapers were at risk of being destroyed by nuclear explosions.  The story has obviously been coverd up by the authorities.  Also, I'd like to know where those movie mountains are, supposedly somewhere near Ludlow.  I certainly have never seen any rising from our flat, flat plains!  More cover-ups.  I'm shocked, shocked!  I must rush off now, to defend the suburbs of Paxton.
Beginning of the End
Reply #3. Posted on July 15, 1999, 05:09:52 PM by
This movie is fun, I love it.  The sight of giant grasshoppers walking all over pictures of "tall buildings" in Chicago is hysterical. You can actually see the grasshopper's feet "standing" on air.  The best line in the movie comes when the Army decides that the only way to stop these beasts from devouring mankind is to drop an atomic bomb on the city. Quote - Ed: "You can't drop an atom bomb on Chicago!"    
Beginning of the End
Reply #4. Posted on October 12, 1999, 08:42:52 AM by
I saw BEGINNING OF THE END when I was in the fifth grade.  We thought the fact that the mutant grasshoppers could walk off the side of a skycraper onto thin air was a power gained through radiation.  Forty years have passed; we're older and wiser.  Read my review of BEGINNING OF THE END on the Internet Movie Database.  
Beginning of the End
Reply #5. Posted on January 28, 2000, 08:37:34 PM by
I enjoyed this movie and taped it years ago.  I thought eating the mute guy was sad too. When will Sci-Fi science ever learn....
Beginning of the End
Reply #6. Posted on April 14, 2000, 01:09:10 AM by
An example of my favorite sub-genre of 50s SciFi: giant mutant insects.  Bad acting, cheesy special effects, in short ... a masterpiece.   I saw this movie on television about a jillion times as a kid.  
Beginning of the End
Reply #7. Posted on June 21, 2000, 04:11:34 AM by Marty Busse
Actually, car phones were around in 1956: they used
radio telephony. They were all "push to talk" devices,
and were only able to send a message or recieve it.
I'd have to see the film to tell you what's going on
here, but think of a CB radio inside what looks like
a phone and you've got the general idea.  These were
pricey and experimental: the system had a lot of
money invested in it, but never caught on past a very
small set, in large part due to the cost and low bandwith
associated with radio telephony.  Ma Bell never distributed
them too far after initial tests with selected customers
showed that they weren't all they were cracked up to be,
but there had been heavy advertising of the system
circa 1955.  
Beginning of the End
Reply #8. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Levi
If you watched this movie then you should watch Mystery Science Theatre 3000, they do a little take on the movie, way funny. I got it from teh library so you should too. "Oh my Gahndi, they've killed Frank!"
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