The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971)

“Shocking. Beautiful. Brilliant. Sensual. Deadly … and in the end, only they will survive.” Lawrence Pressman (Doogie Howser, M.D.) goes over the edge in his portrayal of legendary pseudo-scientist “Nils Hellstrom,” along with a cast of thousands—insects that is! Yes, a fictional narrator was added to a “documentary” about insects and promoted as an ecological horror film. Got that? Apparently, this film became popular with hippies in the early ’70s who dropped acid before entering the theater and marveled at the prospect of an army of cockroaches taking over the world following a nuclear war. Throughout it all, Hellstrom spouts off lines such as “If you dare think this is lunacy, I invite you to learn the inevitable destiny of ignorance.” Even though the phony, often outrageous narration gets annoying at times, this pseudo-documentary boasts some great macro photography of insects doing their thing. Believe it or not, the film, which was produced by David L. Wolper and directed by Walon Green and Ed Spiegel, won an Oscar for “Best Documentary Feature.” Bottom line: Whatever the hell The Hellstrom Chronicle is, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch! The Hellstrom Chronicle served as the inspiration for Frank Herbert’s 1973 novel Hellstrom’s Hive.

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