The Hellstrom Chronicle
|The Hellstrom Chronicle|
Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Ed Spiegel
|Produced by||David L. Wolper|
|Written by||David Seltzer|
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Edited by||John Soh|
|Distributed by||Cinema 5 Distributing|
The Hellstrom Chronicle is an American film released in 1971 which combines elements of documentary, science fiction, horror and apocalyptic prophecy to present a gripping satirical depiction of the Darwinian struggle for survival between humans and insects. It was conceived and produced by David L. Wolper, directed by Walon Green and written by David Seltzer, who earned a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for his screenplay. Green later called it "almost yellow-journally but good. We were giving the audience an elbow to the ribs every third line."
Several cinematographers photographed this film using stop-motion photography with microscopic and telescopic lenses. The trailer resembled an announcement for a science fiction movie. The film provided the inspiration for Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Hellstrom's Hive.
A fictitious scientist called Dr. Nils Hellstrom (played by Lawrence Pressman) guides viewers throughout the film. He claims, on the basis of scientific-sounding theories, that insects will ultimately win the fight for survival on planet Earth because of their adaptability and ability to reproduce rapidly, and that the human race will lose this fight largely because of excessive individualism. The film combines short clips from horror and science fiction movies with extraordinary camera sequences of butterflies, locusts, wasps, termites, ants, mayflies, other insects rarely seen before on film and insectivorous plants/insects.
Home Video Releases
The film was released as a "gray area" DVD for years and only received its official DVD and Blu-ray release on January 10, 2012 from Olive Films.
- "Swarming the Field: Bugs, Nazis, and The Hellstrom Chronicle". Grantland. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
- "Glenn Erickson: The Hellstrom Chronicle". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- The Hellstrom Chronicle at the Internet Movie Database
- New York Times review
- Chicago Sun-Times review by Roger Ebert