7.4/10
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19 user 21 critic

The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971)

A scientist explains how the savagery and efficiency of the insect world could result in their taking over the world.

Directors:

Walon Green, Ed Spiegel

Writer:

David Seltzer
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Lawrence Pressman ... Dr. Hellstrom
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Storyline

This unique and quirky offering combines elements of documentary films and horror movies to illustrate the potential threat posed by the world's insects. With their collective intelligence, high capacity for work and sharp instincts, the film argues, they are waging a struggle against humans for supremacy of our planet. Expert cinematography captures footage of the small creatures, some quite tiny and elusive, interspersed with clips from horror films to achieve dramatic effects. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Shocking. Beautiful. Brilliant. Sensual. Deadly... and in the end only they will survive. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Crônica de Hellstrom See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wolper Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Wolper and Cinema 5 got audiences into theatres to see this documentary by promoting it as if it were a science fiction thriller. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hellstrom: Psychiatrists tell me that from childhood nightmares to adult schizophrenia, the insect is a common fixation on the human mind - partly because his face seems so evil, partly because he is so indestructible.
See more »

Crazy Credits

End Credits: Nils Hellstrom, M.S., Ph.D., is a fictional character who was portrayed by Lawrance Pressman. His statements relating to the impermanence of the human species have been synthesized from contemporary opinions. All statements about the insect world are factual and have been reviewed by Roy Snelling and Charles Hogue, Ph.D., of the Entomology Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. See more »

Connections

Features If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Now, this is the way to make a documentary!
17 January 2004 | by Dr WilySee all my reviews

For 10 plus years, "The Hellstrom Chronicle" was regularly plugged into the 2am/4am movie slot on a local station in the middle 80's through 90's. Too bad it couldn't get more coverage, because this is how a documentary should be made.

The problem with documentaries is if you focus too much on the clinical data, it becomes dry. If yo try to interject drama into it, you run the risk of sending up the piece, into parody or even farce. Hellstrom interjects just the right amount of fiction, in the form of Lawrence Pressman, that links the documentary portions at a pace that keeps it from losing one's interest. It's obvious that "Dr." Hellstrom, a fictitious entomologist, is paranoid that insects will take over the world through their superiority over men. The most interesting thing, though, is he may very well be right! If the insect world footage has any say in how future matters may turn out, it will.

Of particular interest is the portion of the footage devoted to the driver ants. As has been quoted in other reviews, this is a prime example of "How DID they film that?!" documentary in motion. It's an inspiration out of "Leinengen Vs. The Ants," only it's real!

If you can find this "movie," give it a roll. Expand your mind a bit with some facts, while at the same time, become entertained by Dr. Hellstrom... even if he isn't a real doctor, but, he plays one on TV! (Actually, he did! Pressman went on to play one on Doogie Howser, M.D.)


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