“The Hellstrom Chronicle” (1971)
One of the most recognizable characteristics of the 1950’s science fiction film is that peculiar concession to the presentation of an academic nature profile in the midst of an atomic mutation’s using the nearest township as an appetizer; those brief factual film presentations educating the film’s hero as to the inevitably aggressiveness of Mother Nature (whose message always seems to be that everything would kill us if it were large enough), as if National Geographic were suddenly in the business of tracking down and sounding alarums against those giant predatory beasties mysteriously resistant to pesticides and the square cube law.
In the curious 1971 documentary “The Hellstrom Chronicle” these very same occasions for academic zoological profiling are reprioritized and given center stage in the form of a feature length caveat by a severely distressed scientist Dr. Lasse Hellstrom, who, after a rather needlessly protracted period of sweaty palmed alarmist foreplay, presents evidence of his not particularly convincing assertion that the taken for granted balance of nature is doomed to continue with Man as the dominant species on the planet. The façade of the science fiction context is disrupted, but only momentarily, as the concept of enlarged predators is quickly supplanted with a similarly disheartening prediction concerning their mutation-free counterparts. Prof. Hellstrom declares that the insect world’s longevity and adaptability make it inevitable (presumably, this is a last call dinner bell announcement rather than mere existential theory) that those flying and crawling critters so casually assaulted by pesticides, shoe leather and no pest strips will dominate and destroy Mankind. It seems that in the melding of cinema and entomology, Darwin’s descendants of the ape cannot catch a break.
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