The 1957 classic Universal sci-fi creature-monster masterpiece was directed by veteran director Nathan Hertz Juran. Hertz/Juran was also known for his numerous collaborations with veteran visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen and his classic “Dynamation” stop-motion masterpieces for Columbia Pictures, including “20 Million Miles to Earth” (1957) and “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” (1959). Juran’s other classic sci-fi masterpiece features include his Allied Artists (Monogram) production of “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” (1958) and his latter Universal monster production of “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” (1973). “The Deadly Mantis” was produced by veteran Universal producer William Alland, who also wrote the original story. Alland’s story was adapted for the screen by veteran film and TV screenwriter Martin Berkeley.
This will mark Sven’s seventh big broadcast of “The Deadly Mantis” (1957) on Me-TV. He previously broadcast Juran’s 1957 classic Universal sci-fi insect creature/monster masterpiece back in Jan. 2012*, Oct. 2012*, March 2013, May 2014, Nov. 2015 and Nov. 2017.
Who was in Nathan Hertz Juran’s Universal production of “The Deadly Mantis” (1957)?
The players who appeared in Nathan Hertz Juran’s 1957 classic Universal sci-fi creature/monster masterpiece production of “The Deadly Mantis” were Craig Stevens (as Col. Joe Parkman, Stevens went onto greater fame in Blake Edwards’ 1958-61 television crime drama series with Lola Albright and Herschel Bernardi; “Peter Gunn”), William Hopper (as Dr. Nedrick Jackson, Hopper went onto greater fame in the role of Paul Drake in the 1957-66 CBS television adaptation of Erle Stanley Gardner’s “Perry Mason” with Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale), Alix Talton (as Marge Blaine, the former Alice Talton reunited with William Hopper in the 1958 “Perry Mason” episode; “The Case of the Long-Legged Models”), Florenz Ames (as Prof. Anton Gunther), Donald Randolph (as Maj. Gen. Mark Ford), Floyd Simmons (as an Army Sergeant), Phil Harvey (as Lou, Harvey also appeared in Virgil Vogel’s 1957 Universal fantasy creature feature with Jock Mahoney, Shawn Smith/Shirley Patterson and William Reynolds; “The Land Unknown”), Pat Conway (as Sgt. Pete Allen), Marvin Miller (in an uncredited role as the opening narrator), Paul Smith (as a Corporal), Helen Jay (as Mrs. Farley), Bing Russell (in an uncredited role as a State Trooper) and Harry Tyler (as a Manhattan tunnel spectator).
“The Deadly Mantis” (1957): Made on a limited timeframe
According to Sean Axmaker’s Turner Classic Movies online article on “The Deadly Mantis” (1957), Nathan H. Juran’s production had the distinction of being on the of the few Universal monster-creature features that was made on a limited timeframe. Filming for Juran’s Universal sci-fi insect creature production took 14 days to complete.
Two other veteran actors were originally considered for “The Deadly Mantis”
According to the American Film Institute’s article on “The Deadly Mantis,” Rex Reason and Mara Corday were originally considered for the lead roles in Juran’s production. According to additional details from Axmaker’s TCM online article, it was reported that Reason dropped out of Juran’s production. The actor was not interested in playing the supporting role to the replica “Mantis” creature insect.
The “larger-than-life” replica Mantis creature model for “The Deadly Mantis”
According to an original 1957 Universal Studios publicity photo for the promotion of “The Deadly Mantis,” Alix Talton and Craig Stevens were placed near the “larger-than-life” replica mantis creature in a publicity still. According to additional information from the American Film Institute’s article on “The Deadly Mantis,” the “Deadly Mantis” model creature figure was constructed out of papier-maché materials by Universal prop designers with a height of 40 ft. Various scales of model mantises were also used, including a live-action praying mantis for the model Washington monument scene; according to additional information from Axmaker’s TCM online article.
Latter Universal “Castle Films” Super 8mm digest re-issue edition of “The Deadly Mantis” for the home market
Nathan H. Juran’s classic Universal insect feature masterpiece was re-issued for the home movie market as a Super 8mm “digest” version in the mid-1960s, via Castle Films; according to Scott MacGilvray’s book; “Castle Films: A Hobbyist’s Guide.” Castle was the home movie subsidiary of Universal Studios’ “United World Films” non-theatrical releasing unit (Universal/United World acquired Castle in 1947).
“The Deadly Mantis:” Later riffed on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” in 1997
The classic Nathan H. Juran Universal sci-fi insect creature masterpiece was later riffed on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” with Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy (who provided the vocal stylings of Tom Servo and played the role of evil overlord Prof. Bobo), Bill Corbett (who provided the vocal stylings of Crow T. Robot) and Mary Jo Pehl (as evil overlord Pearl Forrester). The “Deadly Mantis” edition of MST3K, ep. #804 aired on the Sci-Fi Channel (pre-SyFy) on Feb. 22, 1997; according to Satellite News/MST3K Info.
Be sure to watch Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Deadly Mantis” (1957), this Sat. on Me-TV!
A snippet from “The Deadly Mantis” (1957).
With Craig Stevens, Alix Talton, William Hopper, Florenz Ames, Donald Randolph, Floyd Simmons, Phil Harvey, Pat Conway, Marvin Miller’s narration, Paul Smith, Helen Jay, Bing Russell and Harry Tyler; be sure to watch Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Deadly Mantis” (1957), this Sat. on Me-TV! Escape from stress with Sven’s big broadcast of Nathan H. Juran’s classic Universal sci-fi insect creature masterpiece along with Sven’s extended fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody song, Kerwyn’s home office edition of the “mail call” segment and much, much, more! Relax and unwind with Sven and the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals this Sat.! A perfect treat for all fellow super SvenPals, fellow super MSTies & fellow Universal Studios creature-monster aficionados everywhere! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended!
*Before Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick area (Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick broadcast region in early 2013; originally on WJLA-TV and then moved to WTTG-5 in March 2017). -C.H.
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Broadband 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Relax, join in on the fun and live-tweet with all fellow super SvenPals everywhere via Twitter during #Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Deadly Mantis” (1957), this Sat. on the airlanes of Me-TV!
In connection to the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic: Again, look to the positive enlightenment, encouragement and wisdom of Svengoolie, the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere, the entire crowd of fellow super Mystery Science Theater 3000 MSTies everywhere & the entire crowd of fellow classic film aficionados everywhere! Again, let’s all take preventative measures by staying well, being hopeful, staying safe and keeping healthy! And again, we fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals highly recommend Kerwyn’s informative coronavirus/COVID-19 prevention public service announcement! Again, to the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie everywhere; safety first, take all precautions seriously, wear a face mask/appropriate face covering, practice social distancing measures, wash your hands for approximately 20 sec., avoid touching your face, use a sleeve/tissue when coughing/sneezing, stay home, stay well and keep healthy. Escape from stress, chaos and anxiety by relaxing and having fun with Sven’s Sat. evening big broadcasts of classic monster, sci-fi and horror feature film masterpieces on the airlanes of Me-TV! Join in on the fun with the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals by live-tweeting via Twitter during Sven’s Sat. evening big broadcasts on the airlanes of Me-TV! And again, safety first, stay well & keep healthy, Sven/Mr. Rich Koz, the entire Sven/Me-TV production team & the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie everywhere! Again, to quote Me-TV’s preventative motto; “#StayHomeWithMe!” And again, to quote Sven’s executive producer, Jim Roche: “#KeepCalmAndWatchSven!” –C.H.
In connection to William Hopper: Watch William Hopper in “Perry Mason” with Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale; weekday mornings at 10 a.m. Eastern/9 a.m. Central and weeknights at 11:30 p.m. Eastern /10:30 p.m. Central on most Me-TV stations!
In connection to Craig Stevens: Watch Craig Stevens as “Peter Gunn” with Lola Albright and Herschel Bernardi with two back-to-back episodes; Sun. latenight/early Mon. morning with two back-to-back episodes at 4 a.m. & 4:30 a.m. Eastern/3 a.m. & 3:30 a.m.Central on most Me-TV stations!
From Sven’s Berwyn studio set to your home! Download Svengoolie’s famous Me-TV “studio set” background (featuring “Body Sorrell”) for your online videoconferencing platforms (Skype, Zoom etc.), as part of Me-TV’s collection of classic TV show set backgrounds for online videoconferencing!
Still available! The official Sven/Me-TV/Figures Toy Co. limited edition Svengoolie “Studio Set” Sven figurine with commemorative Sven studio set coffin with “Body Sorrell” and official miniature Archie McPhee rubber chicken is still available for purchase, exclusively on the official Svengoolie/Me-TV online store! And again, to quote the official rule of the official Sven/Me-TV online store, “no personal checks!” And only purchase authentic/official Sven/Me-TV merchandise from the official Sven/Me-TV online store site! And to quote Sven, “I have a store?” –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Cameo mentions of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals!
Extra! Extra! Extra! (At the 0:01, 0:05 & 0:07 marks): After taking a closer look near the conclusion of Svengoolie’s Me-TV big broadcast of “Munster, Go Home!” (1966) on Sat., May 9; fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere jumped for joy when they recognized the return cameo appearance of a recognizable Sven artwork design piece from one of our fellow super SvenPals! During Svengoolie’s sneak preview commercial/advertisement for the upcoming big broadcast of “The Deadly Mantis” (1957); fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Sarah Rhodes’ Svengoolie skateboard artwork design was featured on Sven’s Berwyn dungeon set during the aforementioned ad for Sven’s upcoming Me-TV big broadcast of Nathan Hertz Juran’s 1957 classic Universal sci-fi insect creature-thriller masterpiece! Sarah’s Sven skateboard art was designed for the 40th anniversary of Sven/Mr. Rich Koz’s career in the Berwyn/Chicago big broadcast airlanes! Her Sven skateboard artwork design debuted on Sven & Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment for Sven’s June 2019 big Me-TV big premiere broadcast of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966)!
Congratulations to Sarah from the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere on the return cameo appearance of your Svengoolie skateboard artwork design during Svengoolie’s sneak preview commercial/advertisement for his upcoming big Me-TV broadcast of “The Deadly Mantis” (1957)! We fellow super SvenPals are all proud of you! All of us are jumping and cheering for joy, Sarah! Safety first, three cheers, two thumbs up, keep healthy, stay well, peace, kudos & ”Hi-Keeba” to Sarah & the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere! Keep up the wonderful and excellent work, Sarah! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere jumped for joy when they heard a new monologue piece from one of our fellow super SvenPals! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee recently recorded/performed a monologue piece for Vintage Soul Productions’ online “Quick Quarantined Play Festival!” Participating actors/performers in the Vintage Soul Productions online festival had to memorize and record their piece in 24 hours, participating writers in the festival had to write a brief monologue within 24 hours, related to the topic/theme of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Jamie’s reading of “Trapped” was written by Shayna Nash and was part of the fifth round of participating performers for the aforementioned online “Quick Quarantined Play” festival!
Congratulations to Jamie and the Vintage Soul Productions troupe/participants from the entire crowd of fellow super “Jammin’ with Jamie” jammers & fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere on their “Quick Quarantined Play Festival” performances! We fellow super SvenPals are all proud of you! All of us are jumping and cheering for joy, Jamie! Safety first, three cheers, two thumbs up, keep healthy, stay well, peace, kudos & ”Hi-Keeba” to Jamie & the entire Vintage Soul Productions troupe, the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals & fellow super “Jammin’ with Jamie” jammers everywhere! Keep up the wonderful and excellent work, Jamie! –C.H.
Pre-recorded/archival programs of fellow super SvenPal Jamie Lee’s “Jammin’ with Jamie” are playing in rotation on the airlanes of Northwestern University Radio/WNUR-FM 89.3/FM 89.3-HD1 in the greater Berwyn/Chicago listening area, WNUR.org and the TuneIn platform from coast-to-coast, around the world and throughout the galaxy! Again, fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals/fellow super jammers can also listen to pre-recorded/archival editions of Jamie’s past “Jammin’ with Jamie” programs (2016-present), additional details/information can be found via Jamie’s official Twitter site and/or website! And be sure to help out one of Jamie’s friends by donating/spreading the word to help offset costly medical costs! –C.H.
“Flashback” from May 12, 2017!
Speaking of May 12, today marks the third anniversary of the final broadcast of my Hood College online radio program; “Yours, Truly Chris Hamby” (which aired from Fall 2016 until graduating from Hood in Spring 2017), which was a fun and exciting experience! Here I am with my coveted “official chicken thrower” Svengoolie T-shirt from the final broadcast back in 2017! –C.H.
In connection to “The Deadly Mantis” (1957):
“The Deadly Mantis” (1957) is also available on Blu-Ray disc from Shout! Factory and their Scream Factory imprint, paired with the 1997 “Mystery Science Theater 3000” riffing of Nathan Hertz Juran’s Universal classic sci-fi insect creature-thriller masterpiece and much, much more (by arrangement with Universal Studios). The classic 1957 Universal sci-fi insect creature-thriller masterpiece is also available in Universal’s classic sci-fi feature anthology DVD set, “The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection: Vol. 2” and is also available as a standalone DVD title in Universal’s “Vault Series.” The 1997 “Mystery Science Theater 3000” riffing of “The Deadly Mantis” is also available on DVD in Shout! Factory’s MST3K anthology set, “MST3K: Vol. XXVII” (by arrangement with Universal Studios).
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