Beginning of the End (film)
Beginning of the End is a 1957 independently made American black-and-white science fiction giant insects film, produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon. It stars Peter Graves, Peggie Castle, and Morris Ankrum. The film's storyline concerns an agricultural scientist (Graves) who has successfully grown gigantic vegetables using radiation. Unfortunately, the vegetables are eaten by locusts (the swarming phase of short-horned grasshoppers), which quickly grow to a gigantic size and attack the nearby city of Chicago. Beginning of the End is generally known for its "atrocious" special effects and is considered to be one of the most poorly written and acted science fiction films of the 1950s.
|Beginning of the End|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bert I. Gordon|
|Produced by||Bert I. Gordon|
|Written by||Fred Freiberger|
|Music by||Albert Glasser|
|Cinematography||Jack A. Marta|
|Edited by||Aaron Stell|
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
The film opens with newspaper photojournalist Audrey Aimes (Castle) accidentally stumbling upon a small town (Ludlow, Illinois) which has been inexplicably destroyed. All 150 people in the town are missing, and the evidence indicates they are dead. Incredibly, the local fields are also barren, as if a swarm of locusts had eaten all the crops. Aimes suspects that the military is covering something up, and travels to a nearby United States Department of Agriculture experimental farm to learn what creature might have caused the agricultural destruction. She meets Dr. Ed Wainwright (Graves), who is experimenting with radiation as a means of growing gigantic fruits and vegetables to end world hunger. Dr. Wainwright reports that there have been a number of mysterious incidents nearby, and that locusts have eaten all the radioactive wheat stored in a nearby grain silo.
Gigantic mutant locusts rampage over the countryside. Dr. Wainwright and Ms. Aimes begin to track down the source of the mysterious occurrences, and quickly discover that the locusts which ate the grain have grown to the size of a city bus. The monsters have eaten all the crops in the area, and now are seeking human beings as a means of sustenance. It is also clear that they are headed for the city of Chicago. Wainwright and Aimes meet with General Hanson (Ankrum), Colonel Sturgeon (Henry), and Captain Barton (Seay) to strategize a solution. Machine gun and artillery fire seem ineffective against the creatures, and there are far too many to effectively deal with all at once. The United States Army and Illinois National Guard are called upon to help protect the city. But the monsters quickly invade Chicago, and begin to feast on human flesh as well as several buildings.
General Hanson concludes that the only way to destroy the beasts en masse is to use a nuclear weapon and destroy Chicago. However, Dr. Wainwright realizes that the locusts are warm-weather creatures. He concludes that he might be able to lure the locusts into Lake Michigan. There, the cold water will incapacitate them, and they will drown. The lure itself will be a decoy locust mating call, generated electronically with test-tone oscillators. The plan is put into effect, and it works at the last possible moment. The monstrous locusts drown, but Dr. Wainwright and Ms. Aimes wonder if other insects or animals might have eaten other radioactive crops. They ponder whether the whole world might be facing an attack of monstrous creatures.
Films with a science fiction theme were an uncommon but well-established genre of motion picture long before the 1950s. By one film historian's count, the "modern" era of science fiction film began in 1951 with the release of The Day the Earth Stood Still and When Worlds Collide. In 1952, King Kong was re-released theatrically. King Kong proved immensely popular, holding its own against new releases such as Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (which later won the Academy Award for Best Picture). King Kong earned $2 million to $3 million (estimates vary) that year, roughly double the box office gross of its initial release and making the re-release very highly profitable for RKO Pictures. In response to the success of King Kong, many film studios rushed science fiction-themed films into production. The following year saw the release of four highly influential motion pictures: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, It Came from Outer Space, Invaders from Mars, and The War of the Worlds. The financial success of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (distributed by Warner Bros.) sparked an interest in giant monster films, and in 1954 Warner Bros. released another very profitable monster film, Them! With the success of these two films, giant insect pictures became a distinct subgenre of science fiction films in the 1950s.
Beginning of the End was financed by American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres (AB-PT). The company had been formed in February 1953 when the American Broadcasting Company and United Paramount Theatres merged. In September 1956, AB-PT (sometimes also called "Am-Par") announced the formation of a movie studio, and revealed a slate of six films a year in January 1957. The studio's focus was on low-budget features which it could place in its theatres in the Northeast and South. AB-PT hoped to expand to a yearly slate of 20 pictures, and signed a distribution deal with Republic Pictures to get them into theatres.
AB-PT announced on November 29, 1956, that it had approved production of its first film, Beginning of the End and announced on December 2, 1956, that production would begin immediately. The company said it had hired 34-year-old Bert I. Gordon to direct and produce. Gordon had gotten his start as a supervising producer for televised commercials and network TV shows, had produced his first feature film (Serpent Island) in 1954, and directed his first feature film (King Dinosaur) in 1955.
The story was already set, according to press reports, with Variety claiming that Bert I. Gordon had already completed the script. Press sources noted that the studio was clearly attempting to cash-in on the science fiction movie craze. However, the final screenplay is credited to Fred Frieberger (a veteran writer of B movies) and Lester Gorn. The screen story bears a striking resemblance to the 1904 H. G. Wells novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth (Gordon would adapt this novel twice more, once for Embassy Pictures in 1965's Village of the Giants and again for American International Pictures in 1976's The Food of the Gods).
Casting was complete within two weeks of the start of production. In late November, AB-PT said actress Mala Powers was being considered for the female lead. But on December 2, the studio revealed that Peter Graves and Peggie Castle had been cast as the leads. Three days later, AB-PT announced that Don C. Harvey, Morris Ankrum, Pierre Watkin, Ralph Sanford, and Richard Benedict had also been cast. The studio also said that Pat Dean, its "sexboat" discovery (and a former dancer at the El Rancho Vegas hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada) would also appear in the picture. Larry Blake, Duane Cress, James Douglas, Eileen Jannsen, John Kranston, Ann Loos, and Jeanne Wood were added to the cast a few days later. Ankrum, Henry, and Seay were cast because they usually played military men in B movies, roles they portrayed in Beginning of the End as well.
John A. Marta, a veteran cinematographer, and Aaron Stell, a long-time film editor, also worked on the film. Marta had shot close to 150 B movies for Republic Pictures by this time, which is probably why he was hired (given AB-PT's relationship with that studio and Marta's fast-and-quick shooting style). Albert Glasser composed the musical score. Glasser worked in the same office building where Gordon had his offices, and Gordon admired his score for the 1956 war film Huk! (a B movie from Pan Pacific Productions). Gordon had already used Glasser to score his 1957 monster movie The Cyclops. Glasser wrote the musical score for Beginning of the End as well as five more of Gordon's films. Glasser was paid $4,000 for his work on The Cyclops, which may indicate how much he was paid for the musical score for Beginning of the End. The musical soundtrack included the song "Natural, Natural Baby." The art director was Walter Keller.
It is not clear what the budget for the picture was, although descriptions often use the term "low budget" or "ultra-low-budget." According to a statement by AB-PT President Leonard Goldenson in 1957, the average cost of the AB-PT pictures greenlit to date was $300,000. In comparison, Invaders From Mars was budgeted at $150,000, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms cost $400,000, It Came From Outer Space cost $532,000, Them! came in at under $1 million, and 1953's The War of the Worlds cost $2 million.
Filming began December 3, 1956. Shooting took place on the Republic Pictures backlot at 4024 Radford Avenue in Los Angeles, California (built by Mack Sennett and now home to CBS Studio Center). Actor Peter Graves said Gordon "was okay, he was a good director." He also had praise for actress Peggie Castle, and said he felt privileged to be working with an actor of Morris Ankrum's stature.
Gordon himself provided the special effects for the film. According to composer Glasser, Gordon literally worked out of his home garage. Animated grasshoppers were considered, but the idea rejected as too costly. So Gordon relied heavily on split screen, static mattes, and rear projection effects for the film. But his most important effort was one he had used in King Dinosaur: placing live creatures on still photographs, and blowing air at them to encourage the creatures to move. Gordon purchased 200 non-hopping, non-flying live grasshoppers in Texas (which had recently seen an outbreak of a species of exceptionally large locusts) for the film. But when he attempted to bring them into California for filming, state agricultural officials required that every single one of the animals be inspected and sexed. He later described his efforts:
- I had to get my grasshoppers from Waco, Texas. They had the only species large enough to carry focus. I could only import males because they didn't want the things to start breeding. They even had someone from the agricultural department or some place like that come out to take a head count, or wing count. The grasshoppers turned cannibalistic.
Gordon kept the grasshoppers in a box for only a few days, but during that time the grasshoppers devoured one another and only 12 were left when Gordon finally got around to shooting them. Gordon also considered building miniatures for the grasshoppers to climb on, but this, too, was deemed too expensive. Instead, Gordon used still photographs of the Wrigley Building and other noted Chicago landmarks and simply filmed the grasshoppers moving about on top of the photograph. When the monsters are supposed to be wounded or killed by gunfire, Gordon merely tipped the photograph and the grasshoppers slid down it. According to one film historian, "the effect looks (almost) real" until one of the grasshoppers steps off the "building" into what is supposed to be thin air.
Beginning of the End premiered in Chicago on June 16, 1957. Stars Peter Graves and Peggie Castle were both on hand for the premiere. The film opened widely in 244 theaters in the South and Midwest on June 20. It played as part of a double feature with The Unearthly (a film based loosely on 1932's Island of Lost Souls and 1956's The Black Sleep), another AB-PT production. As planned, it was distributed by Republic Pictures. Two taglines were used to promote the film. The first was "New Thrills! New Shocks! New Terror!" This tagline is depicted on the film poster (see the infobox, above). The other tagline used was "The screen's first full-length science-fiction feature with real-live creatures!" There is some discrepancy as to how long the film ran. Some sources cite 73 minutes, some 74 minutes, and some 76 minutes.
The film was a modest hit, and profitable for AB-PT. For example, in its first week playing in San Francisco, California, it made $16,000—just behind the top-ranked movie of the week for the area, the reissue of Bambi (which grossed $18,500). The film's debut in Los Angeles saw its gross reach $16,500, although this was a soft movie-going market.
Beginning of the End proved an apt title for its parent studio. AB-PT shuttered its operations immediately after releasing the film, for reasons which are still unclear. Gordon's work for AB-PT landed him a new contract with American International Pictures (AIP). The week Beginning of the End opened, Gordon began shooting his next feature film, The Amazing Colossal Man, for AIP.
Beginning of the End made Bert I. Gordon famous for his giant monster films. Critics and film historians point out that the film is only one of many which drew heavily on most Americans' fear about atomic weapons, open-air nuclear tests, and the possibility of nuclear war. However, Beginning of the End had very little of the metaphorical creativity of films such as Godzilla or Them! A more recent assessment, however, concludes that the film taps more deeply into 1950s Americans' worries over invasive species and growing unease over pesticides (like DDT).
The film received extensive negative reviews at the time of its release and by modern film historians. Variety was particularly negative. Calling the movie "derivative", the industry trade publication said, "Summarizing the plot of Beginning of the End is like rehashing the story of several dozen similar films." The publication felt that not much effort had been put into the film. "Even taken on its own terms—as a low-budget exploitation feature—Beginning of the End hardly reflects the best effort of a major theatre circuit." It called the special effects "obvious" and decried the use of stock footage. The reviewer felt the screenplay was "ludicrous" and cliché-ridden. The magazine believed Peter Graves had turned in a decent performance, but described Peggie Castle's performance as "unconvincing" and Morris Ankrum's as "artificial". The cinematography and editing were, it concluded, average. Mae Tinnee, reviewing the motion picture for the Chicago Tribune had several negative comments. "The film obviously was made on a shoestring budget, and the people in it are no more than props for the magnified insects. I doubt if it will fool anyone. But youngsters will probably think it's great stuff." The Los Angeles Times was far harsher in its assessment. Its unsigned review concluded: "The audience is cheated in the production. The conclusion is never in doubt and the process shots are so obvious that one is startled the first time a buffalo-sized grasshopper hits the screen but never again. And at no time are there more than a half-dozen of the things shown at once, although the script avers that there are thousands about and more coming." As of 2008, Beginning of the End is still "one of the most excoriated creature features." Leonard Maltin summed up his review in one word: "awful". Another recent film guide called it "Bottom-of-the-sci-fi-barrel rubbish, very boring to watch." One review pointed out that Gordon didn't even bother to hide the mountains in the background of the shots (Central Illinois is mostly flat prairie land). Some have also been upset with film's lack of horrifying images. The derivative nature of the picture has also upset some critics. Critics say the film covered almost the same ground as the far superior monster movie Them!, and it is clear that Gordon merely wanted to "cash in" on giant bug craze rather than come up with a story that was fresh and creative.
There have been some positive reviews, however. One modern critic said "the story is adequately paced, the acting is engaging, and we still get a thrill seeing the Army guys empty their cartridges at the unstoppable insects." Another modern reviewer found the screenplay effective, especially the beginning: "As in Deadly Mantis, the complete disappearance of the victims is especially chilling, as is the notion of 150 men, women and children being devoured overnight while in their beds. This aspect is like something out of Lovecraft, although it is not exploited as well as it could have been." Producer-director Bert I. Gordon said he did not care whether reviews were bad; what mattered was whether people went to see the film: "The movie audience these days consists almost entirely of teenagers. Either they're naïve and go to get scared, or they're sophisticated and enjoy scoffing at the pictures. There isn't much a teenager can scoff at these days, you know." Lead actor Peter Graves also felt the film worked on a certain level. "I think they played OK. ... All of that was ludicrous, but there were a certain amount of people who 'bought' it and loved it."
Beginning of the End has become somewhat infamous because of its notoriously poor production values and unrealistic plot. The movie was parodied in the 11th season of the hit animated television program The Simpsons in the episode "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)." In that episode, Homer Simpson grows giant vegetables using radioactive materials, and automatically assumes that any animal eating the food will become monstrous. Homer even attempts to recall Beginning of the End as evidence of his claim, although he misremembers the title as Grasshopperus and the star as Chad Everett (another blond, all-American actor similar to Peter Graves).
Home video releases
The film was the basis of an episode of the cable television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) during its fifth season. This episode of MST3K was released on DVD in 2001.
- Warren, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, 1997, p. 325-326.
- Warren, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, 1997, p. xiv.
- Erb, Tracking King Kong: A Hollywood Icon in World Culture, 2009, p. 126.
- Pomerance, American Cinema of the 1950s: Themes and Variations, 2005, p. 246.
- Everman, Cult Horror Films: From 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman' to 'Zombies of Mora Tau', 1993, p. 205.
- Gould, A.B.C., United Paramount Merge in $25,000,000 Deal," New York Times, May 24, 1951; Loftus, "Paramount, A.B.C. Cleared to Merge," New York Times, February 10, 1953.
- "AB-PT to Enter Film Prod'n At Same Time Goldenson Predicts 8,000 Houses to Fold," Variety, September 24, 1956; "Filming Planned by Theatre Chain," New York Times, September 22, 1956; Pryor, "6 Films Planned by Am-Par Corp.," New York Times, January 28, 1957.
- Heffernan, Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business: 1953–1968, 2004, p. 71.
- Ryfle, Godzilla: The Unauthorized Biography, 1998, p. 67.
- By one count, there were 25 science fiction-themed motion pictures released in America that year, followed by 34 in 1957 and 36 in 1958. After 1958, the number of releases tapered off, until by 1963 there genre was uncommon again. See: Warren, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, 1997, p. xv.
- "AB-PT Starting Prod'n Sans Gov't Greenlight," Variety, November 30, 1956.
- Scheuer, "ABC-Paramount Starts Production Experiment," Los Angeles Times, December 3, 1956.
- Hardy and Gifford, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies, 1986, p. 166.
- Young, The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film: Ali Baba to Zombies, 1997, p. 43.
- Lucian and Coville, Smokin' Rockets: The Romance of Technology in American Film, Radio, and Television, 1945–1962, 2002, p. 214.
- Berry, The Dinosaur Filmography, 2002, p. 178; McGee, Fast and Furious: The Story of American International Pictures, 1984, p. 75; Wright, Horrorshows: The A-to-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theater; 1986, p. 110.
- Johnson, Cheap Tricks and Class Acts: Special Effects, Makeup and Stunts From the Films of the Fantastic Fifties, 1996, p. 89.
- Gordon claims he neither directed nor produced Serpent Island, but there is much evidence to the contrary. Additionally, while Tom Gries is credited with being the director by some film historians, others argue that Gordon was the director and Gries only had input. See the discussion in: Dixon, Lost in the Fifties: Recovering Phantom Hollywood, 2005, p. 119-120.
- "Graves, Peg Castle in Am-Par's 'Beginning'," Variety, December 3, 1956.
- This is confirmed by at least modern source as well. See: Hardy and Gifford, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies, 1986, p. 166.
- Warren, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, 1997, p. 325.
- Scheuer, "John Beal Back in Film," Los Angeles Times, December 6, 1956.
- "'Beginning' for Seven," Variety, December 12, 1956.
- Young, The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film: Ali Baba to Zombies, 1997, p. 61; Warren, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, 1997, p. 33.
- "New DVD's" New York Times, July 1, 2008.
- Larson, Musique Fantastique: A Survey of Film Music in the Fantastic Cinema, 1985, p. 81.
- Weaver, Brunas, and Brunas, Science Fiction Stars and Horror Heroes: Interviews With Actors, Directors, Producers and Writers of the 1940s Through 1960s, 2006, p. 104.
- "ABPT Plans Shift to 'Quality' Prod's; $1,000,000 Budgets," Variety, September 24, 1957.
- Rickman, The Science Fiction Film Reader, 2004, p. 60.
- Kalat and Kaisha, A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series, 2007, p. 12.
- Payment, Introducing "It Came From Outer Space", 2007, p. 26.
- Fischer, Science Fiction Film Directors: 1895–1998, 2000, p. 165.
- Cornea, Science Fiction Cinema: Between Fantasy and Reality, 2007, p. 71.
- "Film Production Chart," Variety, December 14, 1956.
- Weaver, Earth vs. the Sci-Fi Filmmakers: 20 Interviews, 2005, p. 145.
- Dangcil, Hollywood Studios, 2007, p. 91; Schneider, Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Silver Screen: Vol. IV, The Locations, 2008, p. 218.
- Vieira, "Don't Step on It! Killer Bugs, Babes, and Beasts in 1950s Drive-in Cinema," Bright Lights Film Journal, August 2004.
- Johnson, Cheap Tricks and Class Acts: Special Effects, Makeup and Stunts From the Films of the Fantastic Fifties, 1996, p. 251.
- Fischer, Science Fiction Film Directors: 1895–1998, 2000, p. 242.
- Tinee, "2 Local Boys Now in Films Revist City," Chicago Tribune, May 19, 1957.
- Parla, and Mitchell, "Talking Eye To Eye With Duncan 'Dean' Parkin (1993 Interview)," Filmfax, October 1996 – January 1997, p. 104.
- Pratt, Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More!, 2004, p. 104.
- "City Locale for Science Fiction Film," Chicago Daily Tribune, June 16, 1957.
- Tinee, "Full Summer of Film Fare on Its Way," Chicago Daily Tribune, June 23, 1957.
- Tinee, "'Beginning of the End' Is Both Wild and Weird," Chicago Tribune, June 20, 1957.
- The studio owned about 500 theaters at the time. See: "ABPT Plans Shift to 'Quality' Prod's; $1,000,000 Budgets," Variety, September 24, 1957.
- "Oversized Insects Go on Rampage," Los Angeles Times, September 19, 1957.
- Halliwell and Walker, Halliwell's Film Guide, 1994, p. 92.
- Maltin, Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide, 2008, p. 105.
- Broderick, Nuclear Movies..., 1991, p. 82.
- "Reissued 'Bambi' Out-Pulls New Product On Frisco 1st-Run Front," Variety, August 16, 1957.
- "L.A. 1st Run Biz Droops; 189G Week," Variety, September 24, 1957.
- "Movieland Events," Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1957.
- Rajewski, Introducing the Deadly Mantis, 2007, p. 33; Lisanti, Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews With 20 Actresses From Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies, 2001, p. 111.
- Schoell, Creature Features: Nature Turned Nasty in the Movies, 2008, p. 53-54; Evans, Celluloid Mushroom Clouds: Hollywood and the Atomic Bomb, 1998, p. 103.
- Derry, Dark Dreams: A Psychological History of the Modern Horror Film, 1977, p. 54.
- Tsutsui, "Looking Straight at Them!: Understanding the Big Bug Movies of the 1950s," Environmental History, April 2007.
- "Film Reviews: 'Beginning of the End'," Variety, July 3, 1957.
- Schoell, Creature Features: Nature Turned Nasty in the Movies, 2008, p. 53.
- Nagro, "Bugshow," Pest Control Technology, July 27, 2010.
- Schoell, Creature Features: Nature Turned Nasty in the Movies, 2008, p. 54.
- Alberti, Leaving Springfield: 'The Simpsons' and the Possibilities of Oppositional Culture, 2004, p. 247.
- Beaulieu, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, 1996, p. 103.
- Cain, "Which First on DVDs?", Decatur Herald and Courier, January 12, 2001.
- Variety staff (November 30, 1956). "AB-PT Starting Prod'n Sans Gov't Greenlight". Variety. Los Angeles, California, USA: Syd Silverman. ISSN 0042-2738. OCLC 810134503.
- Variety staff (September 24, 1956). "AB-PT to Enter Film Prod'n At Same Time Goldenson Predicts 8,000 Houses to Fold". Variety. Los Angeles, California, USA: Syd Silverman. ISSN 0042-2738. OCLC 810134503.
- Variety staff (September 24, 1957). "ABPT Plans Shift to 'Quality' Prod's; $1,000,000 Budgets". Variety. Los Angeles, California, USA: Syd Silverman. ISSN 0042-2738. OCLC 810134503.
- Alberti, John (2004). Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the Possibilities of Oppositional Culture. Detroit, Michigan, USA: Wayne State University Press. p. 247. ISBN 9780814328491. OCLC 51323494.
- Variety staff (December 12, 1956). "'Beginning' for Seven". Variety. Los Angeles, California, USA: Syd Silverman. ISSN 0042-2738. OCLC 810134503.
- Beaulieu, Trace (April 1, 1996). The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide (illustrated ed.). New York City, New York, USA: Bantam Books. p. 103. ISBN 9780553377835. OCLC 33361547.
- Berry, Mark F. (2002). The Dinosaur Filmography (illustrated ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina, USA: McFarland & Company. p. 178. ISBN 9780786424535. OCLC 62596035.
- Broderick, Mick (1991). Nuclear Movies: A Critical Analysis and Filmography of International Feature Length Films Dealing With Experimentation, Aliens, Terrorism, Holocaust, and Other Disaster Scenarios, 1914-1989 (illustrated ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina, USA: McFarland & Company. p. 82. ISBN 9780899505435. OCLC 24246995.
- Tim, Cain (January 12, 2001). "Which First on DVDs?". Decatur Herald & Review. Decatur, Illinois, USA: Todd Nelson. OCLC 22714514.
- Tribune staff (June 16, 1957). "City Locale for Science Fiction Film". Chicago Daily Tribune. Chicago, Illinois, USA: Harold Grumhaus. ISSN 1085-6706. OCLC 60639020.
- Cornea, Christine. Science Fiction Cinema: Between Fantasy and Reality. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2007.
- Dangcil, Tommy. Hollywood Studios. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2007.
- Derry, Charles. Dark Dreams: A Psychological History of the Modern Horror Film. South Brunswick, N.J.: A.S. Barnes, 1977.
- Dixon, Wheeler W. Lost in the Fifties: Recovering Phantom Hollywood. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005.
- Erb, Cynthia Marie. Tracking King Kong: A Hollywood Icon in World Culture. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009.
- Evans, Joyce A. Celluloid Mushroom Clouds: Hollywood and the Atomic Bomb. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998.
- Everman, Welch D. Cult Horror Films: From 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman' to 'Zombies of Mora Tau'. Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing Group, 1993.
- "Film Production Chart." Variety. December 14, 1956.
- "Film Reviews: 'Beginning of the End'." Variety. July 3, 1957.
- "Filming Planned by Theatre Chain." New York Times. September 22, 1956.
- Fischer, Dennis. Science Fiction Film Directors: 1895–1998. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2000.
- Gould, Jack. A.BC., United Paramount Merge in $25,000,000 Deal." New York Times. May 24, 1951.
- "Graves, Peg Castle in Am-Par's 'Beginning'." Variety. December 3, 1956.
- Halliwell, Leslie and Walker, John. Halliwell's Film Guide. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994.
- Hardy, Phil and Gifford, Denis. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies. Minneapolis, Minn.: Woodbury Press, 1986.
- Heffernan, Kevin. Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business: 1953–1968. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2004.
- Johnson, John. Cheap Tricks and Class Acts: Special Effects, Makeup and Stunts From the Films of the Fantastic Fifties. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland 1996.
- Kalat, David and Kaisha, Tōhō Kabushiki. A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2007.
- "L.A. 1st Run Biz Droops; 189G Week." Variety. September 24, 1957.
- Larson, Randall D. Musique Fantastique: A Survey of Film Music in the Fantastic Cinema. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1985.
- Lisanti, Tom. Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews With 20 Actresses From Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2001.
- Loftus, Joseph A. "Paramount, A.BC. Cleared to Merge." New York Times. February 10, 1953.
- Lucian, Patrick and Coville, Gary. Smokin' Rockets: The Romance of Technology in American Film, Radio, and Television, 1945–1962. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2002.
- Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide. New York: Penguin, 2008.
- McGee, Mark Thomas. Fast and Furious: The Story of American International Pictures. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1984.
- "Movieland Events." Los Angeles Times. June 17, 1957.
- Nagro, Anne. "Bugshow." Pest Control Technology. July 27, 2010.
- "New DVD's." New York Times. July 1, 2008.
- "Oversized Insects Go on Rampage." Los Angeles Times. September 19, 1957.
- Parla, Paul and Mitchell, Charles P. "Talking Eye To Eye With Duncan 'Dean' Parkin (1993 Interview)." Filmfax. October 1996 – January 1997.
- Payment, Simon. Introducing "It Came From Outer Space". New York: Rosen, 2007.
- Pomerance, Murray. American Cinema of the 1950s: Themes and Variations. New Brunswick, N.J: Berg, 2005.
- Pratt, Douglas. Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More! New York: Harbor Electronic Publishing, 2004.
- Pryor, Thomas M. "6 Films Planned by Am-Par Corp." New York Times. January 28, 1957.
- Rajewski, Genevieve. Introducing the Deadly Mantis. New York: Rosen Publishing, 2007.
- "Reissued 'Bambi' Out-Pulls New Product On Frisco 1st-Run Front." Variety. August 16, 1957.
- Rickman, Gregg. The Science Fiction Film Reader. New York: Limelight Editions, 2004.
- Ryfle, Steve. Godzilla: The Unauthorized Biography. Toronto: ECW Press, 1998.
- Scheuer, Philip K. "ABC-Paramount Starts Production Experiment." Los Angeles Times. December 3, 1956.
- Scheuer, Philip K. "John Beal Back in Film." Los Angeles Times. December 6, 1956.
- Schneider, Jerry L. Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Silver Screen: Vol. IV, The Locations. Raleigh, N.C.: Lulu, 2008.
- Schoell, William. Creature Features: Nature Turned Nasty in the Movies. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2008.
- Tinee, Mae. "'Beginning of the End' Is Both Wild and Weird." Chicago Tribune. June 20, 1957.
- Tinee, Mae. "Full Summer of Film Fare on Its Way." Chicago Daily Tribune. June 23, 1957.
- Tinee, Mae. "2 Local Boys Now in Films Revist City." Chicago Tribune. May 19, 1957.
- Tsutsui, William M. "Looking Straight at Them!: Understanding the Big Bug Movies of the 1950s." Environmental History. April 2007.
- Vieira, Mark A. "Don't Step on It! Killer Bugs, Babes, and Beasts in 1950s Drive-in Cinema." Bright Lights Film Journal. August 2004.
- Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 1997.
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