Queen of Schlock! The Beginning of the End

Beginning of the End is a 1957  science fiction film produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon. It stars Peter GravesPeggie Castle, and Morris Ankrum. An agricultural scientist, played by Graves, successfully grows 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 yet,” writes reviewer Bill Warren, “there is something almost compellingly watchable about this goofy little movie”. {source Wikipedia}

If you are into 1950s b-movies about giant bugs, this is your movie! It stars two of my favourite b-movie actors Peggy Castle and Peter Graves and has some of the best/worst special effects you could possibly hope for! Many critics suggest that Bert. I. Gordon was taking advantage of the success of Them! (my all time favourite giant bug movie), but I say Pswah to those critics. This movie is a lot of fun! I have seen this movie a few times and love introducing it to other b-movie fans. It’s also a great movie to watch if you need some light, fun entertainment.

The movie gets right into the action in the opening scene. One of my issues with many other creature features is you don’t always see actions this fast, or the creature reveal doesn’t happen until halfway through the movie. If you want to get my attention and keep me engaged, get your creature on the move right from the get go! You don’t necessarily need to show us it’s hideousness in all of its glory immediately, but at least give us a taste.

If you are a fan of really bad special effects, then you honestly need to give this movie a watch. My favourite part is when you see the bugs sliding off of the…. “building”. You will understand when you watch it. My other favourite scene is when the army arrives to fight the giant locust.

The bonus is, you can watch it for free on YouTube! Them! isn’t available there. (though I strongly suggest you seek out a copy)

If you watch and enjoy this movie, I suggest that you get to know Bert I. Gordon a bit better. Here are a few of this other movies that I highly recommend.

The Amazing Colossal Man 1957
Earth vs The Spider 1958
Attack of the Puppet People 1958
Empire of the Ants 1977

What is your favourite giant bug movie?

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

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