Greetings fellow Bog Leeches,
Years ago as an impressionable youngster I remember seeing a thoroughly insane insect documentary where a mad doctor narrates over insect footage about the fate of man and how the arthropod will inherit the Earth. Recently I rediscovered this film, which is called The Hellstrom Chronicle and which used docudrama as the vehicle to examine largely unrelated phenomena in the arthropod world. The film is part nature documentary, part science fiction, and part art house film.
The film's sensationalistic approach earned it the 1971 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. However the film has yet to receive a DVD release, most likely due to much of the science being out of date and the fact that it in no way measures up to the standards of modern nature documentaries.
By far the most amusing part of the film are Dr. Nils Hellstrom's insane ramblings, of which I have provided a sampling:
While first introducing the insects, Hellstrom states that:
"With each new generation come new experiments in shape and function, transforming him into specters as limitless as the imagination of the insane."
While examining the structure of the insect he remarks:
"Assuming for the moment that he is our opponent, let's see in a physical sense what he has going for him. Face is functional and without expression; only eyes and a mouth, just enough to keep the rest of the body alive. No muscles to smile with, or frown with, or in any way betray what's lurking beneath the surface."
He later adds:
"Psychiatrists tell me that from childhood nightmares to adult schizophrenia, the insect has a common fixation in the human mind...partly because his face seems so evil...partly because he is so indestructible."
Hellstrom's main thesis is that insects are destined to destroy man, and he waxes philosophical on this point a fair bit:
"As a scientist I would very much have liked to have been on hand during the first seven days of creation. I would like to have seen the ironic smile on the creator's face as he gave each creature a different strength, knowing full well that eventually only two among them would be left to fight for what remained of the Earth."
"Ever wonder how David slew Goliath? Like the insect, he wasn't afraid to die."
"Who are they after all but a bunch of wretched unimportant hedonistic creatures, without even a passport to Heaven...Is it possible that these creatures are us? That in the eyes of the universe we too are mere insects that can be destroyed at will? Only come earthquake and flood will we humbly submit that all things are relative."
"What mistake one wonders did the mighty dinosaur make? Was he too so arrogant that he defied powers greater than himself? Or was he perhaps created as a momentary amusement, an idle joke to pass the empty time of a hundred million years?"
And in case you are wondering, yes, he does go into the subject of reproduction:
"Among the family of spiders, the female black widow is the greatest temptress of all. Throbbing with obese sexuality, her rhythmic movement upon the strands excites a lover one tenth her size to cautiously come forth."
As I said the film is not available on DVD, but the whole thing is on Youtube for those of you curious enough to experience insectsploitation.