THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE
Dir. Walon Green, 1971.
USA, 90 min.
"If any living species is to inherit the earth, it will not be man. We will face competition from a lifeform we arrogantly ignore. We will be overrun, deposed, and succeeded by battalions of mindless soldiers entering the contest with capabilities beyond our imagination. Yes... Im
talking about insects!
The genres of documentary and science fiction rarely intersect: Documentary captures what is, while science fiction imagines what is not at least not yet. But its here where we find THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE, one of the strangest films to ever win the Oscar for Best
Documentary Feature and the perfect dark trip to take on this years 420. A sort of ecological horror film, the plot documents the work of an imagined entomologist named
Dr. Nils Helstrom. According to the good doctor, unless we open our eyes to the threat of
insects, who are mindlessly bent on taking over the world, we will be destroyed. What follows, in stunning 1970s macrophotography, is a parade of sequences that make an argument for the cold brutality of the insect world. As African driver ants consume iguanas whole and locusts destroy fertile farmland, the audience begins to wonder if we shouldnt declare flat-out war on these damn bugs once and for all. A perfect evening for anyone whos ever rolled their eyes at the rose-colored classes of Planet Earth, THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE is easily the most bizarre nature documentary ever produced.
Not since 2001 has a movie so cannily inverted consciousness and altered audience
perception as The Hellstrom Chronicle. It is a wry and scarifying cautionary tale Like all good Science Fiction, The Hellstrom Chronicle suggests an alternate reality, then surrounds you with it, inducing a weird sense of disorientation It is a trip much worth taking. Time Magazine
Science fact is the basis here, but its presentation is a cross-breed of official cinema-verite,
factual exposition, and beautiful, terrifying, and amazing imagery that takes on a science fiction mystique Its a cold, sterile masterpiece. Cinefantastique
Well-worth seeing, especially for the pest-control industry. Pest Control Journal
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