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Beginning of the End (2010)

Peter Graves , Peggie Castle , Bert I. Gordon  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Beginning of the End + Tarantula + The Blob (1958)
Price for all three: $45.94

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Graves, Peggie Castle, Morris Ankrum, Than Wyenn, Thomas Browne Henry
  • Directors: Bert I. Gordon
  • Writers: Fred Freiberger, Lester Gorn
  • Producers: Bert I. Gordon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Henstooth Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2010
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00358MG8S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,287 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beginning of the End" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An attractive reporter (Peggie Castle) investigating the mysterious destruction of an Illinois town stumbles upon a secret government laboratory conducting radiation experiments on vegetables. The lead scientist on the project (Peter Graves) is eager to help find out what happened. Together they discover that giant grasshoppers are behind the devastation. Worse yet, thousands of them are headed toward Chicago! Can they be stopped...or is this the BEGINNING OF THE END? One of the best of the "big bug" movies that played largely at drive-in theaters in the 1950s, BEGINNING OF THE END was produced and directed by the master of mutant monster pictures Bert I. Gordon (Village of the Giants, Earth vs. the Spider and The Cyclops). B&W, 73 Minutes, Not Rated, Anamorphic Widescreen (1.66:1) Enhanced for 16x9 TVs. Special Features include Commentary with Susan Gordon, Flora Gordon and Bruce Kimmel and Original Theatrical Trailer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
By Surfink
Bert I. Gordon's Beginning of the End always seems to get dumped on in science fiction movie books and magazines, but it's my second-favorite "big bug" movie (right after Tarantula) and, while clearly a low-budget effort, packs as much entertainment value as many higher-rated SF "classics." The film opens with a favorite 1950s SF cliche, necking teens getting munched by unseen monster (nearly identical to the pre-title sequence of Giant Gila Monster). Pretty soon cops are finding entire small towns deserted and demolished. Peggie Castle plays Audrey Ames, spunky gal reporter and former war correspondent investigating the mysterious devastation. Low-budget SF icons Thomas B. Henry (one of the great big noses of all time) and Morris Ankrum are both on hand as military officers, B.I.G. regular Hank (Green Acres' Fred Ziffel) Patterson puts in a cameo, and veteran voice artist Paul Frees (Mr. Limpet's Crusty the Crab, etc.) is heard a number of times (coming out of loudspeakers, helicopter radios, etc.)

The script, co-written by Fred Freibeger (Beast from 20,000 Fathoms), is generic B-monster pulp, and they occasionally resort to the low-budget moviemakers' crutch of describing events that would have been too costly to film. Peter Graves (Killers from Space, It Conquered the World, Mission: Impossible) and his deaf-mute assistant (who you just know is eventually going to be grasshopper lunch) have been working on developing giant crops (love those gigantic tomato and strawberry props) at the USDA Illinois experimental station. The crops have been consumed by locusts, causing them to grow to titanic proportions.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
There is a level on which you have to admire the sheer audacity, not to mention the budgetary value, of putting grasshoppers on postcards of Chicago landmarks and filming them as images of giant mutant grasshoppers attacking the Windy City. Certainly there is no more enduring image in the cinematic career of Bert I. "B.I.G." Gordon, the shlockmeister who directed "The Amazing Colossal Man," "The Food of the Gods," "Empire of the Ants," and even lesser efforts. If you can name another B-movie as noteworthy for superimposed monsters, then you go right ahead and knock yourself out.

The plot is standard B-movie fare. A couple of wacky teenagers are out in the lovers' lane of a small town in central Illinois when the chirping of the insects gets a tad louder and then there is screaming and stuff. The state police discover not only the wrecked and bloody car, but the fact that the nearby town of Ludlow has been completely destroyed and there are no bodies. The next thing we know intrepid girl reporter Audrey Ames (Peggy Castle) is hot on the story about giant mutant grasshoppers courtesy of an Illinois State experimental farm. This is where Dr. Ed Wainwright (Peter Graves) has been experimenting with the use of radiation to grow giant tomatoes the size of basketballs and thereby feeding the world. The good doctor tells the reporter that things have going pretty well except for the fact that his partner Dr.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We've got movie sign...and giant grasshoppers!!!! August 11, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
One of my favorite MST3Ks: a great example of the mid 1950s "atomic monster" genre, with laughable special effects. Giant mutant grasshoppers attack the mountains and deserts of central "Illinois," before moving on to destroy Chicago by crawling up picture postcards of the Wrigley Building and being lured into Lake Michigan by electronic grasshopper mating calls made by a young Peter Graves ("Hi, I'm Peter Graves. Tonight on 'Biography'..."), ironically the nuclear scientist responsible for the whole giant-mutation thing, not to mention his deaf-mute assistant Frank's gruesome dismemberment and death at the chomping mandibles of one seriously big mother of a locust. America's finest fighting force (the Illinois National Guard) is powerless against this giant hopping threat. Another 1957 monster classic from infamous science fiction filmmaker Bert I. Gordon, the undisputed master of movies about giant animals attacking California cities masquerading as the midwest. Don't miss the riveting post-opening credits scene: an apparently endless car-approaching sequence (Mike: "Folks, we'll start the movie as soon as our ride gets here."), and the incessant, earsplitting, marching-band music soundtrack. An early Mike Nelson episode, it's a great example of classic MST3K: bad sci-fi flick, hilarious riffing on the film by Mike and the bots, including a *seriously* weird host segment where rubber grasshoppers attack postcards Mike just happens to have lying around. I actually saw this one week before I moved to Chicago, which is all-but-destroyed in the movie, and it seriously creeped me out for a while, though I've never been able to drive by Champaign-Urbana without looking over my shoulder for giant grasshoppers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars PJS
Published 7 days ago by thething
5.0 out of 5 stars My wife and I love these old creature features
My wife and I love these old creature features. We find them entertaining. The "special effects" are outrageous. They give us quite a few chuckles.
Published 9 days ago by therealjesman
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost up to "B" movie quality
But I loved it. I mean, after you've gone through ants and spiders and aliens and indefinable monsters of all sorts, what's left to make a scary movie with? Read more
Published 16 days ago by T. J. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun movie
If it weren't for the grasshoppers climbing up pictures of buildings, it would get 5 stars, but all in all a very enjoyable movie. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joseph R Juvenal
5.0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorites
I love many of the B creature movies and had not seen this in quite some time - glad to have it.
Published 5 months ago by Lisa B.
4.0 out of 5 stars For a Saturday afternoon
Back when I was a kid, I watched horror movies on Saturday afternoons. You may remember such movies as Them! and It Came From Beneath the Sea. Read more
Published 5 months ago by joe aubuchon
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning of the End (Special Edition)
Great B grade sci-fi film from the late 50s. All the actors play this as earnestly as if the proceedings were real. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Celia DLF
4.0 out of 5 stars "AhhTheresabunchofGiantCricketsandwereAllGonnaDie!"
"I hope you have health insurence"
...The Boys take on another Bert I Gordon pain parade with Giant mutant crickets from 1957! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kevin J. Loria
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 50s camp at its best.
Another 50s sci-fi monster movie at its best. The woman who screams every 5 minutes and horrible special effects. I love these movies.
Published 7 months ago by Scott Schiffmacher
5.0 out of 5 stars That's a Big Grasshopper
This is one of those films like "Amazing Colossal Man" and "Tarantula" made when radiation was creating giant everything. Read more
Published 7 months ago by A. Lynn Bowman
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