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The Hellstrom Chronicle [Blu-ray] (1971)

Walon Green  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
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The Hellstrom Chronicle [Blu-ray] + Phase IV
Price for both: $26.57

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Product Details

  • Directors: Walon Green
  • Producers: David L. Wolper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,549 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Professor Hellstrom, a famous entomologist, is so shaken by the savagery and ferocity of the predatory insect world that he films this "documentary" to warn mankind of its danger. Featuring stunning microphotography of a variety of insects and plants that include ultra close-ups of wars between ant colonies and a gigantic praying mantis practicing cannibalism. This unusual blend of horror film and nature study won an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1972.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it and love it! August 11, 2007
I saw this movie decades ago, and I'm still thinking about it! It is actually a GORGEOUS, BEAUTIFULLY PHOTOGRAPHED documentary about insects, presented as a science fiction "warning" that insects were here before humans and that they will survive us and possibly take over the world at the end. "Hellstrom" is the narrator, the voice of doom giving all the facts, which are actually pretty convincing, about insects which will enable them to one day be Planet Earth's dominant species. This movie is entertaining and educational. Did I mention gorgeous?
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Nils Hellstrom the host of the 1972 Oscar winning documentary "The Hellstrom Chronicle" doesn't exist and never has. A documentary-thriller written by David Seltzer ("The Omen")and directed by Walon Green argues that bugs, plants and other small creatures will inherit the Earth and we, humanity, are but temporary passengers on our planet.

Using fascinating microphotography (which was cutting edge at the time), "The Hellstrom Chronicle" allows the host (actor Lawrence Pressman who confides in us early on in the documentary that what he is about to tell us has cost him friends and faculty positions)to document with often stunning photography WHY we don't and won't deserve to inherit the Earth. Cleverly promoting the film as if it were science fiction thriller, producer David Wolper, Seltzer and Green created a fascinating film that used truth to lure in unsuspecting audiences like a venus flytrap to educate while entertaining.

Olive films presents "The Hellstrom Chronicle" in, what it claims, is the original aspect ratio in 1.66:1 pillar boxed (with black bars on the side). The international Movie Database claims that the film was originally presented in 1.85:1 but it's possible that the film was matted in theaters after the film was shot. Olive films has often released films that were independently produced, have become public domain or were orphaned and not owned by a major studio.

The visual presentation of the film is somewhat mixed ranging from stunning with bright, bold colors to clearly in need of restoration. For example, there's a scene early on where Hellstrom talks to us in a public park and the source print has clearly faded (and it's on one side of the frame).
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be Re-released on DVD May 26, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie in the theater when it first came out, and was blown away by the cinematography, which would be good by today's standards. Not only should this movie still be on VHS, but I think it is deserving of being on DVD as well, and perhaps even released in theaters again. Anyone who had never seen it would have no idea how old it was, and us old farts who did see it would no doubt enjoy seeing it again.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's have it, then! December 16, 2006
A tad irrelevant, a bit childish, sure, but it will make you think. Are we the Masters of the Earth or just a bunch of parasites that don't deserve to live in such a wonderful place? If nothing else, great macrophotography, and an amusing storyline. I can't wait for my little girls to see this. We should never take for granted the World that we live in.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Long before we had great documentaries such as Planet Earth, Life and the World's Most Amazing Events, there was a documentary that was way ahead of it's time. That "Doc".... was titled 'The Hellstrom Chronicle'! The amazing thing about this documentary is that I still remember it! I haven't seen it for well over 30 years and I can remember pieces of it as if I saw it yesterday. The film is beautifully shot with some incredible footage even by today's standards. I can only hope that this masterpiece will see an appropriate DVD and or Blu Ray release. It really is a one of a kind film that should be part of anyone's nature film library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They will win March 12, 2010
Format:VHS Tape
The insects were here before us, and they'll be here afterwards. Pair this chill-filled documentary with Saul Bass' "Phase IV" (he was the guy who made the great title sequences for all your favorite films) for an evening of entomological horror. The good doctor says: "Only Man ponders his existence. His questions lead to torment, for he is unable to accept, as the insects do, that life's only purpose is life itself." Where's the dvd edition?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites movies December 26, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I remember back in '73 when I saw this movie in a movie theater, I was amazed. I was studding Agronomy in my local University, so the theme was in my agenda.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hellstrom Chronical September 26, 2012
By Michael
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is an old film I have been trying to get for years. Quality of CD mediocre. Price high but it is a real specialty item, very difficult to find.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a must see
a must see ...
Published 3 months ago by Missy Mae
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting docudrama
Maybe a little dated looking. I remember this movie from when I was younger and had to see it again. It didn't disappoint great photography. Movie makes you think. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John P Bananto Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars A great classic movie
While the reviews were not very good regarding picture quality, I had to give this a chance since I loved the original. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time...
"The Hellstrom Chronicle" is an insect film that has deserved a DVD release for some time (not just for inspiring entomologists who lean towards the speculative literatures... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Leslie Karen Rigsbey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Photography....
This film has so much information and super great macro photography... It shows we are clearly at a disadvantage when it comes to nature and its inhabitants
Published 9 months ago by Thomas Cowan
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly memorable film
Ever since having viewed The Hellstrom Chronicle during its initial theater run in the U.S. in 1971 I have thought of re-watching it numerous times. Read more
Published 9 months ago by R. Owen
4.0 out of 5 stars A frightening little movie
A movie that makes you think. A what if movie that plays like a documentary. Very convincing so. What if the insects toke over the world. Very scary. Read more
Published 11 months ago by JohnBMWguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Bugs: Evolution's answer
This is a great film. It allows one to understand the true nature of nature. The film uses great images and metaphors to communicate humanity's ultimate end.
Published 16 months ago by Michael Herrmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Great flick
Have been waiting for a release for years.

I remember when it came out in the early 70's and was one of the first to focus on modern day society's relationship with the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by "Proud boomer"
5.0 out of 5 stars A little known gem.....
This DVD is well worth seeing. The photography is word class and the naration is fascinating. I remember it when it first came out, and years later, I was able to make a VHS copy... Read more
Published on June 25, 2012 by Geo.
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