Another genre film released in the summer of 1957 was Bert I. Gordon’s Beginning of the End. Instead of a giant mantis scaling the Washington Monument, the script called for giant grasshoppers to climb Chicago’s Wrigley Building. Animation was deemed too costly, so real insects would be used. Gordon needed two hundred grasshoppers, and not just any species would do; they had to be non-hopping and non-flying.
“I had to get my grasshoppers from Waco, Texas,” said Gordon. “They had the only species large enough to carry focus. I could only import males because they didn’t want the things to start breeding. They even had someone from the agricultural department or someplace like that come out to take a head count — or a wing count.”