College Films The Mantis

The Mantis


Warren F. Disbrow Short Film
THE MANTIS was made just to do another short movie just after I left college. THE MANTIS was a sci-fi comedy again, only much better than PIT STOP and this time in color. I shot Super 16 film using my own Auricon Pro 600 self-blimped studio camera and Nagra III audio recorder.
Effects Artist Gene Reynolds played the nameless lead part, looking very much like Stephen King onscreen. Gene had also built the 9 foot praying mantis marionette of the title that looked and worked fantastic.
We actually shot at Jonathan Green's factory where they make fertilizers, grass seed and stuff and used one of their delivery trucks.
The story has a mad professor (played by Attorney George Koukus) breaking into the office of an executive of the fertilizer company trying to force them to buy his super grow plant food. He is thrown out.
The mad scientist sneaks into the factory and puts a box of his secret formula on a conveyor belt with all the regular fertilizer that gets loaded into a truck and ends up on the shelf of a nursery and purchased by the character Gene was playing. Gene's character was like the part Stephen King played in CREEPSHOW many years later, a kind-of dumb guy. We see Gene's character spreading the super grow plant food around his yard, wiping his nose (coating it with the chemical out of stupidity). At nightfall he goes into his house and makes himself a sandwich. He stops eating when he sees a small praying mantis, catches it in a napkin and throws it out of the window into the trash can. We see the little mantis poking his head up covered in super grow plant food having fallen into that box within the trash can. (I used a mantis puppet for this shot and he looks cute and funny, the little head looking up at the window that he was just chucked from). As Gene sits and eats popcorn like a pig and watches TV, outside the Mantis grows to 9 feet tall because of the super grow plant food. The mantis gets into the house, grabs Gene and heaves him out the door of the house. Gene gets up and runs back to the door, now closed and locked, pounding on it to be let back in. We next see the giant mantis sitting in Gene's spot in the living room, watch TV, eating popcorn and laughing at his human enemy banging on the door. The short ends here.
Because Gene's character got the white super grow plant food powder on his nose, there was talk about having his nose grow huge too, but we didn’t end up shooting that.
The interiors/exteriors of what was supposed to be Gene's character's house was actually my own house, as were the living room. Gene transported the huge praying mantis from his studio in East Orange to my Neptune home. Gene kept the Mantis after the shoot.
THE MANTIS was harmless and fun.


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Now Available!

Hate's Haunted Slay Ride

DVD Details:

16:9 Widescreen
Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Region 1
Unrated Directors Cut
Not suggested for children
Special Features:
Commentary Track
Featurette: The Making of Hate's Haunted Slay Ride
Featurette: Visual Effects Artist Michael Christopher Lee featurette
Warren Disbrow Movie Trailers  

List Price: $16.95       

Haunted Hayride The Movie:

DVD Details:

Commentary Track featuring Writer-Director Warren F. Disbrow, Stars Jenny Hill, Dan Bartkewicz, Joey West, Warren Disbrow Sr
Featurette:  Movie location Brock Farms, NJ
Featurette: On movie location Dracula's Domain Haunted Hay Ride, NJ
Featurette: The Making of HAUNTED HAY RIDE: THE MOVIE
Video Interviews with Cast and Crew members
Promotional Free music tie-in WITH LOVE, FROM HATE by Butterfly Suicide

Warren Disbrow
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