Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

September 5, 2012

Movie Review: The Nest (1988, Blu-ray)

The "killer bug" film has been a constant staple in genre films for more than half a century. The big bug films were huge in the 50's, 60's and 70's with titles like Tarantula, Food of the Gods and Empire of the Ants. Size can be intimidating for some viewers of these fine creature features but for me it was the smaller insects and arachnids that created a much more realistic scare. Scream Factory's recent release of Terence H. Winkless' The Nest is one film that did just that - featuring hordes of disgusting flesh-eating cockroaches.

Some carelessness leads to disaster when a small ocean-side town is terrorized by flesh-eating cockroaches who mutate as a result of hazardous waste dumping. Mayor Johnson (Robert Lansing, Bonaza, Empire of the Ants) doesn't really think much of the situation. Johnson's daughter, Elizabeth (Lisa Langlois) is the opposite, she wants to get right to who or what are killing residents of the town. With the assistance of the quiet and very in-over-his-head cop, Officer Tarbell (Frank Luz, Ghost Town, When Harry Met Sally), Elizabeth attempts to get to the bottom of the carnage.

The Nest has some solid acting, in particular Robert Lansing and Terry Treas who plays the part of the mad scientist, Dr. Hubbard. The script is as simple as you’d expect from a killer cockroach film, as it’s packed with cliche`s,  but it is a creature feature that delivers the fun with it's heavy doses of crunchy creepy-crawlers.

The special FX are what really sell this flick. The Nest features some of the most gruesome gore effects I've seen in a killer bug film next Juan Piquer Simon’s Slugs. Much of what you see will likely make your skin-crawl, especially if you have any aversion to roaches. Impressive stuff that will make gore fans very happy.

Scream Factory hasn't loaded the Blu-ray with a ton of stuff, but the extra that is included is an insightful solo commentary by Director Terrence H. Winkless. Winkless has some nice anecdotes about the shoot. He speaks highly of Frank Luz and how surprised he is to not see the actor in more films. There’s also a nice story about him and John Carpenter both wanting to work with Robert Lansing and Winkless getting the chance instead of Carpenter.

The Nest definitely looks better than the previous DVD version, especially the night scenes – so upgrading is a must. This is a seriously enjoyable, if not nasty little picture that will look nice crawling on your Blu-ray shelf. Recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment