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Fond memories were erased with a viewing of this 80's mutant roach movie. Looking at the new blu-ray you realize just how low budget this film was. Cheap sets look hastily put together (and not too clean), special effects are thrifty, and the acting is often terrible (although Terri Treas entertains with her miscalculated costumes, make-up and performance, chewing through her scenes as the "evil" biologist). The film looks like it could have been written in the 50's, but produced in the 80's and spiced up with some gore. Unfortunately, fun is nowhere to be found and the whole film is slow moving and ultimately disappointing.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Roger Corman takes on killer roaches!May 9 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
One thing you can say about Roger Corman: he's consistent. "Consistent" meaning his films always turn a profit (supposedly). "Consistent" also means that a viewer sitting down to a watch a Corman flick will consistently find the film in question larded with enough cheese to clog an elephant's arteries. You will see cheesy acting, cheesy special effects, and cheesy plots. Depending on the type of genre, you'll also find plenty of gory mayhem, beautiful babes, and nudity from the aforementioned beautiful babes. That's Roger Corman in a nutshell. Oh wait, I almost forgot; he's also the biggest ripoff artist in Hollywood history. Any film that has hit the big time in the last forty years invariably sees Roger Corman making a similar flick in an effort to cash in on the more successful offering. For example, when "Jaws" hit the jackpot back in the 1970s, Corman followed up with several pictures capitalizing on monsters run amok. When the car movie craze swept America in the late 1970s, Roger quickly jumped aboard by releasing films focusing on cars. "Star Wars" saw our man releasing several science fiction films strongly resembling, well, "Star Wars". That's Corman for you. Love him or leave him.
"The Nest," a 1988 feature from the House of Corman, falls into the category of animals run amok. It's also a throwback to the old monster features of the 1950s and 1960s except this one is in color and loaded with gore effects. If you have any doubts about what I'm saying, take a gander at the cover art for the DVD. A skimpily clad woman locked in life or death combat with a gigantic roach. Kinda says it all, doesn't it? Let's move on. "The Nest," set on some island called North Port, has a big problem. According to the local exterminator, Homer (Stephen Davis), the island suddenly seems awash in roaches. Lots of people are calling him up to come out and deal with the problem. Lots of people are disappearing too, along with family pets. Might the problem have something to do with a superbreed of roaches created by accident when North Port's mayor Elias Johnson (Robert Lansing) approached a big corporation called INTEC about creating a bug that could kill other bugs and then die off before breeding? Might the problem reside with the evil Dr. Morgan Hubbard (Terri Treas), creator of the bugs and a feminist with weird ideas about insect mating?
Yes, yes it could. As it turns out, the insects we're seeing running through the grass (from their POV, I might add, which makes for a few hilarious scenes in a movie full of them) have a taste for human flesh, animal flesh, and the binding that holds together books in the library. 'Tis true, my friends. They also have another disturbing trait: the ability to assume the form of whatever they kill. Yep. Expect to see a few animal/roach hybrids skittering around the island as the movie progresses. Dare we dream to see a human/roach hybrid? Time will tell. Unfortunately, we have to wade through a whole lotta dross about the convoluted three way relationship between town sheriff Richard Tarbell (Frank Luz), his main squeeze Lillian (Nancy Morgan), and the arrival of former girlfriend Elizabeth Johnson (Lisa Langlois). Liz, who also happens to be the mayor's daughter, left the island after a personal tragedy and has now returned to provide the film with the requisite human drama that any good roach run amok movie must have if it wishes to draw an audience. Whatever. Just stick it out through these tedious exercises in "drama" and you'll receive a nice, gory payoff in the end.
I hate to sort of reverse myself after bashing Corman in the opening paragraph of the review, but "The Nest" isn't that bad of a picture. In fact, it's pretty good. The acting isn't great, the plot is a recycled mess from better movies executed with far more resources than what this movie had to work with, the fashion style of the 1980s goes a bit over the top here, but the film succeeds on several points. One, Terri Treas is pretty hot. So is Lisa Langlois, for that matter. Hot babes always help rather than hurt a cheap flick. Two, the gore is exceptional by b-movie standards. There's a sequence at the end of the film showing a particularly greasy transformation, along with a memorable eyeball gag, that sent me retching for the wastebasket. Not really, but the scene in question is extremely gross. Three, and finally, I liked the conclusion to the film. Again, it's not original whatsoever in the nature gone crazy genre, not anywhere CLOSE to original, but it is fun in a gooey, grotesque sort of way. If you know someone who hates roaches, this is the movie you stick in their stocking at Christmas.
"The Nest" on disc stays within the perimeters of almost every Roger Corman DVD I've seen: it's cheap. The picture quality isn't too bad so it's disappointing to see that they used a fullscreen transfer. I hate cropped movies! The extras are skimpy, too, which is also keeping with the typical Roger Corman DVD. All we get are some short biographies for a few of the cast, a long panegyric praising Rog himself, and three trailers for "Humanoids From the Deep," "The Unborn," and "The Terror Within". Not much to get hyped up about here. Ultimately, I liked the movie enough to give it four stars. Then again, I spend a lot of my free time watching low budget crud like "The Nest" because I like cheap movies that try to achieve something they can't possibly reach with a low budget. If you're a similar sort of movie fan, then definitely try to find a copy of this movie. If not, well, I can't really help you. What were you doing reading this review, anyway?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hollywood has only once yielded a better killer cockroach movie. But this has a roach-cat monster!Aug. 17 2012
John's Horror Corner
- Published on Amazon.com
Not to be confused with the completely dissimilar The Nesting (1981), this is a vermin gone monstrously wrong flick that starts out slow but ultimately does well for itself and gorehound horrorfans. While you'll never see the scene depicted on the provocative DVD cover, this was a respectable and surprisingly nudity-free Roger Corman flick that really deserves a chance. After all, Hollywood has only once yielded a better killer cockroach movie (i.e., Mimic).
It's tourist season in a New England fishing town and, just like in Jaws (1975) or Piranha 3D (2010), the people are very concerned about their island community's tourist season revenue. But Sheriff Tarbell's (Robert Lansing; Empire of the Ants) recent missing person reports are becoming less than routine when roaches start killing people--after they tired of killing rats, cats and dogs, of course.
His old flame who just got back in town, Beth (Lisa Langois), stumbles across a strange research prospectus and, like anyone cast in a cheap horror flick, investigates on her own. Near the town, she finds an old research site. Who's research?
Kicked out of MIT for conducting illegal experiments, Dr. Hubbard (Terri Treas) was working on making a roach that would eat other roaches. I liked her from the start. She handles an oozy animal corpse like it's no big deal and uses a live cat as "bait" in a roach trap--doesn't end well for the cat. Just like in Humanoids from the Deep (1980), Dr. Hubbard knows far more than she tells the townspeople. There's always someone who knows but doesn't share the knowledge to save lives...ever since the days of Alien (1979) all the way to Prometheus (2012).
What Hubbard calls a Periplaneta hybrid has a "remarkable capacity for adaptation." They become immune to chemical agents over the span of 15 minutes of running time. So evacuate, right? No. Dr. Hubbard has "everything completely under control" and thinks she can do it another way. These roaches are regular size but can bite through heavy duty rubber gloves, make giant slimy cocoons, and with every generation they evolve into more dangerous, chemically resistant, and intelligent roaches than their progenitors. These roaches start working together to eliminate their human pests and will even cut off the electricity to do it (which reminds me of the domestic nightmare rat pest from Of Unknown Origin).
All in good fun, these roaches instantaneously delete flesh and body parts on contact and, at one point, a guy sinks into them as if he were sinking in quicksand or, perhaps, a meat grinder. The fun really starts when we learn that they "become" what they eat. We meet a roach-cat hybrid-thing that looks like a skinned cat with antennae and mandibles leaping about and trying to kill people (reminiscent of The Thing). And a guy goes through an elaborately gross transformation and is turned into a grotesquely gored up, skinless, roach-human zombie hybrid which, with a strong but much less poetic nod to The Fly (1986), is killed by a shotgun to the head at point blank by a loved one. The "queen" roach is a ridiculously macabre masterpiece of combined human corpses, some mandibles, and I don't even know what else.
I hope that last paragraph sold you. It sure would have worked on me. If you enjoy gore then you'd be stupid to skip this delicious flick.
IF YOU LIKED THIS WATCH: Humanoids from the Deep (1980), Of Unknown Origin (1983), Gnaw: Food of the Gods II (1989), Slugs (1989), Piranha 3D (2010), The Thing (2011).
SCIENTIFIC SIDEBAR: A few pieces of nonsense to dismiss. 1) This movie features many unrelated genera (and, by extension, species) of cockroach--Periplaneta (Blattidae), Gromphadorrhina, Blaberus (Blaberidae). 2) The town's entomologist diagnoses oothecae (roach egg cases) as roach droppings even though the producers used real handfuls of oothecae as props. 3) Roaches do not have queens. 4) If a roach eats a cat and then lays eggs, I am almost certain that it will take longer than overnight before a mandibled, skinless, roach-cat hybrid-thing attacks you.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I guess I'm one of the hundred or so people who've had the pleasure of viewing this "cockroach classic"(as Roger Corman puts it). Saw it for the first time probably a decade ago, near the time that I was introduced to the horror genre. With a reasonable script and decent acting, the film's already ahead of the genre curve. Add to that a healthy dose of genuine suspense, a few squirm-inducing scenes, and some surprisingly good special effects during the final act, and you end up with one effective horror flick. This is not high art, but it's not the cheesy exploitation film the DVD's cover implies, either. If you go in expecting a B-movie you won't be disappointed, and you may even be impressed. However, if you go in expecting "Citizen Kane"...; well, you deserve what you get. It would be an understatement to say the announcement of this disc caught me by surprise. Thank God for Roger Corman! If it weren't for him, "The Nest" probably would've been condemned to VHS for eternity. Sadly, this DVD is not the improvement for which one might hope. In fact, I hesitate to say that it's an improvement at all. Though my VHS copy is long gone and I've no basis for comparison, this DVD is lacking in every category. The packaging claims "Digitally Remastered", but from what source? To start, the picture is noisy more often than not; this is especially apparent in the many darker sequences. Shadow detail is near nonexistent, making those special effects I mentioned very hard to discern. It wouldn't surprise me if this transfer was made from an old composite video master. This just doesn't look like film to me(though I'm no expert). The audio doesn't fare any better. A standard Dolby Digital 2.0 track encoded at 192kb/s, I'm not sure if it's stereo or mono, but it certainly isn't surround. Background hiss is present from beginning to end. Extras are limited to a trio of trailers for "Humanoids", "The Unborn", and "The Terror Within". The packaging claims "Original Theatrical Trailer", but no trailer for "The Nest" is included(that I could find). Also included is a brief bio for producer Roger Corman and what amounts to filmography highlights in paragraph form for actors Robert Lansing, Lisa Langlois, Franc Luz, and Terri Treas. A commentary from Roger Corman, director Terence Winkless, and perhaps a member or two of the cast would've been nice. In the end, all that matters in this purchase decision is whether or not you like the film. If you've never seen "The Nest" and it sounds appealing to you, the low price makes it a good candidate for a blind purchase. I recommend it for the strengths of the film. Enjoy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fun killer bug movie that looks and sounds better than ever!March 21 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
In a small New England island town community, there is a huge roach problem going on including some people missing with dead corpses of both animals and people showing up. Sheriff Richard Tabal (Frank Lulz) is investigating the problem with the help of exterminator Homer (Stephen Davies) as they discover that an evil corporation called INTEC has been doing some genetic tinkering on roaches on trying to create cannibalistic roaches that feed on each other to get rid of the bug problems for the world. However, something goes wrong as they start to feed on meat instead like on humans and animals alike as they start to attack the community as they are immune to insect repellants yet whenever they all feed on living beings and creatures they mutate into animal-roach hybrid creatures or even human-roach hybrid creatues.
10 years before "Mimic", this 1988 cult sci-fi horror from Roger Corman productions and produced by Julie Corman is a very entertaining, gory and enjoyable killer insect movie. Sure the acting is typical b-movie but it does have interesting ideas to it like a roach that eats people then transforms into whatever it kills, quite an ingenius idea which was latered borrowed in Guillermo Del Toro's 1997 cult fave "Mimic". There are some gruesome kills especially to a cat but don't worry folks, the cat wasn't actually killed as it was just make-up with karo syrup on it to make it look like it was being killed by the roaches and there's a neat transformation of a man turning into a roach hybrid creature. I enjoyed this since i rented it on video at age 7 when it came out and i had it on video for years, if you like killer bug movies check this one out.
Shout Factory has done a terrific blu-ray/DVD combo with pure crisp picture quality and nice sound with only one crucial extra being an audio commentary from the director, but that's ok what matters is that Shout has delivered us again with another great Scream Factory blu-ray that should please videophiles of the horror/sci-fi genres nicely.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Reminded a bit of my childhood.May 25 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
This movie brought back tearful memories of my childhood. Back when we lived in a roach infested project building in Jersey City N.J. (Thank god I dont live there anymore!) But I hate roaches. And if your anything like me then this movie will sure give you the willies too.