Archive for the 'Sci-Fi' Category

Oct

posted by Doktor | October 11, 2013 | 60's b-movies, 60's movies, B-movie Reviews, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Tagline: You’re in Space beyond Space.

Year: 1962 Runtime: 77 min

Director: Sidney W. Pink

Writer: Sidney W. Pink (story), Ib Melchior (script)

Starring: John Agar, Greta Thyssen, Carl Ottosen

Journey to the Seventh Planet starts with a voiceover: “There are no limits to imagination.” That may be true, but there are limits on talent. Journey to the Seventh Planet is less a movie and more one giant plot hole.

Year is 2001. The U.N. is the sole government of the world. Humanity has advanced to a point where “man has learned to live with himself.” Unfortunately this means mingling with the Irish. Without war or famine or anyone of color (smooth move there, Adolf!), man’s only concern is space travel. Specifically making a trip to Uranus.

Note: Uranus is pronounced your-AHN-us. No poo-poo jokes here, kids. This is serious business.

Just as it is in the real world, scientists are the übermensch of this brave new world, none more than the astronaut, or Spacetronaut in the parlance of the kool kids. Five of the top Spacetronauts are sent on this mission: Commander Eric, Captain Don Graham, Karl, Svend and Barry O’Sullivan (ugh!). Science is especially strong in these men. Where a normal person would be nonplussed by the bizarre things they are exposed to, these guys are barely apathetic. That is, until it comes to women. Basically this is a bunch of drunk frat boys on Saturday night.

Of the five, Captain Don, or Happy Harry Hard-on, is the biggest pervert. Not five minutes into the trip he’s spouting, “Boy was she biological. I wish I could have taught her my kind of biology.”  In fact, when they finally make it to Uranus and they find women (FROM EARTH) who couldn’t possibly be there—Space Hallucinations™—, his first thought is to hit on them. In Happy Harry’s defense, when he meets a girl he’s being trying to date (ON EARTH) he asks if she’s real. I mean, Space Hallucinations™ wouldn’t lie about that kind of stuff, would they?

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, much like the movie.

Here’s the thing, Uranus is inhabited by a Space & Time Brain Creature™. I understand what a Space Brain Creature is, but this one is also described as being from Time. That is… I have no explanation, nor does the movie. So, suffice it to say it’s a Space & Time Brain Creature™ and leave it at that.

A similarly inexplicable plot point is the weightlessness the Spacetronauts experience—ONLY—when they establish orbit around Uranus.  While weightless they are more susceptible to the Space & Time Brain Creature’s™ mental powers. Not that it matters, all it does is hypnotize the Spacetronauts for a couple minutes. During this timeout it admonishes them for their folly and lays out his evil plans to destroy them. Or not.

Thing is, the Space & Time Brain Creature™ can’t make up it’s mind about the humans. One minute it’s going to destroy them, the next minute it needs them. What could it possibly need the humans for? To escape Uranus. Why? It needs to take over one of their bodies. At which point it can escape in their ship.

Something else I failed to mention in my haste, it can create matter. Anything. Case in point, when the ship lands, the Spacetronauts see a lush, verdant forest outside their ship. When they investigate, they find that there is a breathable atmosphere. As Commander Eric reminisces about home, the village he grew up in magically appears in the distance. There they find the first of the Space Hallucinations™ that gets Capt. Happy Harry all tumescent.

Assuming you’re not a wet rutabaga, you’re probably asking yourself, “Uhm, why does the Space & Time Brain Creature™ need the humans again? Can’t he just make a spaceship? And a body to possess?” To which I would answer, I dunno.

Putting that aside, as the Spacetronauts are exploring they find the edge of the force-field bubble the Space and Time Brain Creature™ has made for them. Commander Eric knows that the answers lie on the other side, so high-ho it’s off they go. The Space & Time Brain Creature™ starts blubbering on about how it knows the humans are coming through to kill it. It loves it some exposition.

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “aren’t they just going through to get some answers? Isn’t it their mission to explore Uranus?” And you’d be right in wondering about that. I would even go further to remind that the Space & Time Brain Creature™ telepathy. Moreover, it’s been using it’s telepathy to search the Spacetronauts minds. That is how it’s been creating the forest, the village, and the people. Sufficiently confused?

I can only raise my shoulders, dumbfounded, and smile in answer.

Let’s move past that bit. Get to the good stuff. When the Spacetronauts finally see the Space & Time Brain Creature™, and it’s wavy-blue mental-radiation-hypnosis-thing, Commander Eric, the heretofore level-headed leader, decides they have to kill the Space & Time Brain Creature™. If they don’t they won’t be able take off.

Sigh…

I know. I said move on to the good stuff and all I’ve done is present more greasy whale vomit. This time you’re asking yourself, what the hell does a wavy-blue mental-radiation-hypnosis-thing have to do with taking off? Also, is another of the Space & Time Brain Creature’s™ powers clairvoyancy?  I throw up my hands in frustration and answer, “Everything?” and “Yes?”

Like I wrote earlier, this isn’t a movie, it’s a plot hole.

Now that the Space & Time Brain Creature™  knows they Spacetronauts are out to kill it, it has to protect itself. Given all it’s powers why is it a problem to destroy the humans? It can make monsters, women, a town, forests, whatever. It doesn’t even have to do that. It could simply wait until the Spacetronauts are walking around in the forest or town, which they do without space suits, and make the atmosphere disappear. Problem solved. But it doesn’t. I can only assume the filmmakers were under the impression that by this point in the film you would either be knuckle deep into seventh base or passed out in a puddle of your own brain sauce. Either way you wouldn’t be paying attention to what’s going on.

I guess I’ll just power on blindly, too.

Laser burlets won’t kill the Space & Time Brain Creature™. I don’t know how they know this, they never really tried, but moving hastily along— The only way to destroy Space & Time Brain Creature™ is with a special acetylene torch gun. That they have to make. From scratch. Luckily there’s a blacksmith’s shop in town with all the necessary tools and materials. Zip, boom, bah, they build it. Tuckered from all the work, they decide to call it a night and leave the ONLY MEANS TO KILL the Space & Time Brain Creature™ in the blacksmith’s shop. Of course, the Space & Time Brain Creature™ uses the Space Hallucinations™ to sucker young Karl in order to steal the gun and replace it with a fake. This further begs logic in that, why does the Space & Time Brain Creature™ need to steal the gun? Because the fake won’t work? Because the Space & Time Brain Creature™ can make the gun disappear? Come on, Pink and Melchior. You’re killing me here. Did you sneeze out mouthfuls of Alpha-Bits on a page and call the mess a script?

Before I stroke out let me finish this. Despite stealing their special gun, the Spacetronauts manage to kill the Space & Time Brain Creature™. They freeze it with liquid oxygen. Frozen, their laser burlets work. Phew. Done. Thank Christ!

Or am I?

Sadly, I’m not. Nor were Pink and Melchior. Once the Spacetronauts finally kill the Space & Time Brain Creature™ the world around them starts falling apart, cracking and erupting like an uranusquake-volcano. At the ship they come across Gretta, Commander Eric’s girl—whom he’s been eschewing the whole film. Suddenly Commander Eric changes his mind, decides she’s real, and brings her with them. WHAT? Seriously? Before they break out of the atmosphere, she disappears.

I can’t take it anymore. I give up.

roadside attractions

  • Marvel at the life-like matte paintings and 1/10 scale rocket ship!
  • Feel the deep camaraderie bordering on bromance between the five courageous Spacetronauts!
  • Learn what it means to serve, to love, and what chronometer means through dialogue and context!
  • Fight to maintain your sanity while being hypnotized by the telepathic Space & Time Brain Creature™!
  • Listen as the Space & Time Brain Creature™ pontificates like a proper arse!
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

There’s not much, but when Giant Space Spider gets squished, it’s like the condiments at a NYC hotdog cart are all squeezed out simultaneously.

3

blood

BREASTS

There were some scantily clad Space Hallucinations, which is as close as you get in 1962.

9

beast

BEASTS

Cyclopean Rat Monster, Giant Space Spider, and Space & Time Brain Creature™.

5.666 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Journey to the Seventh Planet”

trailers

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Oct

posted by Doktor | October 3, 2013 | 70's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Tagline: Where Fantasies are Real & Reality is Fantastic.

Year: 1978           Runtime: 105 min

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Writer: Kinji Fukasaku (story), Shôtarô Ishinomori (story), Masahiro Noda (story), Hirô Matsuda (writer)

Starring: Shin’ichi Chiba, Vic Morrow, Philip Casnoff

I swear I intended to steer clear of sci fi for a few reviews, but this is Japanese Star Warsploitation. I couldn’t help myself. The movie is 90% Rent-a-Center versions of Star Wars characters, vehicles and music, but that’s what makes it so ALMOST actionable on copyright infringement grounds. And totally AWE-some!

The movie opens on Jillucia (pronounced Jill-OO-see-ah), a once beautiful and verdant planet. It’s peaceful inhabitants, the Jillucians (pronounced Jill-OO-see-ahns) were slaughtered by the evil Gavanas. The battle is described by a narrator, “The Jillucians were no match for the steel-skinned Gavanas.” Which is mostly misleading. Actually, the Jillucians were no match for the Gavanas’s laser burlets. Jillucians are pretty much the Tiananmen Square tank guys of space. Except the Jillucians are Tree Huggin’ Space Hippies™. And the tanks stopped for the Unknown Protester. And we still remember and care about the Unknown Protester.

With the Jillucians almost extinct, Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green lets loose eight Magic Space Walnuts™. They have a special tracking power which homes in on the Eight Heroes who will save Jillucia from the evil Gavanas. Once loosed, he realizes that it would behoove them to have someone go along to explain what in the hell the Magic Space Walnuts™ mean. Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green chooses his granddaughter for the job. She and one brave volunteer jump in the Space Schooner and leisurely float off whichever way. They’re nowhere near fast enough to follow the Magic Space Walnuts™, so why strain, right?

Then there are some lovely scenes of the Gavanas, a race of war hungry Rent-a-Center Power Ranger Villains, being menacing. Glower. Ominous. Black. Oooooo. They’re angry because of their Emperor, Rockseia XLL (pronounced Rock-SAY-ah-X-L-L). Rockseia XLL is angry because of his confusing biology—his mom is a dude. Kind of like Eric Cartmen. Except Emperor Rockseia’s mom is a Native American Power Ranger Villain. And Liane Cartman is a crack whore. And, most importantly, we still watch and like Eric Cartmen.

Then some smashing scenes establishing the characters of the Eight Heroes. Rent-a-Center Princess Leia tapping on the window of her space ship to get the attention of passing Space Hot Shots. Space Hot Shots buzzing through an asteroid field running from the Space Police. A Space Vegas Show. Space General Garuda’s touching funeral for his personal robot, i.e. sending a junked robot into space in a Vikingesque funeral aboard an expensive rocket. Swimming through asteroid fields to catch Space Fire Flies. Et cetera.

Then there’s a bunch of moaning and groaning. The Eight Heroes don’t want to be the chosen ones. They throw/give away their Magic Space Walnuts™. Boo-hoo. Then they do want to be the chosen ones. Then some get their Magic Space Walnuts™ back. The one who doesn’t throws the Emo Pity Party™.  Then a couple of them get kidnapped. It’s a hot mess. Et cetera.

Eventually Emperor Rockseia XLL decides to go on a Space Road Trip™. They fire up the engines on Jillucia and head to Earth. At this point Jillucia becomes a Rent-a-Center Death Star.

At Earth Rockseia XLL destroys the moon as a warning to humanity that he means business. Wilzyx and millions of frolicking Orcas suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Powerful. Heart breaking. An inspiring scene to end all inspiring scenes.

If there’s a Rent-a-Center Death Star there has to be a Rent-a-Center trench run. Kinji Fukasaku ups the ante. Message From Space has two trench runs! The first comes when the Space Hot Shots go to Jillucia to team up with the Jillucians. The Space Hot Shots rig their ships to join, ala the God Pheonix of Battle of the Planets/G Force/Gatchaman, but much less cool. The main ship in this junkyard Voltron is a Rent-a-Center Ebon Hawk from KOTOR. When they approach Jillucia they split up, fly through a bit of the trench, then join back together before landing. What does this accomplish? Nothing. It’s not even particularly cool. So, yeah, why not?

The second Rent-a-Center trench run is the Final Boss Battle. It’s a mix of the rebel attack on the Death Star and Tron vs MCP. The Space Hot Shots fly through the exhaust port tunnel thing down to the reactor. There, they shoot the spinning thingie, stopping it, which uncovers the opening they have to target. Pew… Pew… Pew… Boom… Exploision.

Meanwhile, as the space battle is raging (i.e. before the pew… pew… pew…  boom… explosion), there’s the Rent-a-Center Vader vs Obi Wan fight. But this time Vader gets a mud hole stomped in him. It’s because Vader is played by a milksop and Obi Wan is played by Sonny Chiba. The problem is, because Chiba wrecks shop, there’s no touching moment where the old guy sacrifices his life empowering the next generation to seek their glory.

Oh, wait. There is that moment. Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green deliberately misses the Space Schooner to Valinor. The Jillucians have one more Space Schooner in dry dock collecting Space Spider Webs. It’s so old that they have to literally crank start the reactors. While the suspense completely ruined my pedicure (I chew my nails when I’m nervous, a’ight), I’ll let you in on a little secret… They make it. Yay! You’re mani/pedi can thank me later.

Message From Space ends with is shot of the Jillucian Space Schooner flying past Earth propelled courageously by cheesy Spaghetti Western music. Toei Company, LTD really knows how to go out with a bang.

You can watch Message From Space in it’s entirety for free, here.

roadside attractions

  • Delight in the continual consumption of Space Tomatoes™!
  • Hearken to the music which sounds suspiciously similar to Leia’s Theme!
  • Marvel at the final 50 Jillucians! (Kinda shallow for a gene pool, innit?)
  • Witness Aaron the Space Hot Shot’s contribution to Haute Couture: Rainbow Suspenders!
  • Revel in the courageously “out” robosexual couple General Garuda and Beba Two (pronounced babe-AH 2)!
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

There’s a couple fist fights and a couple busted lips. Most of the killing is by laser burlets, but the effects are futurific.

0

blood

BREASTS

I don’t know if I should penalize the movie for this though. The movie came out in 1978, and breasts wouldn’t have been invented in Japan for another couple decades.

10

beast

BEASTS

Lots of groovy Power Ranger style villains.

6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Message From Space”

trailers

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Oct

In post-apocalyyptic America international border disputes aren’t settled with trade embargoes, they’re solved with giant robots and laser beams while guitars blasts “They’re coming to America” over the loud speakers. Yes, It’s Robot Jox the biggest game of rock em’ sock em’ robots ever made. This time it’s the Russians turn as the evil super power trying to steal our land and likely pipe vodka through Alaska, but not if team USA can stop em first. Gary Graham stars as Achilles, the cocky and illiterate champion robot jox who leads a team of trainee that like to yell out “Crash and Burn” whenever someone needs a high five. His killbot career is going well until a match against a Russian named “alexander” makes it the biggest U.S. Russian brawl since Rocky 4. Unfortunately there’s no training montage and Achilles accidentally crushes a crowd of fans while diving in front of a wayward missile.  Have we learned nothing from Nascaar accidents? Achilles retires in shame taking on a full time bar stool warming job at the local cantina drinking away his shame. Meanwhile a genetically engineered and uncomfortably manly looking pilot trainee named Athena is climbing jungle gyms while her classmates fall to their death . She and Achilles have some awkward romantic moments in the hallway so when he learns that Athena was selected to battle Alexander, he decides to come out of retirement to protect her.

RobotJoxAthena  is furious with Achilles for taking her spot so she kick punches his face and drugs him at his apartment and disguises herself in his space suit instead. He awakens later not very upset since that’s usually how his first dates go anyways. Meanwhile, his managing cowboy “Tex Conway”  is discovered by their team engineer rigging the fights for the U.S. to lose. Tex shoots him in the head but forgets he was being recorded so tosses himself off a balcony to his death, cowboy hat and all. Back in the battle arena, Athena is getting pummeled by the Russian robot and Achilles has to jump in and try to save her. After battling the chainsaw crotched mech, Achilles crashes to the ground and the two pilots have battle man to man in a Star Trek staff fight with some robot shrapnel. Achilles gives a speech about world peace and good sportsmanship which leads to an awkward fist pump as the two become best buds, I kid you not.

Obviously not a lot of plot to get in the way of the action. Basically it’s just 2 robots tossing rockets and lasers at each other while at some  point one of them gets dry humped with a crotch chainsaw. Definitely check this one out, I give it 4 out of 5 Pacific Rims.

roadside attractions

  • Referee smashing
  • Crotch chainsaw
  • Crowd smashing
  • Jungle gym of death
  • Flying fist of robot fury
  • Gratuitous use of the term “Crash and Burn”
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

Not much gore in this one but plenty of heavy metal damage.

5

blood

BREASTS

No breasts shots, but we get some hinder shots in this one.

9

beast

BEASTS

Giant robots and a burly russian.

8.5 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Robot Jox”

trailers

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Sep

V/H/S/2
2013 – Unrated/R – Magnet

You either loved it or you hated it, but there’s no denying that last year’s V/H/S gave a fresh spin on the quickly tiring found footage genre. It gave it a primo, and mostly perverse, look and took the idea of the anthology and made it seem newfangled, like it was in the 80’s. It was a very pleasing mix of perversion, violence and short storytelling. So it would make sense that they would decide to do a sequel the following year, with bigger filmmakers names attached to the project. Now the burning question is, does it surpass its predecessor?

It opens up familiar enough, in POV, of a man (played Simon Barrett, baring his dong… ladies) cheating on his wife. This leads nowhere, mind you, but sets up our two leads who are private investigators, Larry and Ayesha in the bookend segment, Tape 49. We soon learn they have been hired by some woman to find her missing son, break into his apartment and root around for clues. The two person Mystery Inc. wastes no time as they reach their destination. They immediately hear a loud bang and pry open a window, shortly discovering a room littered with televisions and VHS tapes, a welcoming site to those who enjoyed the first film, no doubt. Larry decides to “Go and check” out the rest of the place, rummaging through notebooks (and oddly reminding me of the PS1 classic Resident Evil), leaving Ayesha to watch the tapes. And what could be one those tapes? Well, it’s not Veggie Tales.

vhs2_2The first segment, entitled Phase I Clinical Trials, stars You’re Next director Adam Wingard. He also directed this segment, a clever way of keeping the budget low. His character was in a car accident and receives an experimental robotic eye of sorts that would make the Six Million Dollar Man weep. The eye can record what it sees, so the company that built it can analyze the data (imagine the poor sap that has to sit through hours of footage of him playing video games or pooping). Soon, he begins seeing dead people around his house. A girl from the hospital tracks him down and reveals that she had a cochlear implant from the same company and could hear dead people. Between the two of them, Haley Joel Osment is a punk. The more they interact with the spirits, the more the spirits can appear and harm them… clearly, not heading toward a happy ending.

vhs2_3Next up is A Ride in the Park, which sounds innocent enough, but boy would you be wrong. A man named Mike is all set for a joyous bike ride in the park, hence the title, with his GoPro camera, when he comes across a woman who has been bitten by a pack of zombies. Mike is bitten on the neck and bleeds to death after fleeing. Shortly, another couple finds him and wouldn’t you know it, Mike turns and bites them. Soon, zombies are tearing through a youngster’s birthday party. Still beats having your dad drunkenly tell you how disappointed he is in you. Now, most of you know my stance on the current zombie pop culture trend: Their boring, uninspiring and just clones of the previous popular zombie flick, but The Blair Witch director Eduardo Sanchez along with Jamie Nash give it a spin that hasn’t been seen since possibly Day of the Dead. Their zombies retain some knowledge of a previous life, as Mike demonstrates throughout the segment and the ending is rather bittersweet after he gets a call from his wife.

Safe Haven, from the director of The Raid, is most likely the most disturbing of the bunch. Using the angle of a documentary crew, they are invited to interview the leader of a cult and learn more about their faith. It just so happens to be at the time when the cult commits a mass suicide and sacrificing one of the documentary’s crew member’s unborn child to spawn their God, which is more like Satan. I don’t know what that says, but this is the one that really brings the punch. The imagery is savage and with the leader of the cult dancing and singing wearing nothing but tighty whities, self mutilated, you’ll think twice about entering a place far from civilization. The ending is hiliarious, but also will give you willies.

vhs2_4 Last, but not least, we have Hobo With a Shotgun director Jason Eisener’s Slumber Party Alien Abduction. Of all the segments, this one is by far my favorite. It’s a group of teenagers building cardboard box robot costumes, something I’m sure we all did. No? Just me? They play cruel pranks on one their sisters and each other, all being filmed by a GoPro strapped to their dog. Just when things are getting tense between the two groups of adolescents, a thunderous boom and bright lights shock them. The power goes out and aliens are trying to get into the house, brilliantly lit with a strobe light and this is when you start getting scared… real fast. The aliens drag them outside and throw them into the lake and only a few make it out, fleeing for the remainder of the segment as they hide from the intruders, nearly being caught at every turn. This one will have you clutching your chest and calling for Elizabeth.

Finally, the movie closes on Tape 49 once our lead watches on a tape what exactly that loud bang was on a tape. After seeing what he saw, he’ll probably wish he had been watching hours of Kathy Griffin stand up.

Something you may have noticed about V/H/S/2 is it seems to be more constructed like a movie, using multiple cameras and different angles, but still using different forms of consumer style cameras to give that found footage feel. For the most part, the acting is a lot more solid, but it makes it feel less like home movies and more like… ahem, a movie. But it’s the way that the stories are constructed that makes it a solid anthology. Regardless of having a slightly more cinematic feel to it, V/H/S/2 is strong and relentless from start to finish. Unlike the previous entry, there isn’t a dull ho hum tale of the group.

V/H/S/2

V/H/S/2 is certainly on par, if not superior to V/H/S and a worthy successor. Here’s to looking forward to the third entry! Pick up your copy at Magnet’s website and for god’s sake, don’t break into a stranger’s house and start watching stacks of tapes! One of them could be a Bill Rebane film.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Start your movie with a little bit o’ donger.
  • Eye see dead people.
  • Happy ‘Death’day!
  • Singing in undies.
  • Papa of a demon.
  • Alien disco party.
  • Explosive migraine.
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Every segment is covered in all kinds of guts, organs and plasma!

7

blood

BREASTS

It’s a requirement of each segment to bare some ta-ta’s.

10

beast

BEASTS

Ghosts, ghouls, zombies, devil and aliens. The only thing it’s missing is Santa.

9 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for V/H/S/2!”

trailers

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Sep

The Nest
1988 – R – MGM

Bugs, cockroaches specifically, are often considered to be “gross” or “icky” by the laymen. Yes, they’re creepy, they’re crawly and feared by the population. People will crush them with a book or whatever blunt instrument they have nearby. And yet, we idolize them. Countless numbers of toys are molded in their image, constructed like statues to honor our insect gods and Halloween is their day, as their image is molded into tasty treats for the little kiddies to eat. Thousands of movies feature them as the star, but always as the villain. Seems like those pesky cockroaches can’t catch a break. Fear and loved simultaneously, can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. They always seem to be causing problems, like in the not-so-smash-hit-feature, The Nest.

nest_3Take the small island of North Port, for example. Talk a about a big bug problem! Sheriff Richard Tarbell not only has this issue to deal with, but also the fact that he’s a stereotyped small town, 80’s sheriff. His mop haircut blankets a good portion of his head and apparently they only had the budget for half a uniform, since he’s always wearing jeans. A lot of movies in the 80’s dressed their local police up like they found a handful of Sheriff’s tops at a thrift store, but couldn’t find the pants. Oh and what would our cliched Sheriff be if he weren’t in cahoots with Mayor Elias’ daughter, who just came back and the reason they broke up was because she left? Oh and his current girlfriend works at the diner, because that’s the only other occupation in a small town. Haven’t you ever seen Squirm or the remake of The Blob? Luckily, he has his oddball exterminator friend, Homer, who I swear belongs in a video game. Seriously, the guy bops around on a busted moped, wearing glasses, a Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts. Tell me you don’t see this character somewhere in Grand Theft Auto. Anyway, Homer has been noticing that his gas isn’t killing these roaches. Something different about these ones.

This is where the evil corporation, INTEC comes in, who are in cahoots with Mayor Elias. All we know for now is that INTEC is doing “stuff” and the mayor is getting money. Hey, good enough for me. Actually it turns out they have been experimenting with breeding mutant cockroaches! And why? Um… science? Huh, usually you only get either an evil corporation or mutants of some kind. Most movies can’t contain both an evil corporation and mutant bugs, but this movie grabs them both by the horns, throws them in a blender and shouts, “Suck it, society! I’m man enough for both!”

I digress.

Anyway, why exactly is INTEC making super mutant cockroaches that are impervious to gases and chemicals? Well, at first it sounds clever, but then when you think about it, it’s actually kind of stupid. You see, they bio-engineered a hybrid of cockroaches that would eat other cockroaches and then die off. See what you did there? As you read that, you went, “Oh…” which quickly turned to, “ehhh, huh?” INTEC sends in the foxy and diabolical Dr. Hubbard to keep an eye on the Mayor to make sure he doesn’t pull any fast ones. But, like every evil corporation that decides to play God, their experiment goes wrong and these cockroaches get the desire to eat meat! Whether it’s animal or human, it’s on the menu. Not to mention, these cockroaches seem to take form of whatever they devour, much like The Thing in… um, The Thing. This actually results in some pretty spectacular effects, for the most part.

nest_2Aside from a few chewed up animal carcasses, we get to witness the birth of a cockroach and cat hybrid. Now, nevermind the logistics of how an animal would be reanimated back to life after being eaten by bugs or if it’s the cockroaches working as a group to form this new species (think of the Constructicons from Transformers), just marvel at mother nature’s abortion as it gets squished by a bookshelf. And that’s not all! The mayor himself gets gobbled up to save his daughter. Although in retrospect, his sacrifice was pointless, since they both could have escaped to the same room, so I don’t see why he needed to lock himself in the bathroom. Well, if he didn’t do that, how else would we be able to show you a man turn into a giant cockroach? Remember Jeff Goldblum’s transformation scene in The Fly? If you don’t, consider this a refresher course.

Before the mayor “bugged out,” he managed to call in some sort of airstrike using gas, which would most likely kill everyone on the island. Homer and the Sheriff rush to fix the town’s lighthouse to signal the planes, but they are running out of time, as the roaches seem to be coming from everywhere. Like in Aliens, Hudson said it best when he said, “It’s a bug hunt!” So our heroes go to find a queen and destroy it. Upon searching the cave, they found what they are looking for and what they find is, again, similar to the Blair Monster from The Thing. Only this queen cockroach/human/skeleton/gloppy thing is… kinda silly. Gotta say. Well, let me back up a bit. It’s actually pretty cool, until it starts moving. The thing hovers around like someone is pushing a really fat person around in a wheel barrel and for being something that is supposed to have more than a few legs, it doesn’t move very organically. Luckily, the film’s saving grace for this monster is when it bites the top of Dr. Hubbard’s head off. Girl, she was all cray cray anyway.

This was done in the days when everything was done practically, before the lifeless CGI. Sure it’s easier, but just seeing thousands of live cockroaches, scurrying on the floor and up peoples legs. You can imagine hundreds of tiny, cold little legs tickling your skin and that horror you feel as you look to see dozens of cockroaches. It’s that feeling you know those bugs are real that send the shiver down your back and question the tickling feeling it’s getting. The film has plenty of those gross out moments, filled with plenty of blood and organs (especially the eyeball popping scene) and the monsters are actually pretty grotesque.

The Nest

A worthy contender to other bug movies, like Slugs, it’s also interesting to note that the film’s producer was Julie Corman, wife of Roger Corman! Making sanguinary, low budget gross out flicks must be a Corman tradition that I hope continues. Check out The Nest, now on Bluray from Scream! Factory and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Sheriff spit take.
  • Bug-O-Cam.
  • Cockroach Cafe.
  • Take a shot every time there is a subtle rip off of The Thing, The Fly or another Sci-Fi bug movie.
  • Mayor Roach!
  • Cat-roach!
  • Homer…
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Critters get eaten, eyes go popping, guts go splatting, gore goes everywhere!

3

blood

BREASTS

There’s a few busty ladies in this one.

10

beast

BEASTS

Evil corporation mutant-genetically engineered super cockroaches and their devil hybrid! Sign me up!

7 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie!”

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About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>