Review: The Nest (Blu-ray)

2013/02/12 16:33:54 +00:00 | Derek Botelho

The 1950’s brought on an infestation of killer giant insect movies due to the atomic age and fear of the bomb. Movie monsters come in many shapes and sizes, from Godzilla to The Blob and everything in between. The Nest, newly released from Scream Factory, is a love letter to those big bug movies from the past with a graphic, modern slant much like Slugs and Squirm.

In a small seaside town, biological experiments have created a mutant strain of cockroach that are eating the townsfolk. Naturally, it’s up to the local Sheriff  (Franc Luz) to take up arms to fight this “natural” menace. Dr Hubbard (Terri Treas), from the organization that performed the genetic experiments on the insects arrives in town with her own agenda, and now Sheriff Tarbell has another foe to vanquish. Add a greedy, ineffectual mayor (Robert Lansing) and the poor Sheriff has a lot more on his plate than he can handle.

Headlined by Robert Lansing (a staple of 1960’s television) as the mayor, the cast all deliver unexpectedly measured performances. With such a bonkers premise, one would expect the actors to be chewing the scenery in competition with the insects. Terri Treas as Dr. Hubbard turns in the hammiest and strangest performance, as she is convincingly enamored of her own work in destroying this small town. The film manages to give every character some kind of arc, which is a rarity for this type of film.

Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray/DVD combo pack presents the film in a surprisingly clean transfer. For those familiar with these on the cheap Corman productions, this disc will be quite a pleasant surprise. From the decidedly dated 1980’s fashions to the bad hairdos, it’s a crisp picture, and even the texture on the sweaters is impressive. The natural color palette is a stark contrast when things get red. On the audio side of things, the film’s original mono track is preserved, with clear dialogue and a nicely mixed soundtrack. The disc’s only bonus content is a rather fun and informative commentary by director Terence H. Winkless.

Produced under Roger Corman’s Concorde banner, The Nest is Jaws with cockroaches. At one point, the mayor even says, “I won’t let a bunch of roaches keep the tourists away.” Directed with efficiency by Terence H. Winkless, the film moves along with a series of interesting gags, each one bloodier, and surprisingly effective than the last. One caveat for pet lovers however, especially cat people: stay away from this film. For everyone else who has a taste for creature features, it’s worth checking out this take on the classic sci-fi insect menace film.

Film Score: 3/5 Disc Score: 3/5