The Nest (1988)
A Killer What?
This is a killer cockroach movie. They’re genetically engineered cockroaches, meant to cannibalize other species of pest that spread disease but their carnivorous nature has gone out of control and they can strip a man’s flesh in a matter of seconds. The movie leads you to expect human-sized roaches (I mean there’s one on the cover and everything) but in a delightful twist it turns out that the genetically altered roaches have mutated so that they become whatever they eat. We’re first introduced to this quality when a skinless cat that’s been gnawed on by the roaches grows mandibles and antennae, later the same thing happens to a human being, but then there’s The Queen.
Is it Any Good?
It’s great! How The Nest isn’t spoken of with the great killer animal movies of the 70s and 80s alongside stuff like Piranha is beyond me. It’s gross, it’s funny, there’s some really really nasty gore effects and that’s before we even get to the skinless corpse cockroach monsters.
Arachnophobia and Mimic seem to have ripped this movie off hard and the premise and the execution are wonderful. My only big gripe is that the female lead, or rather her character, is as dull as dull can be. There’s a perfectly good female lead in the owner/proprietor of the diner who flirts with the sheriff early in the movie. She even has one of the best scenes where she’s fighting off a diner full of cockroaches by smashing them with spatulas and frying pans, microwaving them, deep frying them, blending them up, and pouring coffee on them all while La Cucaracha plays on the jukebox.
If this one slipped through the cracks for you then I urge you to swing back and check it out, it’s a great killer animal movie that really understands what appeals to people about the genre. Don’t let your life be empty without this for one more second.
Watch, Toss, or Buy?
Buy, it was one of the wave 1 Scream Factory blu-ray titles and it’s still readily available.