This comes as a real surprise: it's a made-for-television movie (granted a video release in the UK!) about an invasion of nature, which isn't terrible. The best description for this movie would be clichéd but fun, in that it strictly adheres to a predictable plot (you know the routine: stranger gets hostility from townspeople, there are a couple of isolated deaths, stranger is blamed for murder, and the final full-scale invasion) yet manages to wring a few chills, chuckles and scares from the situations. Of course, the inevitable rip-offs of ARACHNOPHOBIA and other killer bug movies pop up along the way.
The film successfully walks the line between being serious and humorous, in just the right places. Although it offers up absolutely nothing new to the genre (aside from a pat conclusion), this is about as good a film as you could expect from the "killer cockroach" concept. It's also commendably gruesome in places, seeing as the cockroaches nest inside their victim's stomach (cue for some ALIEN-style bulgings here) before bursting out. The special effects aren't bad and are almost successful in mixing real cockroaches, animatronics, and CGI together, although the CGI is still too fake for my liking.
The acting isn't bad, even if the characters are extremely clichéd. Thomas Calabro is your typical pretty-faced lead, yet he injects his role with a certain charisma and seems to be quite a nice bloke. Similarly, Kristen Dalton is also likable as the pretty-but-smart female lead. John Savage is suitably loathsome as a drunk redneck, while genre stalwart Dean Stockwell's welcome face shows up in the role of the town's sheriff, for whom one of the sickest moments is saved (basically a kind of queen bug slides into his mouth, causing him to vomit up most of his internal organs).
Although the music and plot are pedestrian, the direction is quite interesting in places and director Ellory Elkayem shows a couple of nice stylistic flourishes. The action scenes are well handled and the last twenty minutes, dealing with a major invasion by the now-flying bugs, are pretty exciting, culminating in an unbelievable yet original death for the creatures - they're blown up in a huge explosion caused by a stray shot from a flare gun! Little touches - like the pattering of the dead bugs falling from the sky - are what make this film fun, and fun it is, in a decidedly B movie-ish way.
Horror / Sci-Fi
Horror / Sci-Fi
Dr. Ben Cahill, a fine city doctor, gets so stressed by marital problems and alcohol that he freezes up under pressure in the emergency room. To get his act back together, he decides to unwind a few months in the house he and his ex bought on Orr island, an insignificant (former) fishermen place off the coast of Maine. He almost immediately becomes the butt of spite from a gang of local nobodies. After the doctor started examining, at the request of the reasonable sheriff Hobbs who leans to his side, some animal and human corpses with strange internal as well as external injuries, one of the brutes, not so handy handyman Jack Wald, has a fatal nocturnal accident crashing into Dr. Cahill's car. The doc observes one of the red cockroaches which recently infest the island has pincers, most unusual, reads up and contacts the university entomology department, where this African species isn't too well-known either. Jack's even dumber brother Eamon Wald uses violence which ends up causing the sheriff's death, so the doc has no other help then the enterprising local store clerk Nell Bartle, who takes a liking to the only educated men around, to continue investigating fighting off Eamon's gang and as they find out how bad the danger is, try to evacuate... —KGF Vissers
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