The Nest (1988)

Roger Corman’s wife Julie Corman produced a film written by Stephen King’s brother Richard King about killer cockroaches on an island! Hell yes!

The evil corporation INTEC has moved onto an island off the coast of New England with the help of a small town mayor. But soon INTEC’s experimental cockroaches get loose, and food, pets, and eventually people begin to disappear as the ravenous roaches swarm up and take over. It’s up to the local sheriff, his old flame, a bonkers bugman, and the crazy scientist who invented the super roaches to do battle with them, save the town from complete destruction, and destroy the nest. But meanwhile, the bugs are mutating!

Thanks to this movie, now I know what a mutant cat/roach looks like. And that dude from Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Overall the film is a pretty serviceable creature feature until the mutants arrive. Then the film enters some laughable territory…for a while. Yes, the mutants are gross, and the models are pretty nasty looking, but they’re also comical and ridiculous. That is until the Queen appears. The Roach Queen in this movie has to be one of the most disturbing, disgusting, and awesome looking creatures I have ever seen. It’s like John Carpenter’s The Thing fused human corpses together and then grew mandibles. If you love twisted monster designs, the Roach Queen is definitely something you should check out.

As for the overall quality of the film, this is a Corman production. It is low budget and treads over old ground in ways that other films like Prophecy did a decade before. And there are times where The Nest strays from its path to become too camp and comedy or intensely serious. There is also a lot of blood and gore. I’m feel that the film did not know exactly what it wanted to be, but I’m unsure if this is the fault of the screenplay or the director, Terence Winkless. But I was definitely entertained by what I was watching, and to my horror fan friends who haven’t seen it, I’d say it’s worth checking out.

This plot also made for a great The X-Files episode later…

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