By Adam Ruhl
At face value The Nest might not seem like much; a more or less direct-to-video 1988 film that I had never heard of before now. The Nest falls into that not-so-respected horror sub-genre of “Swarms of something” attacks small isolated town. Since Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ it’s been tried with every kind of animal from spiders to snakes to worms. The Nest presents us with swarms of cockroaches, as made clear by the cover art which features a six-foot-tall roach attacking a woman in her underwear. The question I found myself asking up front was why would Scream Factory want to reintroduce such a title to the world in High-Def? What I found when I sat down and watched the movie was that they had found a lovely little would-be, could-be cult horror film gem in The Nest.
The Film:First off, The Nest is firmly anchored in the 80’s, it’s so 80’s, it’s still voting for Ronald Reagan. Big hair, acid washed jeans, synthesizer soundtrack, it’s so authentic to its time period it’s almost a cliché. If The Nest ran midnight showings 80’s nostaglists could dress up as the characters and stand out in a crowd.
The film is based on a book about a small island community that has leased land to a genetics firm called Intec. The Sheriff is dating the diner owner, but his old flame comes back into town. The ex-Girlfriend’s father is the mayor who is in league with Intec to breed killer mutant cockroaches. The love triangle and all other plots become moot when the roaches get loose on the townsfolk. From then on it’s pure cult, campy fun as roaches eat animals, perfectly severe limbs off of garbage men, and generally cause mayhem and destruction. Though to be honest the people seem to cause more destruction with their poor decisions than the bugs do.
Soon the cockroaches begin to evolve into hybrid creatures such as roach-cats and roach-people. If this film were made today it would be a Syfy original movie and everyone would be talking about it.
Unlike a lot of the other Scream Factory releases, The Nest as a disc is pretty bare bones. Only an audio commentary is included in the way of features. There’s no illustrated cover art, just the original box art and not even a trailer for the movie.The transfer is clean and probably far and above any other release this film may have had since its debut. However that may be of limited importance given the small budget picture status of the movie itself. The widescreen presentation also lays bare a couple of production flaws; look close for the shot with a crewman’s head in the frame.
- Audio Commentary with Director Terence H Winkless. – It may be the only feature but this commentary is worth your time.
- 1080p Hi-Def widescreen 1.85:1
- DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
- English-only Audio & Subtitles
- Original Release: 1988
- Runtime: 87 minutes
- Rated R
Story: C / All story elements not roach mayhem related are secondary and quickly abandoned.
Presentation quality: A- / Clean transfer.
Scare factor: C- / Goofy fun and gross, not scary.Gore Factor: B+ / Roaches pop out of people’s eyes and strip animals to the bone. Roach milkshakes.
Repeat view-ability: B / You’ll want to show this one to your friends. Maybe make your own Nest drinking games.
Special Features: D / One audio commentary and that’s about all
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Check out yesterday's Scream Factory review, Deadly Blessing!