I just got done watching 1988's The Nest. Like, 30 minutes ago. Preferably, I write reviews within 24-48 hours of the initial viewing. I want to properly digest the film in question, leaving a buffer zone to excogitate on the merits (or lack thereof) of the spookshow I plan on critiquing. My spry schedule being what it is, I can't afford to take such luxuries today. It's just as well. I had an immediate reaction to The Nest. Most horror freaks would, as it utilizes the gookiest, goopiest practical effects that 80's schlock furnished in abundance. At times, I was reminded of the holy trinity of remakes that materialized during said decade...The Fly, The Blob and The Thing.
While this film doesn't push the envelope quite as far as those gore galleons, there is plenty of mangled meat to go around. Now, the synopsis. If I gave you key words, you could probably piece it together yourself. A small town is beleaguered by genetically-fucked cockroaches. Apart from a nimiety of "love triangle" wadding, I have outlined every minute detail of the plot. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I didn't buy The Nest to observe quizzical interpretations of orthodox storytelling. I was craving a batty b-movie about mutant insects, and by God, this sporogenous (!?) aberration delivered!
For the most part, the characters are badgered by basic roaches. But the back of the box alludes to hybrid creatures, and by the 60-minute mark, I was beginning to think that MGM's marketing department was full of xenomorph droppings. Luckily, I was mistaken. We get a roach cat, a roach zombie dude (you haven't lived until you've seen a skull sprout serrated mandibles) and a queen roach that resembles the alien's true form in The Thing. The third act is fucking bonkers. I don't mean to suggest that the first hour is a laborious drag. The Nest is nimble throughout, although it doesn't become a full-tilt bloodbath until late in the game.
Surprisingly, the acting is above par. Our heroes are flawed, which is refreshing for a flick of this persuasion. The clean cut lead cheats on his girlfriend, and he's supposed to be a moral compass of sorts. That said, I didn't care about anyone. I take that back; I dug Homer, the pugnacious exterminator. The others? Roach fodder, as far as I'm concerned. Unless my wires are crossed, the ending neglects to tend to all of the loose ends. Shouldn't the town be crawling with roach hybrids (the dog, Lillian's father, etc.)? Or did they migrate to the cave? It's possible that writer Robert King willfully opened the door for a sequel.
Alas, a sequel wasn't in the cards. As a stand-alone entry in the "nature runs amok" subgenre, The Nest triumphs over the competition. Then again, there wasn't much competition in 1988. Let me put it this way; it's superior to Mimic. And Mimic 2. And Mimic: Sentinel.