creature feature

Shaun vs. The Nest (1988)

The sheriff of a small New England island fishing town has a bug problem on his hands as mutated cockroaches with a taste for human flesh have invaded and they’re not visiting for the chowder.

Judging a Book by its Cover




-Gigantic cockroaches eating half naked women?  No way I can be disappointed with that delivery!


-What do cockroaches really eat?  I don’t dare try to Google it.


-Honestly, it’s a simple piece of poster art but it’s a great image that sets a reasonable expectation.  The movie it’s attached to is pretty different.  You’ll see.




Cockroaches have never tasted meat…until now!

Directed by Terence H. Winkless

Starring Franc Luz, Lisa Langlois and Robert Lansing

The worst part of Sheriff Richard Tarbell’s day is dealing with his girlfriend’s nutbar father who acts like the town idiot most of the time.  Otherwise everything is pretty quiet until his old high school flame, Elizabeth, shows up and the flame may begin to rekindle.  Elizabeth goes for a walk and comes across private land and happens upon a dog that’s had its flesh chewed off.  Richard goes to the mayor, also Elizabeth’s father, to look into what had happened but he’ll leave it to the company that owns the property.  To the surprise of no one, he may be helping with a cover up as he stops numerous attempts to search the land.


Well they already started with the fingers, might as well let them finish me off.

The company owning the private land sends a researcher to “investigate” but it’s more to check in on their work — a mutant breed of cockroach that is immune to pesticides.  They also have an insatiable appetite for flesh and seek out any animals or people that are in their way.  Richard joins forces with the town’s exterminator after finding out the researcher was actively involved in genetics and of course she’s taking things way too far as the roaches morph into hybrids of what they ate, such as a part-cat, part-cockroach.


Hello, nightmare of nightmares.

The film is pretty bloody as well with much of the roach attacks and gross out shots of the roaches coming out of orifices and such.  (A note to animal lovers, you will not like some the images on screen as there scenes with pets getting maimed or seeing some roaches get squished.)  Unfortunately, to me, the cockroaches weren’t enough to elicit much for scares.  If anything, the movie seems to aim for more of a horror/comedy vibe but it doesn’t make for a great combination with the seriousness of the roach scenes.  They’re not that funny!


You most definitely did not expect to see this thing show up.

The story is as generic as can be, the acting is oftentimes bad and ADR’d badly at that, there aren’t many likeable characters aside from maybe the exterminator.  The movie hinges on these killer cockroaches to deliver and that’s where your mileage will vary.  Much like Squirm did with worms and Slugs with…slugs, if you’re the type that find close ups of large amounts of cockroaches creep you out, then you’re the target audience!


Story: 4 – Mad scientist genetically alters cockroaches into lean, mean eating machines.

Blood: 6 – Mangled up bodies of animals and people supply the majority of the gruesome scenes.  Some guy gets his arm bitten off rather quickly.  The final act with the giant hybrid tearing someone apart was really neat!

Nudity: 0 – You’re not doing yourself any favors, movie!

Overall: 4 – Those with an aversion to creepy crawlies may get a few goosebumps while watching The Nest but ultimately the film fails to deliver the proper shocks and replaces them with hokey humour.


-The roaches were picked up off the streets.  I can only imagine the ad that was taken out for that job.

-The studio used to film the roach scenes had a hard time getting rid of all the little guys for several years after.

-There is a scene where you can definitely hear the song “La Cucaracha” playing in the background.

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