The Nest, directed by Terence H. Winkless

In The Nest, a group of small-town locals on an island off the coast of Washginton struggle to ward off an increasingly aggressive cockroach infestation. At first the menace is limited to handfuls of regular-sized bugs, but soon the townsfolk are forced to deal with larger and larger roach/animal hybrids. As you might expect there's an evil genetic-testing-obsessed corporation at the root of the problem. The practical creature effects are a highlight of the film, as is a bumpkin exterminator named Homer P. Byron (played with glorious dimwitted charm by Steven Davies).

The film is similar in many respects to another film I watched recently, Humanoids From the Deep. Both films feature small towns dealing with genetically mutated creatures, both start slow and build to various degrees of over-the-top payoffs (The Nest never quite reaches the nuttiness of Humanoids From The Deep's final act), and both feature a large cast of genuinely likeable lead characters who you hate to see get killed off. The similarities are likely due, at least in part, to the fact that both films were Roger Corman productions. In fact, The Nesttakes at least two shots from Humanoids From The Deep and repackages them as part of the film (thanks to @btsjunkie for pointing out this connection).

The Nest was director Terence H. Winkless' first film. He went on to make a handful of action flicks in the 80s, including Bloodfistwith Don 'The Dragon' Wilson and Rage and Honor with Cynthia Rothrock, before moving on to kiddie fare like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (he directed 38 episodes, plus a few spinoffs) and Big Bad Beetleborgs. Winkless also - believe it or not - played the gorilla onThe Banana Splits. He recently appears to have returned to his roots with films like Twice as Dead and Nightmare City 2035. For more information about Winkless' interesting career, check out Marty McKee's great interview at Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot.
categories Features, Sci-Fi