Friday, September 25, 2015

QUEEN CRAB attacks, as Brett Piper takes us back to the sci-fi days of early Roger Corman

What goofy, old-fashioned fun (for awhile, at least), as filmmaker Brett Piper does a funny, often nifty homage to everything from stop-motion monster movies to the old American International sci-fi films to some of the early Roger Corman movies. QUEEN CRAB is such an intentionally silly story of science run amok (does it ever not, so far as movies are concerned?) and a cute little crab found by an adorable little girl that grows to something like the size of a house, terrorizing a small town and spawning lots of nasty, naughty offspring who also provide a certain amount of blood-and-guts mayhem.

Mr. Piper (shown at left) has fashioned a straight-forward 80-minute horror/monster movie using old-fashioned stop-motion photogra-phy, in which our crabby crab goes on the rampage, destroying life and limb with aplomb and finesse. That almost everything about this movie looks "fake" but fun is part of its charm, and that goes right down (or up) to the writing, direction and acting -- about which you can never be quite sure if the actors are being intentionally semi-bad, or trying to rise to the occasion. Either way, there's a certain frisson provided by this odd viewing experience.

"What does omnivorous mean?" our little cutie, above, asks her scientist daddy early on in the movie, and you can bet that by the time she grows up (below), she will fully understand the meaning of the word (while still loving her pet crab, despite its predilection for destruction).

Even at only 80 minutes, it's still a tad too long, and the filmmaker, who both wrote and directed, hasn't given us enough real humor or scares to fill those minutes, though he's done some fun stuff with the characters, situations and mayhem.

While I can't recommend the movie to just anyone, I do suspect that oldsters who fondly recall those Corman movies (Not of This Earth, anyone?) or the stop-motion delights of Ray Harryhausen, may want to take a look.

And you can, when the film -- from Wild Eye Releasing -- goes straight to DVD this coming Tuesday, September 29. Get ready to giggle. And maybe show your kids or grand kids what scary movies used to look like.

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