Queen Crab Review

Crabby

Crabbe County has a crab problem. Hmm. Oh, that’s the joke.

If anything is to be said for Queen Crab’s existence, the ability this feature has to resurrect Z-grade nostalgia is impressive. Small town, sheriff, and a scientist tinkering with genetic growth hormones; that’s the set-up for 1955’s mega insect flick Tarantula, and in 2015, this crabby thing. Queen Crab borrows a telepathic slice of Roger Corman’s Attack of the Crab Monsters too – there’s the Z grade memories.

Queen Crab is video store drivel. Despite a pleasing allegiance to stop motion animation, Queen Crab wants to replicate only the audaciousness of browsing cheapies. Alluring cover art, with the crab assaulted by jets and special ops team (with a police car tumbling into flames underneath) is a total falsehood. So too is the box art descriptor, referencing a meteor which awakens a “centuries old beast.” The crab isn’t even of drinking age and there are no space rocks.

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Keep an eye on Queen Crab’s director Brett Piper and producer Mark Pelonia. The duo are out to undercut the resume of no-budget filmmaker Fred Olen Ray. In fact, Queen Crab recalls the dry nonsense of Ray’s 1994 Dinosaur Island. Both films are crushed by the ineptitude of their performers, their visual effects, and their tones which are uniquely their own. But, Dinosaur Island felt like sleazy, softcore schlock. Queen Crab just sort of is, played too straight without a smirk.

Queen Crab is too violent, gory, and crude to be in their class. Or, have any class.


The credits are cute. Queen Crab has a title critter slyly jumping into the frame with a bit of the ’50s era animated kitsch the main feature is calling for. That won’t continue. Having only the tropes of nuclear era films doesn’t qualify. Queen Crab is too violent, gory, and crude to be in their class. Or, have any class.

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For perspective, Queen Crab is the type where a group of friends get together over a week and shoot a movie. Lead Ken Van Sant’s acting gigs correlates with Brett Piper’s. A crew cast as hillbilly weapon experts likely owed someone a favor. The archetypal hicks mow down the beastie in a criss-crossing ending which is ruined by confusing editing and lack of clarity.

In fairness, the crab is convincing, or it would be in other circumstances. Back-of-the-box text quips a head shaking comparison to master animator Ray Harryhausen who, yes, did animate an oversized crustacean, if not in this context. Considering the rest of the box’s egregious over selling, someone may have wrote that Queenie attacks New York. She doesn’t, but she struggles to do much of anything other than lay eggs and bump into a jeep.

Actually, she’s not a nuisance at all. Just the movie is.

Movie ★☆☆☆☆ 

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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