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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Queen Crab
Queen Crab
Wild Eye // Unrated // September 29, 2015
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted October 6, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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Queen Crab:
Always reliable creature-feature director Brett Piper takes the piss immediately, setting Queen Crab in 'Nowhere, USA'. If you didn't already ascertain from the title, this old-fashioned monster feature shouldn't be taken too seriously. Some wooden acting doesn't stop enraged-crab-mayhem from being a hell of a lot of fun, though, with Piper's stop-motion effects top-notch as usual.

When we first meet Melissa, her jerk-off scientist dad treats her like dirt while trying to solve World Hunger from his basement. Consoling herself by consorting with a cute purring crab she finds by the lake, Melissa feeds the gentle creature grapes laced with growth serum, and, some years down the road, the rest of the town finds out about It.

As a crab the size of a school bus, Queen Crab finds herself increasingly irritated by the stupidity of the locals, and starts to killing, egged on by now-grown Melissa (Michelle Simone Miller). Aside from the crab, Simone Miller's is the best performance in this ultimately lighthearted movie, albeit one that features human limbs getting chopped off by huge claws. Her wild character is believable in its spacy ferocity, while those around her almost uniformly feel a bit like Piper's non-professional actor-friends doing their best, fortunately with funny, well-written characters.

Townsfolk soon become irritations, for the viewer and for the furious crab, with which you're now invested. "Kill, crab! Kill!" And kill she does, in Piper's signature stop-motion animation. As entertaining as any Harryhausen creatures, Piper's smooth moving crab tears folks in half just as easily as she cuddles with Melissa; crab versus Jeep is a particularly fun sequence. Piper ladles on atmosphere as well, with the half-hour climax set in an eerie day-for-night world that's beautiful, surreal, and effective.

Queen Crab is another win for Piper, featuring an awesome, rampaging giant crab. A jokey, light-hearted tone and nicely kooky characters don't hide some strained performances, though Simone Miller stands out as Melissa, a wild-eyed trippy-hippy with crabs. Recommended monster fun!

The DVD

Video:
Wild Eye Releasing hauls in this widescreen transfer, which, while acceptable overall, suffers a few problems. Colors are generally nice and natural, with a DV quality, and fairly well saturated. Black levels aren't all that deep, and sometimes crush a bit. Details for interior scenes vary depending on light-levels; the darker it gets the more murky details become, sometimes resulting in posterizing. Nighttime exteriors, however, look fantastic, fairly sharp and lush.

Sound:
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Audio is fine. Attack scenes feature nice dimensionality and crunch. Jon Greathouse's fun, effective score is mixed well, and dialog is decently clean and clear, though the source is sometimes weak.

Extras:
First up is a Commentary Track with auteur Brett Piper, plus producer/actor Mark Polonia and others. Low-budget filmmaking, crab-style, is the subject of the lively track. Four-minutes of Bloopers never fail to please, while Trailers for this and other Wild Eye releases will surely add to your 'watch list'. Behind The Scenes: Queen Crab Consequences rolls seven-minutes of BTS goodness regarding her majesty the crab, with actor interviews. Behind The Scenes: Queen Crab Conversations delivers seven more minutes of actor interviews, with a different BTS focus. The final BTS featurette Composing Crabs , finds Jon Greathouse discussing his score for 5-minutes. In all, a decent selection.

Final Thoughts:
Queen Crab is another win for Piper, featuring an awesome, rampaging giant crab. A jokey, light-hearted tone and nicely kooky characters don't hide some strained performances, though Simone Miller stands out as Melissa, a wild-eyed trippy-hippy with crabs. Recommended monster fun!

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

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