The long shadow of a certain box office smash from 1975 still provided a template for this Julie Corman produced “B” flick for Concorde Pictures.
We have a sheriff on a small island who drives an SUV that looks a lot like the Amity police vehicle driven by Chief Brody. A mayor who worries about the tourism trade over the long weekends, safety be damned and when something is eating flesh to the bones of dogs and old bums about the town an expert is called to the island to help with solving the mystery. All we’re missing is a professional hunter that is willing to give us the head, the tail and the whole damn thing for a paltry 10000 dollars.
Using the backdrop of Jaws this script adds in a bit of the Piranha story as well with a factory that has a by product turning cockroaches into man eaters. We get point of view attacks from the hordes as they nestle through the tall grass and approach their prey which consists of a cat being used as bait. Poor kitty.
Robert Lansing as our mayor slowly begins to realize that he has endangered all those on the island and most importantly his daughter played by Lisa Langlois. She has recently returned to the island to reconcile her differences with her estranged father and also rekindle her love interest with local sheriff Franc Luz.
When the roaches finally go on a feeding frenzy there isn’t any safe place left on the island. Least of all the local diner where steaks and people can be devoured raw. Can a rather psycho doctor played by Terri Treas join forces with Lansing and company to put a stop to the breeding and feeding?
This flick from the quickie video era throws everything at us from Jaws and Piranha to second rate effects that seem left over from Carpenter’s The Thing. It’s all a passable flick from director Terence H. Winkless that makes for a night of silliness if so inclined.
The only actor I recognized in the roach infested proceedings was Robert Lansing. It’s no wonder. When I looked at his list of credits I think he may have appeared in practically every television show I watched growing up. Twilight Zone, Bonanza, Star Trek. He even tangled with another overgrown giant species in Empire of the Ants. Seeing this reminded me I need to revisit his film 4D Man.
If anything, this proves that I’ll watch most films involving nature striking back. As for cockroaches though, nothing beats E.G. Marshall and his hatred for them in his Creepshow segment.