“Queen Crab” is released on DVD today through Wild Eye Releasing.
The official summary for “Queen Crab” reveals that a beast that is centuries old is awakened after a meteor crashes into the lake it resides in. There’s no meteor in the film. In its place is a couple living in a lighthouse out in the middle of the country set two decades in the past. The woman is a housewife that does nothing but yell at her daughter and get angry at laundry baskets. The man is a scientist trying to create a growth serum in an effort to make more food for the exponentially expanding population that will seriously affect our food supply in about 35 years.
The daughter of this couple finds a crab by the lake and names it Peewee. She feeds the crab the grapes from her father’s experiment, which results in the crab growing at an unbelievable rate two months later. An accident in the man’s lab leads to the parents passing away in a fiery explosion, but the little girl is raised by the town sheriff (Ken Van Sant) and she brings Peewee along for the ride.
In the present day, something terrorizes a farmer’s livestock, wrecks one of the walls of his barn, and leaves strange tracks that seemingly lead nowhere. The sheriff along with his smug deputy Sonny (Rich Lounello) are on the case, which leads them back to the property of the orphaned little girl who is now an adult Melissa Webber (Michelle Simone Miller). Melissa may have been harboring a giant crab for the past 20 years, but what could have drawn it out of hiding to cause this much destruction?
“Queen Crab” has an estimated budget of $75,000, so you can probably guess what you’re getting yourself into based solely on that. The budget of a film doesn’t necessarily affect the overall vision of the project, but when you’re dealing with giant monsters, their destructive nature, and proper retaliation from the military then that vision requires at least a few extra hundred thousand dollars for just the special effects alone.
The acting in the film is more monstrous and terrible than the Queen Crab herself. In between the stiff line delivery and nobody being able to gauge the proper balance between under and over acting, some cast members smirk and try to hold back laughter while saying their lines. Jennifer Kane (Kathryn Metz) is a professional actress who was friends with Melissa back in high school, but she’s an atrocious actress. Her supposed fighting experience that she gained from doing action films is nothing more than ghost punches and halfhearted kicks. One of the bar patrons is pretending to drive a car and you know this by the way he frantically turns the steering wheel left and right on an endless basis. The car never turns in any direction; it stays on a straight path the entire film.
As bothersome as the unconvincing acting is the writing of the film is even lousier. The film ends abruptly and in unsatisfying fashion. Baby crabs maul a man to death and the Queen Crab maims individuals with her giant claws yet Melissa claims that the crab wouldn’t hurt anyone unless provoked. So why did the crab wait this long to devour a cow? The military sends in reinforcements, but it is literally two poorly computer generated fighter jets. The film wastes more time establishing how unqualified and womanizing Sonny is at his job than the giant monster mayhem that probably attracted you to the film in the first place.
The animated crab is the best actor in the film since it has no badly delivered lines to rub you the wrong way, but for some reason all of that is ruined by the poorly chosen sound effects; the baby crabs make bird noises and the giant crab sounds like Godzilla. It’s similar to how the Xenomorphs were characterized by elephant noises and the Predators made lion noises in “Aliens vs Predator: Requiem.” Stop-motion animation can be entertaining, especially in a time where animation has become all but digitized. “Queen Crab” fails to capitalize on what made stop-motion so unique and amusing. It’s just a gimmick in order to utilize a completely inadequate cast.
“Queen Crab” aims to be “King Kong,” but gives its audience a handicapped version of Magilla Gorilla. If they gave out awards for potential disappoints with promising ideas, “Queen Crab” would receive a bronze dunce cap with a propeller at the end of it to help solidify how ridiculous and disrespectful it is to the genre.