Queen Crab (2015)
Summary: A meteor crashes into a quiet lake in the remote countryside and awakens a centuries-old beast, who tears through a nearby town and its inhabitants, who must fight for their lives and stop the Queen Crab before she can hatch an army of babies. Made utilizing classic stop-motion animation and traditional graphics, Queen Crab harkens back to the glory days of sci-fi and fantasy and the work of master monster creator Ray Harryhausen.
This movie is a bit tricky to do a legitimate review on. By today's standards, it is horrible from beginning to end. However the fact that it is basically a homage to the classic stop-motion creature features of the past, I would have to say that they were relatively successful at that. It has just about everything you would expect from those movies. A seemingly consistent story line with a few off the wall characters and a completely unbelievable monster.
The story itself is way out of left field. A little girl, whose father is a scientist, finds a crab and feeds it some of the experimental stuff her dad was working on. The crab grows to enormous size. The girl's parents are killed in an explosion. Many years pass, the girl is now an adult who lives on the same plot of land her family owned. She is basically an outcast. Also inhabiting the land is her pet crab who has now grown to the size of a tank. The crab stays on the property and doesn't cause any issues until her babies are killed and than her remaining unhatched eggs are destroyed.
Now my biggest complaint with this movie would be the acting. The only real convincing role was the douche bag deputy, which honestly, is probably the easiest kind of character to play. I wouldn't go so far as to say all the acting was bad. There were a few good acting performances that were dulled by a less than interesting character. There were however, some roles that seemed like they were cast by picking people off the street. My biggest gripe with the characters is that a good portion of them don't establish themselves to really show who they are. When the deputy is on the job, he is a douche; trying to pick up girls at a bar at night, still a douche. His character is consistent throughout the movie which gives the viewer a basis to develop an opinion of the character. The bartender on the other hand, is a helpful caring guy when he's working. The kind of character the audience would grow to like. But when he gets off work and basically tries to rape a girl that he gives a ride home. Now a twist like this, when done right, can be a game changer in a movie (Meg Foster's character Holly in They Live). But in this case, the bartender is not a main role. He is only really in the movie for the sole purpose of dying. He is written in to elicit a response from the audience. So the options are to make him a likeable character so we are upset when he dies, or make him an ass so we are happy when he dies; you can't do both. The bartender was the most obvious but not the only inconsistent character.
Despite all that, because they were successful in the direction they wanted the movie to go, it surprisingly wasn't all that bad. Now for the young folks out there that are unable to differentiate good and bad movies because you can't relate to the time period they were made (those who would prefer the 2010 CGI Clash of the Titans over the 1981 stop-motion version), this probably isn't for you. You need to be able to ignore the choice to not take the easy route and use CGI. If this is a talent that you have, and you enjoy that classic stop-motion movies, this is definitely one worth checking out.
reviewed by Bobby