Melissa discovers a massive King crab on her home’s shore off of Crabbe Creek, Nowhere, USA. Her fondness for the crab forces her to take it as her pet and naming in Pee Wee. Her scientist father works constantly and diligently in the basement, trying to create a genetically modified food source to nourish the billions of people that will overwhelm Earth in the years to come. When Melissa returns home with Pee Wee, she feeds the crustacean a handful of her father’s genetically enhanced grapes. The grapes cause Pee Wee to grow at a rapid rate, but when Melissa’s home blows up due to an experiment gone array that tragically kills both her parents, she’s left to be raised by naïve local sheriff uncle while she protects Pee Wee on her lake covered land. Twenty-years later, Melissa can no longer Pee Wee, who now goes by the name of Goliath, from slaughtering cattle, protecting it’s young, and seizing a small town full of trigger-happy rednecks!
Deep under the giant ocean of micro-budget directors, director Brett Piper is a name I’ve caught before on my critique fishing pole line. Nearly a decade ago, I viewed Piper’s biological terror film “Bacterium” and the estimated $30,000 E.I. Independent Cinema release had instilled hope in me that reviewing non-mainstream projects would be a promising venture and not an anguishing waste of time. Piper’s latest film “Queen Crab” distributed by Wild Eye Releasing continues to impress without the flashy green dollar signs. Working with “way less” than he had on “Bacterium,” Piper puts his unquenchable zaniness into hyper-drive, soaring through old time monster movies and creating one more lasting impression from a dying breed of late-night drive-in horror movies.
“Queen Crab” is a combination of Gordon Douglas’s “Them!” and Desmond Davis’s epic classic “Clash of the Titans,” cultivating similarities from both films. The stop-motion special effects animates the monstrous crab to life and creating a charming piece of movie magic. Pee Wee, the crab, is compiled of stop-motion animation, traditional effects, green screen, and literally minor computer imagery. Some scenes of Pee Wee look really fantastic while some obviously didn’t receive too much attention during post-production and that’s expected. Pee Wee, or Goliath when adult, looks phenomenally, and cheekily, stunning during stop-motion animation. Also, the superimposed backgrounds, creating an eerie atmosphere, adds to the bigger than life aspect of this small budget adventure.
A package like this comes complete with overemphasized, sometimes ear-aching, acting from a range of talented, yet novice, cast such as Michelle Simone Miller, Danielle Donahue, Rich Lounfello, Kathryn Metz, Steve Diasparra, Ken Van Sant and A.J. Delucia. When at first glance of the Wild Eye Releasing DVD cover, I wouldn’t have expected anything less from the multifaceted cast who look to be having just as much fun in being a part of the Piper project. The DVD cover does strike a familiar resemblance to Asylum Entertainment’s straight-to-DVD artwork with absurdity and does tell small tall tales with the explosive war zone artwork which is only half true, but Brett Piper and “Queen Crab” don’t try to create a facade and bluntly tells you, in the form of their artwork, that a giant crab ripping people to shreds and destroying stuff should be a film that never takes itself seriously no matter what the context the story is in.
The Wild Eye Releasing DVD cover defines the movie, but my real only gripe with this outside binding is why the synopsis. The backside synopsis doesn’t give an accurate portrayal of events and seems more tuned to classic monster movie scenario where a comet awakes a “centuries-old beast.” I don’t know what to say, but there’s certainly no comet involved. Other than that minor flaw, the DVD is accompanied with a good handful of extras that include a commentary with director Brett Piper and producer Mark Polonia, a blooper reel, behind the scenes featurettes, a sneak peak at Brett Piper’s “Tricyclops,” and trailers. “Queen Crab” creates larger than life horror, sci-fi, and fantasy fun for nearly all ages. I hope to see another Brett Piper creature feature film soon and hopefully it won’t take another decade!