They Crawl

They Crawl (2001)
Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Cast: Dennis Boutsikaris, Mickey Rourke, Daniel Cosgrove
Extras: Commentary Track

Nothing says Halloween like a grimy cockroach flick. ‘The Nest’, ‘Creepy Crawlers’, ‘Mimic’, ‘Bugged’ and the classic ‘Creepshow’ segment ‘They’re Creeping Up On You’, are roach-infested treats. ‘They Crawl’, the latest foray into the killer cockroach genre, shows promise but ultimately winds up a disappointing trick.

‘They Crawl’ belies its low budget with a nasty bus wreck, huge explosions and slow-motion shoot-outs. Unfortunately, these convincing elements also drag the movie down. The action sequences, as slick as they are, take precedence over the roaches and it becomes clear that director John Allardice is striving to become the next John McTiernan. A convoluted plot about a cult leader creating the genetically mutated roaches doesn’t help either.

The image on this DVD is solid. Crisp, clear and free of blemishes. Colors appear accurate, especially night sequences. Chapter 8 bolsters this claim as the main character in the film examines a dark, eerie crime scene armed with a flashlight. Detail is razor sharp as the flashlight picks up on various objects around the room. Sound is also excellent, especially for a simple Dolby 2.0 track. Rear channels remain relatively quiet but overall, dialogue is very clear and natural and the score swells brilliantly. Gunshots sound deadly as empty shells ‘clink’ on concrete.

Bonus features include a commentary track with director John Allardice and co-producer Neil Elman. Like other noteworthy commentaries, the duo swap engaging anecdotes on the production of the film. Fun, lively discussions cover all bases, including the budget, horror movie trappings and talent. It’s a nice addition for those who crave behind-the-scenes information. The packaging says a trailer is included but none could be found on my disc. Another Easter Egg, perhaps? Speaking of packaging, the artwork on this disc is utterly lame and does nothing to hype or sell the film.

‘They Crawl’ tries to brake new ground and doesn’t. Money spent on giant action scenes could have been spent on more swarming roaches. The final ‘Mama Roach’ creature is a pleasant surprise, alas, it’s too little too late. Only worth a rental for those looking for a quick, cheesy fix.