Dir. Pierce Berolzheimer
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
The film is problematic from the outset and really should have stuck within it's own limitations. While the great practical effects are on show mostly through the film, moments of poorly added CGI really lower the bar. Even when the full blown mayhem of the crabs hits the town, the evolution of the creatures becomes head scratching as any sense the film may have is lost. Tiny crabs evolve through balloons into giant Power Ranger-esque villains and even the bigger creatures in a finale of the Megazord battles featured on a Saturday morning. If David Attenborough was to do a documentary of these crabs, he'd burn them with fire. What set out to be a creature feature is actually just a hodgepodge of ideas stuck together with chewing gum and the further down the rabbit hole the film goes, the worse it actually gets.
In a film about survival, it's difficult to root for the survivors when they are so problematic. The central cast do well to carry the film, even the lecherous teacher fancying the school kids isn't problematic on the scale of this film's issues. Radu is a European exchange student who plays the stupid card so badly, the film could be used in schools to showcase discrimination. It's an absolutely terrible portrayal and is so distracting from the fun some of the other characters bring that it really weighs the film down. And when you think he's gone, he sings out the end credits. Actually having crabs can't this bad!
Creeping in the framework are some genuine moments of creativity, the creature designs work on their own and when they reach the town, the GREMLINS remake is a sight to behold and the film seems to be going somewhere more familiar. As the waves of crabs take over the town, all seems well and it becomes survival of the fittest however as mentioned, nothing quite gels and the only thing missing in the films climax is a wink from Dom Toretto saying it was all for family.
The film wants to be violent late night comedy but ends up no better than a Saturday morning kids show with blood. As such, it alienates probably it's most appreciative audience. This may gain cult status in the near future but only in the way THE ROOM has done so. Some would say CRABS! is knowingly bad, but either way, it's not good.