Star: Karl Geary, Alexis Dziena, Amanda Plummer, Rebecca Mader
About the only credit this deserves is for trying something different; the hero (Geary) is a creepy, largely unsympathetic shut-in who sees, Rear-Window-like, the arrival of the giant roaches in the apartment opposite. Indeed, much of the film is seen through the lens of the camera he uses to take his voyeuristic pics, and most of it takes place in the single location of his bedroom as he tries to convince people of the danger. But the execution is simply horrible. Petty is not, and will never be, Hitchcock, and fails to grasp that we watch this series for giant cockroach attacks depicted in loving, explicit detail. Instead we get shadowy, lurky somethings where it’s near-impossible to know what’s happening, and characters who, almost without exception, are immensely irritating.
The film improves marginally when Lance Henriksen appears briefly (before running off to cash the cheque, presumably) as a bug expert who believes this war is already lost. Otherwise, the sole decent sequence has the hero trying to hide in a fridge, lit entirely by flashes of the interior light as the roaches claw at the door. The rest varies between dull and irritating – even at 76 minutes, it significantly overstays its welcome. After this pointless “homage”, should we expect Petty’s next film to be Citizen Roach? Or Cockroachablanca? Either way, we aren’t holding our breath.