CRABS! (2021) Reviews of killer crustaceans comedy horror – now with trailer

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Crabs! is a 2021 American comedy horror film about a horde of murderous crab monsters that descend on a sleepy coastal town on Prom Night and only a ragtag group of outcasts can save the day.

Written, co-produced, directed and co-edited by Pierce Berolzheimer, making his feature debut. Also produced by James Ojala, Pete Paduano and Eric Sheehan.

The Ojala Productions-Young Gunner Films co-production stars Jessica Morris, Dylan Riley, Robert Craighead and Bryce Durfee.

“Mutated by nuclear runoff a horde of murderous horseshoe crabs descends on a sleepy California town causing Prom Night terror. As the deadly crustaceans claw their way through the disbelieving population, it’s up to a ramshackle band of students and police to address the increasingly ginormous crab menace in a love letter to such practical effects horrors as Gremlins and nostalgic Roger Corman classics.”

Our review:
Pierce Berolzheimer obviously intended Crabs! to be endearingly entertaining rubbish of the Troma variety. Unfortunately, it’s just rubbish. The plot and characters might have filled out a short but at feature-length, there is way too much dull filler.

The foreign exchange student named Radu is insultingly presented as a complete idiot and so every scene he’s in is painful. Overall, despite a short running time and the fun climactic battle on the beach Crabs! is mostly a difficult watch due to its gleeful stupidity.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Crabs! doesn’t make a lot of sense, and it doesn’t bother trying. Radu overstays his welcome quickly, too, with a random end credit theme song as an exception. But Crabs! leans into its low budget and uses that in its favor. It wants to provide a nonsensical time at the movies…” 2.5/5 Bloody Disgusting

” …it’s fair to say it tilts from a creature feature into a full-on Kaiju-meets-Power-Rangers climax. The result of which will either leave the audience praising its madness or shaking their heads in confusion. Crabs reminds us that sometimes, films don’t have to be incredibly engaging or thoughtful to be effective – sometimes, play, entertainment and escapism is just what we need.” Cinerama Film Online

” …outlandish, offbeat and almost exhausting in just how many sharks (or crabs?) it threatens to jump. By the credits, it feels like Berolzheimer and co. have surpassed the B-movie pantheon of “so bad it’s good” many times over. In fact, Crabs! is so bad at being “so bad it’s good”, that it almost loops back round to somehow being good again. Almost.” HeyUGuys

“The crabs themselves are a combination of obvious puppets and people in suits, with plenty of rubber on display […] The nostalgia is brought out from having giant crab beings that look like a Power Ranger villain of the week helps save face and keeps the movie the right side of funny. Although never quite cohesive enough to really connect to, Crabs! does still manage to be a pleasant enough creature feature on steroids.” The Hollywood News

Crabs! is silly and sometimes corny, but always entertaining, with solid performances driving its story. Berolzheimer knows exactly what he wants to do with this film, and he delivers the goods in a valentine to classic-era creature features (such as Attack of the Crab Monsters [1957], obviously, with more than a mere wink and a nod to Gremlins [1984]) done in the style of more recent send-ups such as Zombeavers (2014).” Horror Fuel

Crabs! has a lot of charming aspects: the lead character and his story arc, the great practical effects and creature design, and the crazy Power Rangers-like finale. The two leads are fantastic, and their friendship is very charming. But it’s ultimately dragged down by its runtime and pacing. The first half is too slow for what the premise is and 30 minutes, at least, could’ve been cut to make it a more concise film.” Jumpcut Online

“There’s a palpable sweetness to most of the silly comedy stuff […] It’s colourful and gruesome, clearly the work of committed monster lovers (the mostly practical creature effects are fun in a Toho circa 1972 sort of way), and might even have franchise potential.” The Kim Newman Website

“The central cast embrace the material with gusto and they’re all very good – something which can be a rarity in this type of low budget schlock fest. There’s plenty of comedy and heart on display – and you’ll actually care once these characters find themselves in peril. It’s not high art – but Crabs! is a fun B-movie if you take it on its own merits.” Movies in Focus 

Crabs! is totally stupid but stupid in the most clever, brilliant, fun (this film is really, really, fun!) way. It’s the antithesis of all these so-called “elevated” horrors we’ve been seeing recently; and by the time the film’s over, with its fun coda, I really wanted to see more of Philip and his crab-killer mech suit…” Nerdly

“Has its moments (final act ode to Pacific Rim is charming) but those moments aren’t enough to overcome its lack of professionalism and inclusion of an unfortunate, intentionally offensive supporting character.” Reelist

“The digitally created/composited beasts never look like anything but, while the practical creature effects by Jim Ojala and his team are rather more persuasive, if exaggerated […] For teen and older fans who can get into its goofball spirit and its clear love of animal-attack mayhem…” Rue Morgue

“The humour is crass and the story’s over the top, particularly when it comes to what we’ll call the ‘MacGyver’ moment, but even that is surpassed by the ridiculous climax. Crabs! is preposterous in the same way The Asylum and Troma movies are. If you can get over the offensive stereotypes and take it in the spirit in which it was no doubt made, you could have a lot of fun.” Starburst

“An Eastern European exchange student, Radu is meant to be the group’s comic relief character. However he’s such an over-the-top collection of stereotypes that not only isn’t he funny, he’s annoying as hell and borderline offensive […] If you can deal with that, however, Crabs! Is a load of goofy, gory fun […] but it probably would have been more fun if it had avoided the CGI and stuck to man-sized crabs…” Voices from the Balcony

Release date:
Crabs! had its world premiere at the Arrow Video FrightFest in London on August 26, 2021. The film is available to rent or buy via Amazon Prime

Choice dialogue:
Philip [Dylan Riley Snyder]: “You know, I’m getting really tired of this sh-t.”

Cast and characters:
Jessica Morris … Annalise Menrath
Dylan Riley Snyder … Philip McCalister
Robert Craighead … Sheriff Flannigan
Bryce Durfee … Hunter McCalister
Allie Jennings … Maddy Menrath
Katrina Moran/Landa … Willa
Dash Pomerantz … Sequoia
Kurt Carley … The Limulus
Justen Overlander … Queen Crab
Chase Padgett … Radu

Technical details:
80 minutes

Teaser trailer clip:


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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