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Reporter Jan Raines (Jo McDonnell) is doing a feature story on the creative lab experiments on crabs by Dr. McNeal (Barry Nelson, the original 007). Naturally, something goes awry, but it isn't in the lab. See Jan's dad Frank just happens to own the local nuclear power plant and they just happened to accidentally dumped 40,000 of radioactive water into the nearby sea, creating one muther of a killer crab. Did I mention that Frank also just happens to be rivals with the Moody (Robert Lansing), the town bar owner who plays surrogate father to Jan's hunky lab assistant love interest Pete (Steve Hanks)? And did I mention Frank just happened to have killed Pete's parents in a drunk driving accident years ago? With all this "just happens" drama, who cares about killer crabs?
Crabs? Seriously, crabs? Yup, the little crustacean creeps are the main villains in the Florida lensed horror flick. One can only laugh during the early scenes where people are attacked by normal sized crabs. I mean, is it too much to close a door or, I don't know, run quickly in the opposite direction? To the film's credit, there is one huge 12-foot crab dashing about, but it only shows up on screen in the last ten minutes. I'll admit the design is pretty impressive for a low budget film. The script (co-written by the Creature from the Black Lagoon himself, Ricou Browning) is all over the place though. Despite Frank Raines being the cause of all this madness, he never gets his comeuppance. In fact, he is only shown once in the entire film. And, if you have a big ol' crab, you better blow it up. Here, they just poison it and it slumps down. Director Hernan Cardenas was one and done with this flick. Lansing earned his "battling big creatures" street cred with EMPIRE OF THE ANTS (1977) and continued in this fine line of work with killer cockroaches in THE NEST (1988).
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