Red Cockroaches (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Cockroaches (2005)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The banal existence of a city-dwelling man in his twenties is forever shattered upon meeting a mysterious woman in this expressionistic, futuristic thriller from underground Cuban filmmaker Miguel Coyula. In a city ravaged by acid rain and overrun by mysterious crimson cockroaches, life is spent under the constant watch of the omnipresent DNA21 Corporation. Following the haunting appearance of his long-dead sister on a subway platform, a bored young man and his strange companion embark on a surreal journey into the secrets of their family past where nothing is taboo and the oppressive forces of the outside world watch his every move.


Critic Reviews for Red Cockroaches

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

An undeniably inventive, visually stunning sci-fier.

Full Review… | May 18, 2005
Top Critic

I grant you, it's not straight-up horror in the strictest sense, but there's enough strange stuff going on that I'm sure you'll be uneasy for most of it.

Full Review… | December 13, 2005
Dread Central

Folks who are looking for something odd and different are highly recommended to check this out.

Full Review… | November 29, 2005
Film Threat

The best way to describe Red Cockroaches is unattractive people doing vague things for no apparent reason.

Full Review… | September 16, 2005

I leave it up you to decide whether or not this film is worthy of praise, or just a squirt with a can of Raid.

Full Review… | August 19, 2005

Worth a look for its bravura, which should endear the movie most of all to prospective filmmakers with maxed-out credit cards and heads full of dreams.

Full Review… | May 18, 2005
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Red Cockroaches


An odd film that clearly takes its cues from forerunners like "Alphaville" and "Blade Runner" but suffers the constraints of a $2000 budget, "Red Cockroaches" is a flawed but worthwhile dystopian sci fi flick that is not for the squeamish. This is due to sex, not violence. There's a good deal of the former and very little of the latter, and since most of the squick factor comes from sibling incest, potential viewers should think carefully before attempting to watch. "Red Cockroaches" is set in a future in which pollution has led to mental illness in humans and mutation in insects, particular the eponymous roaches. The insects figure only marginally into the story, however, scurrying across the screen at key moments. The film mainly centers around the Zarrasky family. Sister Lily had been presumed dead in an accident nine years before, but she has somehow returned and moves in with her angst-ridden brother in New York. When they first meet, Adam doesn't know that Lily is his sister, and their taboo relationship begins (the allusion to the apocryphal story of Adam and his first wife, Lilith, is the underlying theme of the story). There are hints that Lily isn't the original; she may have been cloned by an outfit called DNA21, which apparently exercises a great deal of influence on the society. From here on, the story centers around themes of the effects of child sexual abuse, both on the siblings and the family as a whole, but this is only a glyph for what's happening to wider society as a result of environmental breakdown and a society more concerned with formalities than substance. While "Red Cockroaches" is an intelligent flick, it has some problems when it comes to the script. Lily first has and then loses her French accent (her accident and subsequent coma occurred in Paris), and the same actress appears in a TV commercial for DNA21. The actor who plays Adam's best friend, a scientist bent on being employed by DNA21, is insufferable in every scene in which he appears. Talia Rubel (Lily) herself lacks believability much of the time. The stand-out actors here are Adam Plotch (Adam) and Diane Spodarek (Krista Zarrasky, self-deluded mother of the incestuous siblings). Some of the digital effects and animation are less than believable, no doubt due to the film's lack of a budget. Even though the film is set in a future in which a character pays for a hamburger with a $200 bill and personal aircraft glide between buildings, the shops, cars and clothes in the shots make it obvious that the movie was shot almost entirely on the streets of modern-day New York. Netflix lists this as scifi-horror, but it isn't a horror film in the least. There's no gore and the monsters are entirely human unless one counts brief views of unusually-colored insects as monsters. This is mainly an allegorical drama about two characters and the breakdown of a stagnant society. As such, it's not bad and definitely an interesting freshman effort from director Miguel Coyula. It's telling of this film that Coyula's next effort, this year's "Memorias del desarrollo," is a story of personal alienation set against the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution.

Brian Seitzman
Brian Seitzman

A $2000 feature length film needs to be evaluated with a different set of criteria than most movies. What are those criteria? I dunno.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

This is one of the best indie films I've seen. The entire movie was done on virtually no budget! Amazing! I can't wait for the sequels!

Rachel Thomas
Rachel Thomas

Super Reviewer

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