The Pest (1997 film)

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For other films of the same name, see The Pest (disambiguation).
The Pest
Promotional poster for The Pest
Directed by Paul Miller
Produced by Bill Sheinberg
Jonathan Sheinberg
Sid Sheinberg
Written by David Bar Katz
John Leguizamo (story)
David Bar Katz (screenplay)
Starring John Leguizamo
Jeffrey Jones
Edoardo Ballerini
Freddy Rodríguez
Tammy Townsend
Aries Spears
Charles Hallahan
Music by Kevin Kiner
Cinematography Roy H. Wagner
Edited by Ross Albert
David Rawlins
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release dates
  • February 7, 1997 (1997-02-07)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$17,000,000 (estimated)
Box office $3,506,206 (USA)

The Pest is a 1997 American comedy film inspired by the classic short story "The Most Dangerous Game". Comedian John Leguizamo plays a Puerto Rican con artist in Miami, Florida named Pestario Rivera Garcia Picante Salsa Vargas (also known as "Pest") who agrees to be the human target for a racist German manhunter for a US$50,000 reward.


Critical response[edit]

The film was considered to be a critical dud though it has since gained cult status due to a bizarre premise: A Nazi who has killed and collected every ethnicity needs a Latino to complete his collection. Film website Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles reviews from a wide range of critics, gives the film a score of 9%. While Jeff Miller of the Houston Chronicle ops "This film is utterly without discipline or focus in a way that—to one's shame—one eventually finds oddly endearing", Dwayne E. Leslie of Boxoffice magazine said that "The script and Leguizamo's talents don't mesh, so the actor comes off as more offensive than funny." But Bill Hoffman of The New York Post gave the comedy three and half out of five stars. Staff Film Critic Mick LaSalle of "The San Francisco Chronicle" said of the lead actor's performance, "Obviously, someone must have told Leguizamo he's a comic genius. Whoever did that isn't his friend." [1]

Audience response[edit]

The film grossed $3.5 million on an estimated budget of $17 million. On the Internet Movie Database, the film has an overall rating of 4.3/10 with 4,308 votes. Director Paul Miller provided an audio commentary track for the film's 2001 DVD release. The film was rated PG-13 for crude sexual, scatological and ethnic humor.


External links[edit]