|Submitted by BronxBoricua34 |
(Jul 21, 2004)
I saw this movie in theaters and I thought it sucked big time. I really don't like horror movies that are funny and not scary. I think the idea of giant arachnids sinking their fangs into you and sucking your insides out should be horrifying. Instead we have dumb jokes, spiders laughing and giggling, and characters just coming back from the grave (remember spiders paralyze prey and then liquify the internal organs for easier feeding before cocooning) with just a strand of webbing on their clothing.
A waste of time and money.
|Submitted by Gareth Austin |
(Aug 01, 2003)
As the title suggests, here’s a fun film that offers the viewer a pleasantly diverting 90 minutes of entertainment that doesn’t require much in the way of brainpower and concentration. Everyone in front of and behind the camera plays it with tongue firmly wedged in cheek. However it’s more an affectionate homage to those old 50’s big bug movies than a straight spoof.
All the clichéd situations and characters are here (though I don’t think the spiders are metaphors for Communists nowadays). Still, clichés are no bad thing. It ensures everything’s nicely familiar. Unlike the 50’s though, the cause of the trouble is toxic waste rather than radiation, but it’s still us humans abusing the planet that ultimately causes the problems (social message over).
The good guy is Chris, returning to the desert community of Prosperity after 10 years away. His mine owning dad has died and Chris has returned to see if he can find a fabled seam of gold.
The female interest comes in the shapely form of Chris’s ex-love who is now the local sheriff. She has the obligatory kids – a daughter who uses a stun gun as a form of contraception and a son who is the inevitable junior know all. He’s bespectacled, befriends the local spider collecting oddbod, knows the technical names for spider parts and is the first to suss out what’s going on (in other words he’s escaped from a Spielberg film). He has one of the better lines when he points out, after spilling his giant spider theory to Chris, that no one believes the kid anyway.
The mayor is the bad guy of the film, but in all fairness he’s not an entirely unlikeable sort of bloke. You can’t help but feel a bit sorry for the guy despite the fact he’s a loser and his underhand allowing of toxic waste to be dumped in the mine is what causes all the problems.
The best character is the paranoid DJ who broadcasts to town from his mobile studio. To say that he makes Fox Mulder seem level-headed would be an understatement! He sees aliens, conspiracy and cover ups everywhere and is especially disturbed by the alien’s indiscriminate use of anal probes. He has the best character scene when, despite his belief in all things alien and out of this world, he can’t accept the ridiculous idea of giant spiders until a big hairy one overturns his mobile studio.
So those are the main characters, what about the plot? Simple really. Toxic waste has infected the local bugs that the spiders live on and as a consequence they’re growing to alarming sizes. With the local wildlife no longer satisfying them they turn for something a bit meatier – humans. A few individuals disappear before there’s a big attack on a group of biking teens. The film climaxes with an all out attack on the town where the locals, or what’s left of them, hole up at the mall. It ends in the mine where the missing folk are discovered cocoon wrapped. There’s a chase through the mine and the climax is satisfying and suitably explosive.
For most viewers this film will stand or fall by the spider f/x. Well the good news is that they’re pretty good. The spiders can leap tens of feet at a time to land on their fleeing prey. There is the odd lumbering tarantula who can get through security doors and turn over cars and mobile studios, but I think he’s just there to look good! There are several good set pieces – the teen bikers’ chase and the town rampage being the best. On a smaller scale the unseen fight between the deputies cat and a spider in the walls and ceiling of his house is fun with the poor cat’s imprint being left around the walls and ceiling. As a bonus, when shot the spiders explode in a very satisfying blast of snot green splatter!
As I’ve said, this is played tongue in cheek. Some reviewers in the magazines have had a grizzle about this, but you can’t take big bug movies seriously nowadays. To be honest I find the idea of a small poisonous spider lurking beneath my toilet seat one hell of a lot more scary than a lumbering tarantula that I can se e coming a mile off! I think the makers have just about got the balance right. So here’s one to enjoy with a pint, popcorn and the brain box idling in neutral.