Kingdom of the Spiders

The Internet Movie Database       Movie Reviews

A bunch of tarantulas come to town…

It was the New Year’s Day Videofest. Our theme: Animal Attack movies. We had just seen Jaws and were in the mood for something really lame.

And this was it! William Shatner and Woody Strode (an Otter Family Favorite Actor) star as the local vet and a rancher…cattle and other animals (including a DOG, anathema chez Otter where movies in which the dog dies are generally NEVER shown) are dying of poisonous spider bites. Oh, look, there are lots of tarantulas, wonder if there’s a connection?

The budget for this movie was so low that they had to use real tarantulas. This was hilarious because:

  1. They had to take what they could get, which meant adding an explanation for a bunch of DIFFERENT kinds of tarantulas coexisting
  2. They didn’t have enough money for a lot of them, so someone would say, OH MY GOD, THEY’RE COMING UP THE ROAD…and the camera would cut to said road, where about 20 of the little beasties would be ambling towards us…not real scary.
  3. The tarantulas are so poisonous that by the middle of the movie, several bites = death to humans. With hideous blood and skin effects. Sorry, guys, but American tarantulas are just not that poisonous unless you’re allergic to them. And of course the super poison does NOT work on major characters…
  4. The tarantulas spin webs EVERYWHERE. Ditto above, true tarantulas do not spin webs like other spiders or wrap their prey. They sometimes line their burrows or wrap their egg cases with silk, but that’s it.
  5. And the best for last: in the scenes where people have to RUN THROUGH THE SWARMING TARANTULAS OH NO!…you can see them carefully placing their feet so as not to hurt any of the cute little critters, instead of stomping as many of them flat as they can, which is what would normally happen.

This one is silly, but better than many in this genre and budget range.

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