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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Spiders (2000)




Monster movies are my thing. Really, I love them so much. Give me a giant bug or alien rampaging and ringing up a body count and I’m in heaven. So, when I met director Gary Jones at a recent convention and he told me about his mutant spider movie I was interested. When he also mentioned that it was mutated with Alien DNA I snapped a copy right up! I’m a sucker for this kind of thing.

The government has some strange ideas when it comes to science. Like flying spiders into space and injecting them with Alien DNA. What could go wrong? Well solar flares or radiation or something… Basically the spider gets loose and starts to kill. Do they let it burn up in reentry or strand it in orbit? Heck no that is a valuable specimen! They fly it to a secret base in the desert instead. It crashes just in time for a conspiracy loving journalist and her friends to see and investigate. They end up trapped in the underground base after sneaking onto a truck and get caught up in the craziness that follows. The spider kills, eats, grows, and repeats. It gets mighty big. And just when you think it is over things kick up a notch. Good times are had by all, except maybe the people the spider eats…

God, I love cheesy monster movies and this is an excellent example! From the very beginning we are introduced to a mysterious government agent that could give a damn about anyone but his spider. Astronauts? Who cares. Soldiers ordered to capture the spider getting killed? Suck it up. It is a totally over the top example of a genre staple and fits perfectly in the story. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and wants the audience to have the same attitude. Listen carefully when the spider is stalking a couple of people in a web and you might notice a very funny musical choice.

This isn't going to end well for him!
There are times that the low budget shows, especially with some of the CGI. And a couple of the actors aren’t great. The locations are limited to a college campus, crash site, and generic underground base. The first and last are fairly generic. I mean how many times do we need to see a water treatment plant or refinery stand in as a secret base. But I was surprised at how well they pulled off the crashed space shuttle.

The practical makeup effects work is great. Then again once I saw the KNB crew in the credits I expected some quality latex fun. We actually get some on set rubber spiders for the cast to interact with. They look decent and give the movie an enjoyable old school feel. The kills are fairly tame, but we do get an awesome transformation scene towards the end where a spider “hatches” from a person causing them to explode! Toss in some melting victims and lots of pulsing blisters for fun.

I love this movie. Practical effects work, tongue in cheek story, and a director that is in on the joke. This is the kind of silly monster movie that I loved growing up and continue to go out of my way to find. I highly recommend checking out Spiders.


© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer


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