In the Arizona desert, Professor Gerald Deemer is experimenting with growth hormones in the hopes of finding a way to increase the world's food supply. His partner in the project was recently found dead in the desert, suffering from a disease that normally takes years to advance but, in his case, seems to have afflicted him in only a few days. The local doctor, Matt Hastings, is puzzled by the strange case and, with Deemer's recently arrived (and very pretty) assistant, Stephanie Clayton, tries to figure out what is going on. When cattle remains are found in the countryside, evidence points to a giant tarantula as the culprit. Written by
In Desert Rock, Arizona, a disfigured man is found dead and identified by Professor Gerald Deemer (Leo G. Carroll) as his assistant and friend Dr. Eric Jacobs, who would suffer from acromegalia. The country doctor Matt Hastings (John Agar) is puzzled with the mysterious disease and decides to investigate further about acromegalia. Professor Deemer omits that Dr. Eric Jacobs and Dr. Paul Lund were researching with him a nutrient to increase the food supply in the world and they have been affected by the experiment. Soon Paul Lund, who has also been affected and is mad, breaks and sets the laboratory on fire and a huge tarantula escapes.
Meanwhile, the gorgeous Stephanie "Steve" Clayton (Mara Corday) arrives in town to work with Dr. Jacobs, and Dr. Hastings drives her to Professor Deemer's house in the desert. She is hired by Deemer and she finds that he is sick. When cattle bones are found in a farm, Hastings collects material and flies to a laboratory, where he learns that the sample is of tarantula's venom. But the scientist does not believe that one tarantula could ever produce such quantity of venom. The doctor returns to Desert Rock sure that the species is part of Prof. Deemer's experiment and the locals are threatened by the dangerous tarantula.
"Tarantula" is a typical sci-fi of the 50's and a surprisingly good film. The screenplay is very well written and the movie is supported by good direction, performances, cinematography and special effects. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Tarântula!" ("Tarantula!")
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