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
The spider that portrayed the giant tarantula later appeared in The Incredible Shrinking Man as the spider that threatened the shrinking man. See more »
In one shot of the tarantula crawling over the mountains, the matte is cut incorrectly, so that one of the spider's legs seems to disappear in mid-air. See more »
What's the score, Doc?
Dr. Matt Hastings:
Twins. Cutest things you ever saw.
Hey, they're keepin' ya busy these days.
Dr. Matt Hastings:
The desert, it gives people wonderful ideas. Check the ship, will ya?
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This is one of those films which starts off with a bang, slows down with a big lull in the middle section, and then finishes strong.
Kudos to the special-effects people to make the giant tarantula scenes look pretty good, even by today's standards some 50 years after this was made. Many times, the huge spider looks real while it's crawling down the road. I would like to have seen one or two more scenes of it in that middle section which would have kept viewers on edge throughout the film. Instead, it got a bit talky in spots.
Anyway, it still entertained and it was fun for me to see Leo G. Carroll, a guy I saw each week growing up watching "Topper" on television. Carroll played, by far, the most interesting character in this movie.
The acting was good in here, too, once again above '50s sci-fi standards. It was one of the better entries in the recently-released Sci-Fi Ultimate DVD set, offered at Best Buy. A pretty good transfer, too.
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