Investigating the mysterious deaths of a number of farm animals, vet Rack Hansen discovers that his town lies in the path of hoards of migrating tarantulas. Before he can take action, the ... See full summary »
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Bert I. Gordon
John David Carson
Investigating the mysterious deaths of a number of farm animals, vet Rack Hansen discovers that his town lies in the path of hoards of migrating tarantulas. Before he can take action, the streets are overrun by killer spiders, trapping a small group of towns folk in a remote hotel. Written by
Ross Horsley <email@example.com>
During the assault on the town, a white Mustang careens into a parked car. During the wide-angle shot, only the driver is visible. But, in the close-up after the crash, a female passenger is seen sitting upright in the passenger side just before she crawls out of the wrecked vehicle. See more »
Hey I'm sorry about what happened the other day.
Dr. Robert 'Rack' Hansen:
I don't know what you're talking about lady.
Rack, your a funny man, You want be with your brother's wife, but you take care of her like you were. Isn't that like buying the cow and giving the milk away?
Dr. Robert 'Rack' Hansen:
You don't quit pestering me, one of these mornings I'm gonna show up and start milking that cow.
Well, make sure your hands are warm.
[Rack giggles and holds his hands up in a clawing manner]
See more »
When I was a kid, I remember vividly seeing all of the movie Kingdom of the Spiders, but to date, I only remember certain scenes. Also, I remember as a whole, it freaked me completely out.
Sure, I had and still have arachnophobia, so since most horror movies, especially the haunted house/ghost stories of late, don't scare me, I'll always turn to these (Eight Legged Freaks, for example) no matter how preposterous just to get a little (or a lot) frightened. The producers/writers/directors aren't stupid; they know what audience (ME) would be freaked out.
Yes, Kingdom of the Spiders is an absolute B-movie, but honestly, it wasn't all that bad. Of course we're given the typical corny explanation: insecticides have killed off all of the tarantulas normal meals, so they've mutated, tolerated each other (which apparently, they're quite anti-social) and now are moving on to larger prey. To me, a non-scientist/biologist/spider-doctor, that doesn't really make much sense: all prey is gone, so the population multiples a thousand fold? Get past that, and the fairly slow opening hour with Shatner doing his typical womanizing and you're in for a treat. I can see what scared me as a kid, when they finally revealed the little killers in masses.
Picture it: Camp Verde, AZ. Small (in this movie pintsize) western town. A prize cow dies somehow and owner is worried just about being "quarantined" by the town's vet doctor, Shatner. In comes a potential love interest all the way from Tempe (in reality, it would take probably 2-3 hours max to make the trip, but they make it seem like it's a trek (yeah, I had to toss a Shatner-term in) from NYC.) She's concerned about the 5x lethal venom from spiders.
Throw in some anti-pesticide speeches, and more animals die. I guess the tarantulas were too timid for humans, or they simply ran out of animals as they started with the livestock/pets first. Soon, the people are attacked and like all of the "When-Animals-Attack" films, a group of diverse survivors hold up in a cabin to wait out the onslaught.
Now, I've been to Camp Verde, not in 1977, per se. I actually arrived in AZ in 1981, but nevertheless, I've visited it, and it didn't look anything like the movie's version. In fact, I recall, in the early 80s that they had actual working phones, not 1920 phone props. Nevertheless, this obvious Jaws/The Birds-rip-off does have its effectiveness. And a seriously disturbing, open-ended finale. I loved the final shot.
Not for everyone, Kingdom of the Spiders is still recommended for those wanting a B-Movie scare out of those eight legged freaks. In reality, it's a helluva lot better than most spider-ambush movies made since.
(Side Note: I love the Stolen-Star Wars poster's tagline above a tortured man with a torch: "A Wild Science Fiction Nightmare." Let's dissect all that. It doesn't take place in space, nor is there any real war (the humans were no match for the tarantulas.) No one had a torch, though someone seriously tries to get away by shooting a gun. It's never really wild if you see the town, the wildest thing that could happen some actually driving from Colorado for their annual fair. Science Fiction? OK, that one is where someone should draw the line and actually sue for false advertising, though George Lucas probably was prepped for the look of the poster. And finally, nightmare. OK, that one I would agree. You get even one of the 50,000 tarantulas used on me Freddy would have enough ammo for my next three nightmares.)
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