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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw this movie when I was about 12 years old, having already been traumatized by the tarantula horrors of "Arachnophobia" a few years earlier. Not only did it make my arachnophobia much worse, it was my favorite movie for several years!
"Kingdom of the Spiders" was one of the first horror movies to feature normal everyday spiders as villains (earlier films such as "Tarantula" and "Earth vs. the Spider" has made the arachnids giant in order to scare an audience). As far as my memory serves me, the only other movie prior to this that used normal-sized spiders as villains was "Kiss of the Tarantula"! The cast of "Kingdom" is sort of a potpourri of 70s drive-in movie names: Tiffany Bolling of "Wicked Wicked" and "The Candy Snatchers"; William Shatner of countless low-grade B-movies and "Star Trek"; Lieux Dressler of "Truck Stop Women"; Woody Strode of "Black Jesus"; and Altovise Davis, Sammy Davis, Jr.'s wife who attempted a movie career. The cast is fabulous and is for the most part above average for this kind of movie. A noticeable face in the crowd is Adele Malis as the sweet older lady on vacation with her husband in peaceful Verde Valley. She is funny and lovable and creates great sympathy from the audience! I love her! The music is a mix of Dorsey Burnette country songs (the best of which is the title song "Peaceful Verde Valley") and music stolen from THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode "To Serve Man"!
Now for the main reason anyone would see this movie: the spiders. They are horrifying! The first appearance of one is when a mechanic feels inside a tire in a shack to see if it's full and is bitten by a hidden tarantula! It's quite a shock and is one of many. They are everywhere! I would dare to say that "Kingdom of the Spiders" is equal to, if not better, than its latter-day companion "Arachnophobia". Both deliver the goods to their audiences (you will be looking under chairs and between blankets weeks after seeing this movie!), the only difference being the budget and the professional cast of "Arachnophobia".
"Kingdom of the Spiders" isn't too hard to find and if you do find it to rent or buy, do so! There are too many great scare scenes not to be missed and an ending that socks quite a punch! The obvious warnings are given to those with SEVERE arachnophobia and those would like to get some sleep after watching this movie.
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