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Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo (1977)

An airplane carring coffee beans from South America has some unpleasant stowaways: a hoard of tarantulas which overcome the pilots as the airplane is flying over an orange-producing town in... See full summary »



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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bert Springer
Joe Harmon
Deborah Winters ...
Cindy Beck
Mayor Douglas
Chief Beasley
Doc Hodgins
Charles Siebert ...
Rich Finley
Gloria Beasley
Edwin Owens ...
Alex Colon ...
Lanny Horn ...
Harry Weed
Jerome Guardino ...
H.L. Williams


An airplane carring coffee beans from South America has some unpleasant stowaways: a hoard of tarantulas which overcome the pilots as the airplane is flying over an orange-producing town in California. The airplane crashes, and the unlucky inhabitants of the town release the poisonous spiders into their midst. Once the town's officials discover that the tarantulas are responsible for several deaths, the tarantulas have already descended upon the town's only orange-processing factory. The town's citizens risk their lives to remove the tarantulas from the factory while the poisonous pests are rendered motionless by the transmitted sound of buzzing bees. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Its unknown cargo: hundreds of deadly tarantulas. See more »


Horror | Thriller





Release Date:

28 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carga mortal  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Not particularly frightening, exciting or worth paying any attention to... even if you manage to stay awake
21 April 2015 | by (Winnipeg) – See all my reviews

"Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo" is a critter feature that offers no scares and little thrills. When a batch of Guatemalan tarantulas finds themselves in a sleepy little American town, we have a crisis on our hands! Oh not so much that people might get fatally bitten by these arachnids. The real issue is that they have nested themselves In the shipping centre that contains all of the locally harvested oranges. They can't use pesticides to get rid of them because that would contaminate the fruit, but if they wait too long the produce won't be fresh anymore. Can you feel the terror already?! While the acting and sets are good, the story moves at a snail's pace and the stars of the show, the tarantulas, aren't used in any creative or inventive way. We always see the tarantulas simply crawling on the ground, slowly making it's way in the general direction of the would-be victims. It isn't frightening. Spiders are frightening because they can crawl on walls, hide inside little objects and appear at any moment. By using mostly static tarantulas (which are spiders that are easily recognizable and commonly known to be harmless) the scares simply don't happen. I also found myself restless during the beginning of the film. A long portion of the introduction is wasted on the setup where we meet characters that are simply killed off a few minutes later. This is precious time that could have been used to develop our main characters and make us care about them. Easy mistakes make the whole production look amateurish, particularly when you realize what the "real crisis" is.

Overall "Tarantulas: the Deadly Cargo" is dull and audiences won't be scared or excited to watch it. Although there are a few jokes at its expense that can be made, even as a "so bad it's good" kind of film it's not terribly entertaining. (On DVD, November 16, 2012)

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