A large spider from the jungles of South America is accidently transported in a crate with a dead body to America where it mates with a local spider. Soon after, the residents of a small California town disappear as the result of spider bites from the deadly spider offspring. It's up to a couple of doctors with the help of an insect exterminator to annihilate these eight legged freaks before they take over the entire town. Written by
Shaun Ouimette <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The small spiders used in the film were Avondale spiders (Delena Cancerides), a harmless species from New Zealand that were provided by Landcare Research in Auckland. Despite their fierce appearance, this spider is docile member of the crab-spider family and are, in fact, harmless to humans. They were not allowed back in New Zealand for quarantine reasons. The giant "spider" used in the film was a species of a bird-eating tarantula, which attains an 8" legspan or more. Those types of tarantula are not easy to handle and can give a nasty bite. The spiders in the film were managed and handled by famed entomologist Steven R. Kutcher. See more »
After the Margaret's party where Doctor Jennings (Daniels) is introduced to village residents there is a shot of Margaret's feet as she enters her house followed by a spider. There is a noticeable 'Wobble' and the camera position shifts slightly as the frame is cut after the actress passes before the spider enters. (The spider would have been filmed separately then the shots spliced together.) See more »
Dr. Ross Jennings:
Come on, let's go find that spider. And let's find your mom to take care of that spider. Honey, we're in the living room. We need you to kill a spider.
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Guaranteed to have some viewers squirming in their seats.
Longtime Steven Spielberg associate Frank Marshall made his directorial debut with this slick film, a thriller with comic overtones that capitalizes on the inherent dislike many human beings take towards spiders. Marshall does succeed at making this an engaging bit of business that's exciting and suspenseful when it needs to be, in addition to being funny. It's well paced, with lots of well orchestrated animal action enhanced by some terrific effects work by Chris Walas. The story is well cast right down the line, from the leads to the supporting players to the character parts.
During a scientific expedition in the mountains of Venezuela, a tropical arachnid sinks its teeth into a photographer, then hitches a ride back to America inside the mans' coffin. It ends up in the small town California town of Canaima, where it soon mates with a local spider and produces legions of lethal offspring, which attack the local citizens. Forced to become the unlikely hero is the new doctor in town, Ross Jennings (ever likable Jeff Daniels), who just so happens to have a debilitating fear of spiders.
Co-starring are Julian Sands as an authority on arachnids, Harley Jane Kozak as Ross's patient wife, and a priceless John Goodman as a goofy exterminator who comes complete with his own comic musical theme. Other familiar faces include Stuart Pankin, Brian McNamara, Mark L. Taylor, Henry Jones, Peter Jason, James Handy, Roy Brocksmith, Kathy Kinney, Mary Carver, Juan Fernandez, and Frances Bay. The excellent score is by Trevor Jones.
The movie isn't without silly and unbelievable moments, but in general it's solidly entertaining, with a particularly intense finale in a cellar.
Recommended to those who are always up for a fun "creepy-crawlie" tale.
Eight out of 10.
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