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
Leo G. Carroll and the film's title, "Tarantula," are mentioned in the song "Science Fiction Double Feature" from "Rocky Horror Picture Show." See more »
Prof Deemer takes special care to fill the hypodermic needle inside an isolation box wearing rubber gloves; however, once filled, he pulls it out of the box with his bare hands and then removes air from the needle by shooting a little bit of serum out. Had the toxicity of the serum been that dangerous, he probably would have done that with the needle still in the box and would have worn gloves while handling the needle outside the box. 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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