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Lynda Day George,
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Michael V. Gazzo
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>
When Rack Hansen and Diane Ashley arrive at Terry's farm, they get out of Rack's truck and close the doors. A moment later when they rush back with Rack's niece, Linda, the truck doors are open. See more »
Top notch nature-on-the-rampage thriller takes its time getting started, but emerges a real grabber. It's extremely well directed (by John "Bud" Cardos), with lots of great animal action. It's solidly acted by a sturdy cast led by the almighty William Shatner. It builds to one hell of an intense "Night of the Living Dead" style climax, intercut with catastrophic scenes in the local town that makes one wonder how the characters can possibly hope to prevail. The onslaught of ferocious tarantulas is awe-inspiring.
The Shat, at his charismatic best, plays "Rack" Hansen, amiable small town veterinarian who calls in big city entomologist Diane Ashley (70s B movie hottie Tiffany Bolling) when faced with the death of rancher Walter Colby's (Woody Strode) prize calf. She realizes that the cause of death was injection of spider venom. Soon scores of tarantulas swarm through the desert, attacking humans and other larger life forms basically because the over use of DDT has eliminated the arachnids' normal food supply.
Shatner, Bolling, and the always excellent Strode are well supported by Lieux Dressler, David McLean, Natasha Ryan, Altovise Davis, Marcy Lafferty (Shatners' then-wife, playing his sister- in-law), Roy Engel, and Hoke Howell. The movie is nicely photographed by John Arthur Morrill on picturesque Arizona desert locations. The images of numerous extras covered with tarantulas - and webbing as well - is pretty chilling. There's a touch of "Jaws" in the screenplay by Richard Robinson and Alan Caillou in that the local mayor (Engel) doesn't want anything to hurt the success of the county fair going on. And the implications of that final shot are spooky.
A very fine movie of its type.
Eight out of 10.
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