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Kiss of the Tarantula (1976)

PG | | Horror | May 1976 (USA)
A disturbed teenage girl unleashes her pet tarantula against her "enemies."


Chris Munger


Warren Hamilton Jr. (screenplay), Daniel Cady (story)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernesto Macias ... Walter Bradley (as Eric Mason)
Suzanna Ling Suzanna Ling ... Susan / Daughter
Herman Wallner Herman Wallner ... John / Husband
Patricia Landon Patricia Landon ... Nancy Drury
Beverly Eddins Beverly Eddins ... Martha / Wife
Jay Scott Jay Scott ... Bo Richards (as Jay Scott Neal)
Rebecca Eddins Rebecca Eddins ... Susan / Age 10
Rita French Rita French ... Joan / Susan's friend
W. James Eddins W. James Eddins ... Sgt. Wes Matthews
Jared Davis Jared Davis ... Dr. Morgan
Stratton Leopold Stratton Leopold ... Eric Craig
Mark Smith Mark Smith ... Joe Penny
Mary Tyree Mary Tyree ... Hamilton / Nurse
Ron Prather ... Bob Havens (as Ronald Prather)
William Guhl William Guhl ... Wayne Richards


John Bradley operates and lives in a mortuary along with his wife, Martha, and daughter, Susan, who collects tarantula spiders and has always been ostracized by her friends because... well she's a little bit strange.When Susan discovers that mommy dearest is plotting to have dear old dad killed by her secret lover, who is also dad's brother, she places a tarantula in mommy's bed while she sleeps. Abruptly awakened by the spider, mom dies of a heart attack. This bizarre little episode apparently puts sweet little Susan over the top. Later as a teenager, Susan uses her pet tarantulas in acts of revenge against her terrified classmates, who have been tormenting her for way too long. And innocent looking Susan doesn't stop there, making good plot use of her father's mortuary and her creepy little playmates! Written by jleepix@bootbox.net

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


So silent. So deadly. So final.




PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

May 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tarantula See more »


Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema-Vu See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Tarantulas are a favorite of science fiction and horror directors because they look menacing, are slow moving, and photograph well. But in truth, the bite of a tarantula is not as deadly as the movies make it out to be. Their fangs are small and cannot penetrate the skin enough to reach anything vital. And even if it did, the poison is not particularly toxic to humans. See more »


The paramedic does not cover the face of Nancy, the dead girl, with a sheet when they are taking her body away. There is an abrupt cut in the film at this point probably because of this. See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

19 February 2016 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Mortician's daughter Susan Bradley likes to play with spiders, much to the disgust of her adulterous mother Martha (Beverly Eddins), who is having an affair with Susan's uncle Walter (Eric Mason), the local sheriff. When Susan overhears the cheating couple plotting to kill her father, she releases a tarantula into her mother's bedroom during the night, scaring the woman to death.

Years later, Susan (now played by Suzanna Ling) is still obsessed with spiders, keeping a collection of the hairy horrors in the basement of her father's funeral home. After a group of school bullies start to make her life a misery, Susan once again uses her eight-legged friends to settle the score, and finally gets even with her pervy Uncle Walter.

Scaring a victim to death with spiders isn't the most reliable way to commit a murder—not everyone is arachnophobic, the critters might run away from rather than towards the intended victim, or they might simply get squished—but as unlikely as it might seem, the plan works like a dream for Susan, making this a very silly film indeed. This might not be a problem, but director Chris Munger's handling of the action is so uninspired that the whole thing proves rather dull as well as daft.

As a card-carrying arachnophobe, I should have been on the edge of my seat every time the spiders are unleashed; instead, I was merely bored. Kudos to the actors who let the tarantulas crawl over their face and hands, but it really wasn't worth the effort. For a much more enjoyable '70s spider feature, watch Kingdom of the Spiders—it's got William Shatner in it, for starters…

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