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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?


There are four family members that act in this movie. Beverly Eddins (mom) plays the mother, Martha Bradley, W. James Eddins (dad) plays Sgt. Wes Matthews, Rebecca Eddins (daughter) plays Susan Bradley at age 10, Susan Eddins (younger daughter) plays Susan at age 5. See more »


When Susan is lying on her bed reading a book, before her uncle enters the room, she is wearing stockings. Moments later when her uncle accosts her and they are wrestling on the staircase, she is no longer wearing stockings. See more »

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User Reviews

A girl in desperate need of a psychiatrist in a town in desperate need of a cardiologist
30 December 2016 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

From the first scene, little Susan seems troubled and is fascinated with spiders. She considers them her pets. And why not? Mom has all of the warmth and maternal love of one of dad's corpses on a slab. Dad is a mortician and full of love for his daughter. The actress playing mom is pretty stiff in her role (no pun intended) and actually seems much too old for the part she is playing. She is having an affair with her husband's brother, a cop. Susan overhears mom talking on the phone, figures out who she is talking to, and overhears their plans to kill her beloved dad.

So Susan waits until mom is asleep and puts her pet tarantula on her. Mom awakens, doesn't jump out of bed, just lays there in terror, and then has a heart attack and dies. Mission accomplished. Dad is safe. Susan grows up. Her age is never specified, but it seems that she is in high school because she is walking to school with a backpack. Although, like mom, she seems about ten years too old for the part. By this time Susan has many tarantulas as pets in the basement and she is still the apple of her dad's eye.

Pretty soon Susan is solving all of her problems with bullies and the kids who broke into the mortuary and killed one of her pets spiders by planting spiders on them when and where they least expect it. In every case they don't run away, they just sit there screaming with the spiders crawling on them and die of a coronary. Never have I seen so many healthy young people die of heart attacks.

Now that Susan has matured, Dad's lecherous brother begins to have the hots for her, bothering her and getting just a little too affectionate. Blech! The girl is your niece! To make matters worse he's the local DA, and he and the cops are stumped at all of the deaths occurring around town. To make matters even worse he wants to run for state Attorney General. But for some strange reason he sends his brother out to campaign while he shadows Susan with his tongue dragging the floor. Usually voters want to hear from the candidate, not his brother.

This all comes to a head with the DA committing a terrible crime himself, and Susan wreaking a completely ironic justice upon the guy that for once did not involve her spiders.

The dialogue is wooden and the acting uninspired. And then there is the case of the high schoolers that look like they are in their 30s and the convenient way all of the victims die at the sight of a spider. However, this is a case of something you just don't see anymore - an independent low budget film with actors so anonymous you wonder why they bothered to give them names in the movie different from their actual names. For several of the players I think this was their only credited role.

For me, it is an artifact of the last days of drive ins, and for that reason I enjoyed it. It is so authentic, so not mass produced, so something that no movie studio would have any part of today that it is just a guilty pleasure of mine. Your mileage may vary.

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