WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
After the joy that was Piranhaconda and Alien Tornado I felt that Tropical Mary had to be roped in at some point to join in the fun. This one, admittedly, was a mixed bag of tricks. At points it felt strangely competent for a Syfy movie, but at other points was on the brink of embarrassingly amateur. All of that said and done, though, a movie about blind, fire-breathing spiders from the depths of the earth can be nothing but fun. It also brought out a very bizarre mothering instinct in me whenever the baby spiders came streaking onto the screen; there was just something incredibly sweet about their little squeals…
It’s a beautiful day in New Orleans: the sun is out, the hookers are packing up from a hard night’s work and the remnants of Katrina have just about been cleared away. Katelynn and her kids, Justin and Anabell, are about to take a tour of the historic city while husband Charlie drives a female baseball team back home. A small earthquake struck the city the previous night and has left small portals to hell littering the streets, but this isn’t enough to dissuade anyone from undertaking a little sight-seeing. Mom and kids are being taken around the city by bus driver Paul who, although being threatened with death by his father Roy should he screw this up, is clearly very hung over. That’s nothing a quick adrenaline rush can’t take care of though, which he and the other passengers get when spiders ranging from a few centimetres to Irish Wolfhound start coming out of the ground.
Now these are particularly nasty little spiders. They’re very fast, they use echo location to find you, they’re very good jumpers, they lay their eggs in people, they drain your eye juices for food and shoot fire at you when they’re pissed. Paul gets the group away from this particular lot of spiders (despite being seemingly unable to identify exactly what it is he’s driving), but to be honest Paul’s a bit useless and it doesn’t take long for the spiders to catch up to the group. Insect repellent doesn’t do an awful lot to slow them down, although a tin of canned peaches to the forehead will take out a little one. Deciding that running is a better option, Paul takes those members of the tour group that weren’t eaten back to his father and sister Petra to see if they can come up with a new and better survival plan.
It was at this point that Tropical Mary thought it would be a brilliant move if the bigger spiders grabbed a few of the smaller ones and used them to do jazz hands, but sadly this never happened. Instead, through a series of unfortunate twists and turns, the group finds themselves running through a forest trying to save themselves. Turns out escaping by boat isn’t a viable escape plan when the spiders are part Jesus and can run on water. Why subterranean spiders would evolve the ability to walk on water is another story, but this is bringing logic into a situation where none is warranted. The army’s called in to try and eradicate the problem, but Katelynn (because she’s an 8th grade biology teacher) cuts one of the spiders up and realises that they don’t have brains. If that’s true, what exactly is controlling the hordes that are busy rampaging through New Orleans, and will the army be able to kill it?
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s never a good idea to be drinking and tour guiding.
- 30-year-old men can’t run to their dads every time they’re being attacked by giant, fire-breathing spiders.
- Certain spider species make Hanna-Barbera sounds when they fly through the air.
- People native to New Orleans are biologically incapable of stepping on a spider.
- Any rudimentary knowledge of high school biology qualifies you to lead a military campaign to eradicate giant insects.
- New Orleans albino spiders are huge fans of mariachi music. This explains their highly developed vocal chords.
Year of Release: 2003
Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 3.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Yay! The first cheese of 2011! And this little wonder has absolutely blown me away with its sheer terribleness. Since starting my little project of critiquing the worst horror movies I could find and sharing this wonder with other people I have tried to categorise the movies properly so those who want to watch them know what they are getting themselves into. I have done this primarily because, although it is a wonderful site, IMDB doesn’t always get it right: some movies with great ratings are terrible and some with terrible ratings have turned out to be highly enjoyable. But since the beginning of the B-Horror Blog only one piece of cheese has held an Awful Rating of ‘Requires Post-Film Lobotomy’. It brings me much happiness to start 2011 off by adding Arachnia to this elite group of crappy horror movies.
Let us begin our little adventure on a tiny charted plane busy flying through a meteor shower. On board we have pilot Sean Pachowski, horny Professor Mugford, Mugford’s PA Chandra Weaver, pseudo-stoner grad-student Deke and the whiniest dumb college sluts to ever grace a b-horror, Trina and Kelly. This little band is headed to Arizona where Professor Mugford is helping with an archaeological dig but, unfortunately for them, a meteor strikes the earth and its shock waves force the plane to land / crash in the middle of nowhere. Having escaped the plane crash the survivors go off in search of shelter so they can bed down for the night before hiking to the nearest town in the morning.
After stumbling upon an abandoned house, breaking furniture for firewood, drinking 100-year-old moonshine and the sluts stripping naked to take a bath the team is discovered by gun-toting Moses Cobb, the owner of the house (although he admits that he wouldn’t live in it, what with it being a shit hole and all). Despite being armed with a gun the sluts manage to calm Moses down with their perky breasts, whereupon they all sit down to continue a pleasant evening of smalltalk and moonshine. In a very bizarre twist conversation turns to the corpse of a giant spider out in the barn and Moses insists that Professor Mugford come out and look at it. Mugford (hopefully the movie is making fun of itself here) insists that the spider must be a fake made of plastic and chicken wire and refuses to take the old man seriously. Rightfully insulted Moses then invites the rest of the group to come back to his house for the night while Mugford is forced to sleep in the barn with the spider corpse.
Back at the house while Deke snores and the sluts decide to do some lesbian experimentation, old man Moses swears that he sees the giant spider running around the side of the house. Blonde Slut swears that she has seen it too, but naturally nobody takes that kind of thing seriously. Sadly for them blonde sluts and gun-carrying, moonshine-addicted hillbillies are always right when they say they’ve seen a monster and we discover that the same meteor that struck the plane out of the sky has also unleashed a swarm of rare and vicious spiders that begin to descend on the household in hopes of catching a fresh dinner. Now these spiders are not only rare because of their sheer body size but also for their means of movement: stop animation. Stop animation was a huge thing in every 1950s creature flick, but to see such a method of animation used with such amateur precision in a modern movie is something truly spectacular.
And to round it all off is the beautiful and ambient piano music that plays throughout the entire movie.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Falling stars make ‘swoosh’ noises as they burn through Earth’s atmosphere.
- Falling stars explode like green fireworks at random.
- When a large-enough meteor crashes into the Earth it sends up a green aurora.
- You can make a plane by attaching wings to a VW minivan.
- Despite being in a plane crash you can easily walk away from the scene without any injuries or any sign of the accident.
- Spiders growl.
- Spiders can start their lives in one of two ways: either being born a spider or starting as a larva and working your way up to a proper spider.
- It is perfectly natural for frozen tundra and desert wasteland to occur side-by-side.
- Dynamite doesn’t damage buildings, only insects.
- Caves will not collapse when a truck-load of explosives go off in them.
- Having a gun means people will do anything you ask.
- Moonshine makes you act drunk but doesn’t actually make you drunk.
- Never trust sluts with perimeter defense during a monster insect onslaught.
WHAT THEY’RE ABOUT:
Sometimes a bad idea is just so bad that one movie couldn’t possibly contain it. But appearances can be deceiving: despite having the same underlying concept, level of awful, titles that imply that the one follows on from the other and virtually identical DVD case, these movies, in fact, have nothing to do with one another. Giant spiders are everywhere to be found, but sadly the same is not true of talent or cohesive thought.
The first Spiders film starts in outer space, an apparently new space for research into genetically modified insects. As luck would have it, just when one of the spiders is roaming free, a meteor shower strikes the shuttle, leaving the spiders to escape and forcing the remaining shuttle crew to make a surprisingly good emergency landing back on earth. School reporter Marci and her little team of sidekicks coincidentally happen to be in the middle of the same desert the shuttle crash landed in, and go to investigate.
Having moved the sole survivor of the shuttle crash to a top-secret underground bunker, US government scientists continue to keep an eye on his hideously advancing mutations as the little spiders inside him start to grow. The top-secret bunker is broken into by Marci and co., where they begin to discover the truth behind the experiments that have gone wrong. They must now outwit US agents, outrun giant spiders and make it back to school in time to reveal the truth in its weekly newspaper.
So much for that “plot line”. Spiders II: Breeding Ground takes place on a ship way out in the middle of the ocean. Loving couple Jason and Alex are sailing out on their yacht having a lovely romantic time when a storm appears from nowhere and they lose their sail. Thankfully, Captain Jim Bigelow’s enormous ship just happens to be sailing nearby and he happily picks them up (for dinner) and helps them to a round of mysterious injections that no-one cares to explain.
Meanwhile, on board the ship, Dr. Gerbac and his team of mad scientists are researching the effects of breeding giant spiders. The biggest spider Gerbac keeps as a pet that needs to be fed the odd human corpse to be kept happy, while other semi-alive captives are used as incubators for the spider eggs. Needless to say, experiments like this never quite go according to plan and the spiders, in all their various sizes, escape and begin to hunt down the human population of the ship. John and Alex now need to find a way to safety while John begins to feel the strange effects of the injections that were given to him earlier.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Spiders roar really loudly.
- When enlarged to the size of the White House, spiders actually become quite dainty on their toes and begin to resemble ballerinas.
- It is quite simply to make a crash landing with a space craft.
- Spiders don’t feel the effects of zero gravity.
- Despite having some of the best security in the world, US government bunkers can be easily infiltrated by a group of teenagers so long as they take the lift.
- Spiders have a lot of rage when it comes to moving vehicles.
- When hung out of helicopter on a windy night, teenage girls are remarkably accurate with a bazooka.
- Spiders the size of houses can easily climb up a ship’s stairwell.
- Carrier liners frequently change size while travelling at sea.
- Having 10 or so giant spiders on top of a ship will not cause it to sway or tilt in the slightest.
- Spiders enjoy a good tug-o-war for a live human if the human is also tied to a helicopter.