Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Giant Spider Invasion 1975 review

The Giant Spider Invasion
 or: "The Mist" zero budget

Ok, here’s what you need to make a monster movie:
- City model that you can wreak
- Forgettable character except for that one a88hole who’ll die in a horrible an hilarious way
- A f8ing monster

How do mess this up??monster movies are one of the easiest things to shoot, just have a guy in a suit throw a tandem tantrum in the model city you made out of cardboard boxes, have the characters have a little line of dialogue every once in a while trying to explain the existence of said monster, and BAM, instant classic.
I really want to like ‘The Giant Spider Invasion’, I really do. It’s a cult classic, the effects are hilarious and who doesn’t love giant spiders? But no matter how hard I try, I just can’t find a shred of love for it in my heart for this movie that I can only call as fail and damn shame on the whole ‘monster movie’ genre. But I’m getting ahead of myself, ‘what is this movie actually about’ you may ask?

Well, one day, for no reason other than ‘The plot demands it!’ (a very common motivator in most 1970s movies) a black hole decides to open in some nasty hillbilly’s pot field (now you might wonder why I said nasty, well, it can have something to do with the fact that the a88hole tries throughout the entire movie to get in his girlfriend’s younger and probably jailbaity sister’s panties)
As movie logic would have it, the entire earth doesn’t collapse upon itself from having the leftover of a dying star on its surface, but somehow creates a portal to somewhere else, and it’s not before long that the inhabitants of that other place decide to come and say hello to their new neighbors.

And thus begins the invasion of the giant spider…and you might see the first problem I have with this movie, the spider isn’t plural. Yup, an invasion can be carried out by a single individual, there goes a major selling point.
Although the spider isn’t entirely alone, it brought it’s pretty much completely harmless tarantula pets along. Their only purpose is to serve as minor inconvenience to the inhabitants of the town, or as foreshadowing of something bigger to come. And that brings us to our second problem with this movie. The first 40 minutes of this movie are the following:

- Stereotypical Americans having mind crushing painful dialogue.
- The harmless tarantulas (you know, the supposedly ‘fearful monsters’ of this movie) serving as mildly annoyance to the townsfolk, such as crawling up their legs with suspenseful music, only to be nonchalantly brushed off and stomped, or getting eaten by accident with no advance to the plot howsoever.
- Two idiots teaming up with the world’s friendliest sheriff to look for the black hole for 30 minutes while having tea and talking about scientific explanations that a five year old would come up with.
- Something about diamonds involving the spider eggs for some reason

Rule number one of monster movies, don’t try too hard to have a plot or character development, what people want to see in a monster movie is, and I know this might come over as a shock but, a f8ing monster.
If this movie would have been called ‘invasion of the mild incontinences’ then okay, I would have forgiven it for having one or two tarantulas crawling in the background of a scene. But it’s not the case, we want to see a giant spider the size of a car, not a “oh guess I won’t see that anytime soon in my garage but it’s still no real big deal” spider.
The real giant spider finally shows up at 38 minutes into the movie, in all its glory that would make the Halloween decorations look realistic. And then the movie finally becomes what it was meant to be: a giant spider eating people. It’s all we asked for, and it shouldn’t take a movie 40 minutes to deliver on its goddamn premise.
I guess it’s the same problem I had with ‘the Blob’, but at least the monster got out pretty fast and already a body count before the movie got to a grinding halt, and the dialogue was at least bearable, unlike this failure of a flick.
What I’m trying to say is that it gets better on the second half, but it doesn’t make up for its shallow and idiotic first half. Also, somehow this movie think it’s more spiritual than it actually is, it constantly drops a scene of a preacher screaming in our ears bible quotes for no apparent reason
I already said it, it doesn’t work it your not eating a Big Kahuna burger and rocking an afro.

But enough about the negatives, I guess the spider looks kinda cool, like one of these fake toy spiders but about 50 foot larger. It’s pretty hilarious seeing it walking in the background flaying it’s legs around like it just don’t care.
It’s pretty funny until the sheriff tries to stop the civilians from trying to kill the damn thing, and that’s apparently a bad thing? I get the whole aspect in which they put themselves in danger, but if your lazy ass ain’t gonna do it might as well be an angry mobs with guns? Ah well whatever, see if I care.

Final thought? Wasted potential at a great movie due to actually trying to have a story and suspense, points for trying I guess, but it shouldn’t take the first half of the movie to finally have some sort of payoff, or plot for that matter.

Things I learned from “The Giant Spider Invasion”
- A good movie title doesn’t make a good movie.
- Cars in Wisconsin explode when slightly tapped
- This movie really doesn’t help with the whole “Fat American stereotype”
- What to do when you run out of budget? Just scrap an ending that doesn’t make sense and that involves an incredible lucky shot and a whole lot of rewinding, and hope the audiance would already have left the theater at that point.

Personal rating: 5 / 10

Critical rating: 3.5 / 10

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