title of Spiders is a bit of a misnomer: Spider (singular
instead of plural) would be more apt since we never really get to see more
than one spider at a time unfortunately. Think Eight Legged Freaks,
but after severe budget cuts and you'll know what I mean.
The spider in question is aptly named ?Mother-in-Law? (ho, ho) and is the
product of NASA injecting alien DNA into a tarantula spider. (Now you
know where your tax money is going to . . .) All of this is done in
the weightlessness of space aboard the space shuttle, Solaris.
Oh, I should have told you: Spiders is filled with unexpected movie
in-jokes and humor, which is sort of nice since its makers obviously knew
that they were making a silly creature feature B-movie and decided to have
some fun with it all. Along the way we have aliens from Alpha Centauri
with New Jersey accents, the truth about the ultimate fate of Jim Morrison
and John F. Kennedy and even lines from other movies (such as
Star Wars -
"I have a bad feeling about
this . . .") stolen verbatim.
The space shuttle Solaris is however struck by a solar flare (oh, the
irony!) and Mother-in-Law escapes, and promptly starts killing off the
astronauts. Solaris has to make an emergency crash landing at a top secret
facility imaginatively called Area 21.
Having no doubt seen Capricorn One, NASA
however tells the public that the shuttle has burned up in Earth's
atmosphere. Only problem is that at that very moment a college newspaper
journalist named Marci (Lana Parrilla) and her two male sidekicks are
investigating said top secret government facility and sees the whole thing
happen. Now, how's that for a coincidence?
Marci (who like X-Files? Fox Mulder is a true
believer) decided to take the word of mentioned aliens with New Jersey
accents and investigate said government facility in the Californian
desert. Luckily for her and her two cohorts (do you really need three
people to cover one story for a college newspaper?) security at the highly
secret facility is quite lax, and before you can say Nancy Drew they
manage to infiltrate it.
Of course said monstrous CGI spider is also on the loose inside and we
soon have the prerequisite running though dark basements scenes. Things
however pick up later when said spider goes on rampage at Marci?s college
and we have L.A. cops with pump-action shotguns in hot pursuit, not to
mention out heroes with a uranium depleted shell shoulder-mounted rocket
launcher in a drab olive green helicopter with no visible markings. ("Hold
one cop exclaims, "That's a government helicopter."
Spiders has clunky dialogue, bad acting, cheap (but not as bad as
you'd expect) special effects and plot holes large enough to fit a mutant
spider of Godzilla-like proportions. Yup,
it's a bad movie all right, but at least it is reasonably energetic and
fast-paced. There are even two genuine startles (it is however not
THE DISC: Region-free PAL distributed by UK-based Hollywood Ltd.
who specialises in either long-forgotten flicks (such as
Final Countdown) and straight-to-video crud
(such as this). Full screen transfer isn't too bad though and the sound is
clear enough also considering the movie's el cheap-o origins. The trailer
is of the 1970s variety: narrator-less and gives away the entire movie
- don't watch it beforehand!
WORTH IT? It's a bad movie on DVD for only the fraction of the
price of a good one!
RECOMMENDATION: Bring along a healthy sense of irony and Spiders
can be quite fun in the way only cheesy straight-to-video fare can be.