Spiders – USA, 2000

‘Something very hungry’s about to hatch’

Spiders is a 2000 American science fiction horror feature film directed by Gary Jones (Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul BunyanBoogeyman 3Jolly Roger: Massacre at Cutter’s Cove; Mosquito) from a screenplay written by Stephen David Brooks (Spiders 2The Mangler), Jace Anderson (Fertile Ground; Mother of Tears; Mortuary; et al) and Adam Gierasch (Autopsy; CrocodileNight of the Demons; et al) from a storyline by Boaz Davidson (Day of the Dead: Bloodline; OctopusX-Ray).

The Nu Image-Millennium Entertainment production stars Lana Parrilla, Josh Green, Oliver Macready and Nick Swarts.

A sequel, Spiders 2, was released the following year although the plot line is unconnected.

Plot:

A DNA experiment on a rare breed of spider is taking place on a NASA space shuttle, when a freak meteor shower engulfs the shuttle, causing everything to go horribly wrong.

One survivor is found on the ship and watched over in a secret location deep in the California desert. The problem continues, as the survivor isn’t alone, deadly spiders emerge from his body and go on a rampage around the ship. Curious reporter Marci Eyre must now warn everyone before the spider reaches outside the desert…

Review:

“Some of the spider effects are, frankly, embarrassing, as hapless actors struggle with largely inanimate puppets like a 1950s Tarzan wrestling a rubber alligator. But stick with the movie, because once the spider becomes large enough to render in CGI it’s absolutely awesome! The giant arachnid rampages through the town, crushing cars and knocking down lamp-posts – that’s what we want to see!” Cult films and the people who make them

“There are parts of the movie where the effects are serviceable yet there are other scenes where they’re completely hilarious. For example the webs are thin rope and if you look closely, you can see the knots holding them all together. All in all, while not a good movie in the traditional sense, it’s still strangely enjoyable…” Curiosity of a Social Misfit

“Created by KNB, the spider effects are mostly pretty cool, especially in the balls-out finale, where the eight-legged creature terrorizes a retirement home — excuse us, we mean college campus — in broad daylight. What’s not so hot is the by-the-numbers screenplay, which seems to have been assembled using every stock line from the horror genre.” Flick Attack

“An unabashed cheesefest from start to finish, director Jones knows exactly where he’s going with this material and thanks to some impressive and high-spirited creature/gore work from the boys at KNB, it’s impossible not to enjoy the B-movie vibe. The acting is forehead-slappingly over-the-top […] but the campy goodness only greases the wheels.” Horror 101 with Dr. AC

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 […] Bring along a healthy sense of irony and “Spiders” can be quite fun…” Movie Gurus

“Just when you think the movie is over, with being yet another Alien-rip off (monster kills people in dark corridors), the story literary breaks free and we’re getting a big spider on the loose in full daylight, crashing cars and stomping on people. Just like the good old days. Gary Jones and his team had a blast when they made this film, it’s very clear! This is fun, fun, fun stuff.” Schmollywood Babylon

“Starts out faring better than most Nu Image product (and is enjoyably dopey) but soon crumbles under its weak script, poor effects and incredibly groan-able last third. Skippable stuff for sure though you have to ask yourself why people would take a college newspaper reporter so seriously.” The Video Graveyard

” …this is pretty fun stuff. The film does feel more like a mid-90s movie with the emphasis on practical FX over computer stuff (I’d say 90% is actual on-set FX). There is some CGI stuff at the end. While it is obvious, Jones still does a nice job of combining the computer images with stuff that was shot live (like the spider flipping over a car).” Video Junkie

Choice dialogue:

Marci Eyre: “That spider’s a killing machine. We’ve got to stop it.”

Cast and characters:

  • Lana Parrilla … Marci Eyre
  • Josh Green … John Murphy – Curse of the Puppet Master; Sweet Kill
  • Oliver Macready … Slick
  • Nick Swarts … Jake
  • Mark Phelan … Agent Gray – MonolithDoctor MordridServants of Twilight; Sea of Love; The Hidden
  • David Carpenter … Technician
  • Leslie Zemeckis … Emma (as Leslie Carter)
  • Mark Totty … Commander Hooper
  • Andrew Stoddard … Doctor Ellis
  • Jonathan Breck … Jacobs – Jeepers Creepers
  • Steven Sullivan … Max
  • Corey Klemow … Joe Martindale
  • Simona Williams … Loretta Martindale
  • H. Murphy … Phil
  • Billy Maddox … Colonel Dixon
  • Kate McIntyre … Receptionist
  • Nicole Tocantins … Moira
  • Timothy Di Pri … Flight Controller
  • Denise Lerette … News Anchor
  • Jullian Simmons … Levine
  • Stephen David Brooks … Lead Cop
  • Miss T … Bag Lady
  • David Ott … Phillips
  • Scott Alan Reiniger … Brice (as Scotty Reiniger)
  • Frank Murgia … Hooper as Elephant Man (as Franklin Murgia)
  • Mitchell Gordon … Man Behind Tree
  • Andrew Sugerman … Pilot
  • Glenn Smith … Pilot
  • Danielle Guthrie … College Student

Filming locations:

  • Camarillo and Los Angeles, California
  • Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, California

Image credits: Video Junkie

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