FEARNET Movie Review: 'Spiders'


Spiders 3D PosterYou already know what you're in for if you sit down to watch a movie called, simply enough, Spiders. (Doubly so if the film happens to be also known as Spiders 3D.) You're going to get a plot that's been old hat since about 1958, a bunch of airy narrative wheel-spinning that exists mainly to stretch a few crazy spider sequences into a feature-length film, and (obviously) a bunch of spiders running amok and attaching themselves to all sorts of unfortunate people. In the case of Tibor Takacs' half-draggy and half enjoyably stupid Spiders 3D, you'll get all of that and more. Or less, depending on how you approach goofy monster movies about gigantic mutated spiders.

There's only so much charity one can afford to such a plainly low-shooting piece of B-movie silliness, but at its best moments Spiders (3D) does manage to evoke the mutated creatures flicks of the '50s and '60s. Unfortunately screenwriter Joseph Farrugia and schlock veteran Tibor Takacs seem willing to coast solely on the wackiness of their premise instead of on their follow-through. Long story short: mutated space spiders that are the communists' fault have crashed into a New York subway that looks a lot like an alleyway in Bulgaria. After about 55 minutes of character development, plot set-up, and a few additional moments of blather tossed in for good measure, we get a few eye-tickling moments of ultra-arachnid movie madness. But if you've already seen a few movies like this, then you've already seen most of what Spiders has to offer. (Hell, this isn't even the first movie called "Spiders" to pop out of this production company.)

One solid measure of a C-grade B-movie about mega-spiders can often be found in its cast, and at least this time around we're offered familiar faces like Patrick Muldoon (Starship Troopers), Christa Campbell (Mansquito), and William Hope (Aliens). Spiders offers very little that's new and even less that's particularly clever, but at least the performers approach the material with a small dash of humor. Hey, in a movie this familiar, every little asset helps a bit.

For all its Lifetime-worthy subplots and pointless deliveries of exposition about where the damn spiders come from, it's hard to deny that Spiders does deliver some amusing moments once all the chit-chat is finished with. The special effects range from plainly clunky to unexpectedly impressive from shot to shot, but the moments of mayhem offer some energy and creativity that most of the flick's first half desperately needs. In that respect, Spiders (3D) is indeed a lot like the "giant sorta insect!" movies of the '50s "Red Scare" era: simplistic politics; numerous scenes of set-ups and explanations, and then a handful of crazy sequences that you'll probably enjoy if you actually dig movies called, well, Spiders. It's only slightly better than a SyFy Channel movie, but you watch those too, I bet.