Good luck reviewing a movie called Camel Spiders. If you knock it you're an idiot, because, let's be fair, it's called "Camel freaking Spiders." If you love it you're also an idiot, because what self-respecting film critic could ever say they had a good time watching, you guessed it, Camel Spiders?
Fortunately I'm split right down the middle on the adorably stupid and unsurprisingly Corman-produced creature feature called Camel Spiders. On one hand it has all the goofy dialogue and airy dry spells you'd expect from a low-budget horror flick about GIANT SPIDERS that attack a small town, and on the other: Camel Spiders does follow a simplistically enjoyable formula ... hell, it actually combines a few sub-genres into one flick. For example, we start out in Iraq, because how else is a camel spider supposed to get to American aside from hitching a ride inside of a dead soldier? This means we have a pair of soldiers driving into a small town, unknowingly carting a batch of ferocious mega-spiders in their truck ... and then a car chase breaks out. And a bad accident!
The camel spiders escape, and head straight for a bunch of teenagers who are making out in the woods! So for about ten minutes, Camel Spiders becomes an eco-friendly slasher flick. THEN we cut back to the soldiers and the local sheriff (remember that car accident?), which leads us to a diner full of broadly recognizable stereotypes, and that's when Camel Spiders sort of becomes "siege horror" for a few minutes.
You get the point. Most of the actors are pretty unimpressive (lead co-heroes Brian Krause and C. Thomas Howell know what they're doing, at least) and when it's not treating us to some basic-yet-enjoyable arachno-mayhem, the movie slows down to a crawl (ha) on more than one occasion -- but if anyone knows how to wring a little juice out of a concept as simple as "giant spiders attack town full of goofballs," it's Roger Corman. Although not particularly scary, the flick does have a few cool jolts up its sleeve, and the DVD version seems to have some dashes of gore that were absent from its SyFy Channel screening. The CGI effects, unfortunately, range from mildly passable spiders to annoying blood splatters to absolutely laughable cobwebs. C'mon, Roger! Rubber spiders and stage blood are cheaper AND cooler than digital junk!
Perhaps it's just my combined affection for Roger Corman and killer spiders talking, but for all its obvious low-budget silliness, there's still a decent dash of energy and amusement to be found here. Bottom line: if you've seen Kingdom of the Spiders, Arachnophobia, Eight Legged Freaks, Spiders AND Spiders 2, then you know precisely what you're getting from Camel Spiders. Which means you'll probably watch it some time soon.