In a sense, i’m way overdue for reviewing this, not that i was getting emails about it, but because i realize i should have seen and reviewed this before Lavalantula and the sequel, 2 Lava 2 Lantula, especially the first one, who in hindsight sound a lot like a parody of that one, but featuring the bus driver as lead instead of the washed up celebrity played by Steve Guttenberg (and yes, that movie realized the irony in that casting), just taking place in New Orleans instead of California and this time the spiders are coming out due to an earthquake caused by fracking, instead of being long lost cousins of Phantom incased in magma for millions of years that woke up and started the eruption.
Then again, these spiders are albinos, breath fire, and also seem to be fans of Lucio Fulci, given their – otherwise unexplained – taste for eyeballs, so yeah… it’s basically the same movie (the spiders even hatch from people), but not done in a tongue-in-cheek way that borders on parody, and it’s from a familiar name that has been featured a lot on Wise Cafe International, genre director Griff Furst, also responsible for the time-travel dinosaur movie 100 Million BC (already spotlighted during Dino Dicember), the slasher Maskerade, Killer Shark and Trailer Park Shark (again, both already featured here) and mockbusters like I Am Omega, going back a lil’ further.
I could try to describe the plot in some more detail, but really, i might as well describe the entire movie scene for scene, not that it will make very different from the thousand of trashy TV movie about giant monsters and/or killer animals. This one has cheerleaders in it, i don’t know what else you may want to know without reading a in-depth synopsis on Wikipedia.
No, the spiders AREN’T cheerleaders as well, nor they desire to. I think.
That said, the movie is earnest, unpretentious, but in the right way, so it comes off as comforting, honest and self-aware enough about its own dumb nature, making the usually cliched characters like the dumb southern hicks come off not as offensive but as the usual B-movie stereotypes, old as time and here born of good nature, like the jolly but dim old farmer, with the extra of budget Dale Gribble, conspiracy theorist that believes earthquakes are caused by aliens.
I mean, you don’t need to study much cinema to say so, just to see an old man golf with one of the albino spider, like he’s Scrooge McDuck in a Duck Tales game. XD Or a spider waiting for the green to cross the road, very polite arachnid this fella.
Aside from these moments, the movie goes by fairly quickly, no wasting 30 minutes in half-baked drama, inane conversations that go on and on, or padding about characters we’re never gonna see again, we go straight to what you want to see, and it’s funnier than you would think, which i don’t take for granted just because the movie is dumb as hell, i’ve seen plenty of these that wanted to be funny but were just more unsufferable because they didn’t have any good timing or real comedy to go along with the stupidity of the premise and characters.
Here you happily go along with the bullshit, because it’s entertaining and will make you genuinely laugh instead of just smirk, instead of having you and friends improvvise a Rifftrax commentary because you’re bored as ball, and for a SyFy TV movie… it’s almost like seeing an unicorn. Ok, a kelpie. Ok, not so much, but for movies like these, you gotta treas- try to enjoy the ones that aren’t complete crap and just make for review material than actual things humanoids would willingly watch, or skirt by since they make you “technically not bored” but also not really entertained.
Mind you, this is the typical throwaway TV monster movie, aside from the titles, the monsters and some of the funny scenes, it will fade from your memory and mesh into the same strange pot of spider monster movies, i don’t know why, but in the early 2010s SyFy commissioned a lot of these, heck, the year before there was Camel Spiders, the year after Big Bad Spider!, and the Lavalantula movies. The latter being better than Arachnoquake, but at least this has a less tortured pun for title.