Spiders: when you can’t afford sharks or giant reptiles for your creature feature.
And because many people do find arachnids in general to be quite disgusting, so it’s no wonder they’re a constant for b-movies since forever, especially if they’re of giant size.
This time we have Camel Spiders, one of the many late 2000s/early 2010s Roger Corman productions (sporting the “Roger Corman Presents” label on DVD releases), this one directed by Jym Wynorski… credited as Jay Andrews as usual.
For consistency’s sake, i guess.
I swear i’m not doing this on purpose, i didn’t even knew he directed it, just bought the DVD for peanuts a couple of months back and figured it would have for a nice companion piece to the Arachnoquake review, among others. Since – as i already mentioned in the Arachnoquake review – SyFy commissioned a killer spiders movie every two years or so in early 2010s.
As the title tells you, this one is about camel spiders, which are actually their own species, not exactly spiders nor exactly scorpions, and have been subject of urband legends that exaggerate their size and their ability to paralize with their bite.
The plot sees american marines fighting terrorists (or people in robes dressed very hastily before filming) in Iraq, until camel spiders emerge from caves to attack the “terrorists”, which is good since both sides would have been at it forever with how much muzzleflash effects were used.
Some of these camel spiders enter a dead soldier’s body before they prepare his casket to bring him back home, and while traversing back to the southern parts of the US, the military van is accidently hit by a car, accidentally making the casket drop and freeing the camel spiders from it.
After that, the creatures start attacking some random “teens” in the desert and even people in the close city of Aberdeen, leaving the military captain (Brain Krause) and his sergeant (Melissa Brasselle, already seen in Wynorski’s Curse Of The Komodo) to ally with the local sheriff (C. Thomas Howell) and the locals to fend off the spider invasion…
There’s also a group of “students” (just as young as the “teens”) that were studing bark but also barricade themselves after witnessing camel spiders killing people, but it’s not like the two groups ever met, it’s just more crap to the fire to make the movie last almost 80 minutes, like the main group managing to not see the stupid, annoying kid with no sense of self-preservation “escape” from their view.
Like its characters, everything in Camel Spiders it’s dumb as a bag of hammers.
Some know names and faces (mostly Brian Krause) that will be familiar to genre fans, acting that hover from disinterested mediocre to quiveringly bad, plenty of bullshit B-movie situations, and loads of killer spiders rendered on screen with very cheap and bad CG, some visual effects that are embarassingly cheap even for a Roger Corman joint (they had to superimpose CG scenery of desert over the side windows of vehicles), it has pretty much all you might want from a very crap movie, aside from some funny moments, but at least Wynorski made a good call by not lingering on well… ANYTHING.
His direction here is “speed”, just make stuff happen fast. Not well, but fast, don’t give people time to think about the bullshit and underveloped subplots, characters, etc, just move on to the next scene and at least he knows how to do that, resulting in a very bad film that it’s ultimately not even that entertaining as a B-movie (i do like the ending at the drive-in, though), but it will kill 80 minutes in a passable way, and at least doesn’t feel like there are still – somehow – 40 minutes left till end.
Arachnoquake is EASILY better, and more entertaining. Not recommended, but still, there’s worse, so much worse, so much better, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
I’ve been in the abyss so much that garbage of this level doesn’t even faze me anymore.