Here, have more spiders, why not?
For this specific creature feature, we’re going back to very early 2000s, and also picking this randomly from recent additions to my personal DVD collection.
Sure as shit it’s not to celebrate a 20th anniversary release of the movie, when even the director, Jack Sholder, kinda doesn’t wanna hear anything about it and would rather forget Arachnid, even when people bring it up to say it wasn’t actually that bad.
A sentiment i do echo because this isn’t as crap as you might expect, and if nothing else, it’s not exactly done by a bunch of complete nobodies, as it was produced by none other than Brian Yuzna (Re-Animator, The Guyver, Crying Freeman, Dagon, Honey I Shrunk The Kids) and the special effects were done by Steve Johnson, behind fxs for movies like Species I and II, Nightmare In Elm Street 4, An American Werewolf In London, Big Trouble In Little China, pretty good resumè.
What this ultimately amounts to is that production values are higher than expected, and the special effects are fairly good, especially the gory ones, and the main giant alien spider does look pretty damn good. Sadly the digital effects (mostly shown in the prologue) are done in cheap looking CG that indeed gives away when it was made.
Everything else sadly isn’t worth of much note or discussion, but there is a plot.
A stealth jet crashes after giving chase to an alien starship using optical camouflage, making the pilot crashland into a nearby island, where the alien ship also crashed, and there both the pilot and a surviving alien are killed by a giant spider. One year later, Mercer (Alex Reid), the sister of the pilot accompanies Valentine (Chris Potter) and his group on the same island to locate her brother.
On the island they find most of the natives are either dying of spider bites or have mostly left, and after one of the mercs is attacked by an odd breed of ticks, the group finds itself stalked and killed by other weird mutated creatures, including an odd eel-arachnid thing and giant spiders.
I didn’t say “alien spiders” because i’m not sure, sure, a giant spider kills an alien in the prologue (poor unlucky bastard), by the same logic a butcher would gain cloven hooves or horns, but you see, i’m applying some thought to a script that is brainless as you can get for movies like these. Without stumbling into total non-sense territory, at least. Even if we don’t actually get to know why aliens showed up, we just don’t.
Whatever, the spiders are mutant AND were giant before that, it’s not like it matters, and the scenes with the spider goring people, the dream scene or the giant ticks bursting out of a mercs mouth at least contribute in giving some entertaiment to an incredibly run-of-the-mill b-movie, one that you will immediatly forget after watching, with uninteresting and not really that likeable character stereotypes milling about before they get killed off in a gruesome way, and a kinda abrupt ending.
At least the ending is a bit abrupt in the UK DVD release by Whv i watched, apparently there’s a bit more to the finale (according to the movie’s english Wikipedia page), but nothing major, just giving it more of a bad ending, as the characters were stupid enough to not think about.. well, anything.
Despite it being an incredibly generic killer spider b-movie with the wit of a dead sparrow, at the very least Arachnid manages to be an adequate way of killing 90 minutes, the acting is… passable, and there’s some amusement to be had if you don’t ask for anything more than to kill some time and boredom.
I still can’t exactly recommend it, as it’s pretty disposable, so watch it or don’t, there’s nothing to gain or lose regardless.
Again, it’s not that bad, but there’s no substantial reason to bother with it.