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The Giant Spider Invasion (DVD)

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Genre: Horror / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Bill Rebane / Actors: Steve Brodie, Barbara Hale ... / DVD released 2007-04-02 at Boulevard Entertaiment / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      04.07.2012 23:29
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      Pretty much what you'd expect from a no-budget 70s film about giant spiders from space

      The original 1975 promotional poster for 'The Giant Spider Invasion' is absolutely fantastic. It's an endearing throwback to the days of classic 50s post-nuclear monster films like 'THEM!' complete with the brilliant tagline of "CREEPING!....CLAWING!...CRUSHING!". Check it out on Wikipedia.

      I can see why any kid back in 1975 would be desperate to sneak into the theatre to see it, and indeed a quick glance at imdb.com turns up numerous reviewers warmly reminisching about their childhood memories of excitedly watching this ridiculous homegrown creeper on the big screen.

      Filmed on location on a budget of what seems like about 50 dollars, the film is about a small wisconsin town that is terrorised by giant spiders that arrive at Earth via meteorites.Tiny at first, they quickly grow to humongous sizes and set about devouring the local populance. The central characters all seem to be drunken, greasy and overweight, from the wobbling, incompetent sheriff to the philandering, girdle-wearing farmer who thinks he's struck lucky with the intergalactic diamonds he finds strewn about his fields amongst the metorite debris. The story is initally typical small-town drama, but before long people are being sucked up into the maws of giant arachnids like nobody's business.

      The spider effects are excellent. By which I mean terrible. One woman is attacked in her kitchen by giant, protruding spider arms in what looks like a bizarre exceprt from an episode of The Muppets. And when we see the Giant Spiders in all their glory, it becomes apparent that they are in fact VW Beetle cars covered in fur with long pipecleaners for legs. It looks about as realistic as it sounds. The direction and cinematography are pretty excruciating, and some shots are so badly illuminated that it's hard to see anything but blackness. The acting and dialogue meanwhile are flat-out rubbish. I wouldnt be surprised to learn that the actors were all just locals wo turned up to audition, like in the legendary Troll 2.

      There's lots of bland, nonsensical exposition in the form of some equally uncharismatic science types wandering around waffling on about black holes. I'm not quite sure what happens in the end. I seem to recall that the scientist chap throws a flare at the head spider, causing it to turn into several thousand gallons of multicoloured goo.

      It's a terrible, terrible film, but as piece of a painfully bad 70s drive-in horror-trash, it's pretty fun

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