Spiders (Gary Jones, 2000)
[originally posted 4Apr2001]
Gary Jones, the man who gave us the inimitably bad Mosquitoes and various episodes of Hercules and Xena, is back with yet another movie about big bugs with bad special effects. My local vidshack had this as a two-day rental, something usually reserved for popular films (to keep them on the shelves, natch), which led me to the illusion that it might actually be a worthwhile movie. More fool me.
Once I figured out that it was typical Grade-Z shlock, I wanted to like it. Really. Some of Hollywood’s best films of the 80s are on this scale of badness (Night of the Creeps comes to mind, and the wonderfully silly Troll). Problem is, those movies had something that transcended the stupidity. Maybe they just didn’t take themselves seriously—a flaw this film has in spades.
It is, however, the first leading role for up-and-coming actress Lana Parrilla (who also popped up in a much more minor way in last year’s cult hit Very Mean Men), who, if there is any justice in this world, will be a supermodel soon. Her performance—at least until the obligatory love story crops up towards the end of the film—is the only thing that makes this halfway watchable. Had they spent a few more million on special effects and gotten a better supporting cast, it might have been watchable all the way round; of course, it wouldn’t have been a Gary Jones joint, either. *