February 8, 2013
Tibor Takacs and Joseph Farrugia
Christa Campbell as Rachel
William Hope as Colonel Jenkins
Patrick Muldoon as Jason
Small asteroids tear apart an abandoned Soviet space station, causing its orbit to degrade and one of the modules to plummet to the surface. It rips through a Manhattan street and comes to rest in a subway tunnel. Officers of the NYC Transit Authority investigate the crash (the incident failed to interest the police apparently) and discover tarantula-size spiders in the vicinity. They kill with a single bite and lay eggs in their victims. Soon the military arrives and establishes martial law – claiming there is a lethal virus contaminating the area. Teaming with a Russian Scientist, Colonel Jenkins and his troops attempt to find the queen spider to turn the material it spins into a weapon. They send out soldiers disguised as thugs (the dog tags are a giveaway) to kill anyone who knows about the spider eggs. Yet, decades earlier, the Soviets spliced the spiders with alien DNA which enables them to rapidly grow in size and intelligence. Can Tunnel Transit Supervisor, Jason, rescue his daughter from the quarantined area before the military can kill her? Before the Queen Spider can kill her?
Where to begin? There are so many terrible things about this movie. As many of you probably gathered, there is not so much a story as tired clichés awkwardly crammed into 70 minutes of disjointed action. For much of the film the spiders aren’t even the primary focus so much as the military recklessly hunting down civilians. The plot holes –more appropriately designated plot craters – are massive and leave many unanswered questions. The most pressing of them (and this is a bit of a spoiler): What happened to all the spiders at the end? Did they vanish? Suddenly they just weren’t there anymore. There are also more prosaic ones: How come the cops don’t show up until the last five minutes? Why does the military keep using bullets when the spiders are clearly bulletproof? (Do our soldiers no longer carry grenades and our helicopters, rockets?)
Still more disappointing, the movie fails to meet even minimal expectations for a monster flick. The spiders are mostly seen in dimly lit areas where the poor quality CG effects are not as recognizable. Yet, there are enough daylight shots for viewers to appreciate that they are not scary or even believable. When attacking someone they somehow rubberize themselves and become eerily similar to fake tarantulas boys use to scare their sisters at Halloween. The spider webs are also reminiscent of my favorite holiday and little effort was put into making them appear to be anymore than the mess of cotton we string out on our front doors for the trick-or-treaters to see. Also, the alien DNA seems to have endowed the spiders with vocal chords that produce cacophonous roars when chasing people. Strangely the volume of the roars increases the further away the spiders crawl. I could go on…
Yet, despite all of these flaws the most irritating of them is that this is not a horror flick. Shockingly, in a movie depicting mutant spiders killing people at will, there is no gore and there are no scares. There was a trickle of blood when a supporting character died. That’s it. It seems as though Writer/Director Takacs went out of his way to not include these basics that may have compensated somewhat for his lack of interest in developing a coherent narrative.
This film is a heaping pile of… well, you know. I haven’t even touched on the poor acting and lack of character development. It takes talent to make a movie soooo awful in so many different ways. It’s almost admirable.
This one’s worth half a Freak Head, but at times the execution was so poor that I laughed out loud and know many would find themselves in hysterics during some of the cliché moments. Hence, I’ll throw this bout of projectile vomit a bone and bump it to one.