Dave White
Spiders Review

Dave's Rating:



When it comes to movies I don't believe in guilty pleasure. Pleasure just is. One film is well made and another isn't, but both hit their marks in their own way. This imaginatively titled piece of It Is What It Is is one of the isn'ts. And here are some reasons to seek it out:

*It's distributed by Millennium Entertainment. Whoever runs this operation has an almost-perfect nose for complete garbage (save for last year's Bernie, the exception that proves the rule). Since confidently strutting onto the distribution stage in 2011 they've released the idiotic hostage thriller Trespass with Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, the idiotic ESP/spoonbending thriller Red Lights starring Robert De Niro and the idiotic Kate Hudson-has-anal-cancer drama A Little Bit of Heaven. You can superduper trust these cats to deliver the goods.

*It was directed by Tibor Takacs. Oh, you don't know him? Well then you didn't watch his earlier stab at cinema, Mansquito, which is the greatest TV movie of all time (and yes, I saw Tori Spelling's Mother, May I Sleep with Danger; it lacks mansquitoes and is, therefore, a distant second place). Takacs is also responsible for Megasnake. He should have all the Emmys by now but I bet he doesn't. Just like Hitchcock or whoever.

*It's about giant space-spiders that crash down onto a New York City-styled soundstage located somewhere in Bulgaria. Its authenticity and grit evokes true-NYC moments from Glitter and Central Perk on Friends. The spiders thrive here and grow to a large size in a short amount of time and make a variety of hungry animal noises. Sometimes they snort like horses. Sometimes they growl like lions. Sometimes they amuse one another with various half-assed Godzilla-like screeches. Then they eat people. So that's good.

*The giant spiders are finely code-crafted, as good as anything in Sharktopus.

*It stars Melrose Place alumnus Patrick Muldoon and Christa Campbell of Erotic Confessions fame. She was in Mansquito, too, as well as another Takacs TV movie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It's great when filmmakers build a Mercury Theatre-style family of performers. They're his Joseph Cotten and Agnes Moorehead. Muldoon pronounces espresso "expresso."

*Scripted dialogue would appear to have been replaced with a variety of suggestions for improvisational commentary. That way, for example, when Muldoon and Campbell's young daughter (Sydney Sweeney) is rescued from a giant spiderweb, all she has to do is mutter the word "spiders" and the audience gets exactly what she's talking about. Nothing's wasted here.

*Many of the other cast members are Bulgarian and they deliver English with a perfectly flat affect so that lines like "this [giant space-spider-infested death trap] is an evacuation zone" and "we're under martial law" are stripped of their urgency and all other distracting performative qualities. Bresson used to do take after take to make his models reach that purely cinematic space. Shows you what he knew about filmmaking.

*In a valiant post-production attempt to insure a PG-13 rating, F-words are actually bleeped, erased from the soundtrack. That means you can take the kids. If they can't read lips they'll never know the difference.


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