“I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth and there arose smoke out of the pit, as if a great furnace… and out of this smoke came locusts onto the earth and unto them was given power…”
Gimme that old time religion! A preacher’s sermon means ill portent for a small Wisconsin town in The Giant Spider Invasion.
An electromagnetic space deus ex machina hits the town, causing spiders to grow to larger than normal proportions about twenty years too late for this kind of film to have been en vogue and with dodgy special effects to match.
Black holes cause “a heavy gamma ray shower…an incredibly fast drop in barometric pressure, and an amazingly potent ground level x-ray source nearby.”
Reports that seem “Right out of Ripley” appear, as well as other “freaky stuff from Northern Wisconsin.”
The local farmers aren’t overly concerned at first:
What in goddamn hell was that?
It was a shooting star.
Well, there’s nothing there now…
If you want, you can stand here all night lookin’ at nothing.’
But then animal carcases start piling up and people start calling the sheriff when their electronics stop working…that’s when the local authorities like the town sheriff step in (he’s played by Alan Hale from Gilligan’s Island and cynically utters one of his catchphrases from the show in his first line of dialogue).
Observatory astrophysicist Dr. Jenny Langer is sprung into action via a healthy dose of 70s sexism: “I’m looking for your father, Dr Langer…your husband…maybe it’s your brother” (“no, I’m the doctor!”)
She makes urgent calls to NASA after being concerned about atmospheric peculiarities and Geiger counter readings.
That is when the ludicrous giant spiders appear, along with more ludicrous dialogue:
Looks like you could use a drink.
they found another body…
A human body…
(isn’t that implied?)
A grade-A 70s stinker, The Giant Spider Invasion won’t instill fear in arachnophobes. You might be familiar with this 8-legged natural horror via Mystery Science Theater 3000.
** (out of 5)
[The movie is no Kingdom of the Spiders…please listen to our podcast]