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DVD Review: The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

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The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

Directed by Bill Rebane

DVD Review: The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)The Giant Spider Invasion is a B-movie about giant spiders, and although it is easy to tell the movie was produced on a low budget, the movie is now considered to be cult classic.

The movie begins by introducing, hillbilly farmer, Dan Kester, who tells his wife, Ev, he is going to the revival at the local church, but he goes to see his mistress instead, and while the fire-and-brimstone-preaching minister at the revival blasts out his speech against sin, Dan is concentrating on sinning instead. Back at the farm,  Ev concentrates on getting drunk.
Ev's younger sister, Terry, also lives at the farm, and she isn't at the revival either; she is out on a date with a reporter called Dave and the young couple look set to get down to some serious sinning of their own.
While the citizens of Merrill, Wisconsin are all preoccupied—in one way or another—with sin, a meteor is heading towards Earth. It lands close to the Kester's farmhouse, just as Dan arrives home to a very disgruntled Ev. When the meteor crash-lands it puts on quite a colourful display of fireworks but after a hard night of sinning Dan is too tired to go and investigate and heads for bed, for the second time that night. Meanwhile, the falling meteor has shorted out the power in Dave's car and Terry has to walk home.
The next morning Dan and Ev go and investigate the area where the meteor crash-landed. Before they find the crater though, they discover all their cows have been mysteriously killed in the night.
On reaching the crater they find lots of strange-looking rocks strewn around the area. Neither Ev nor Dan have ever seen anything like them before and pick up a few to take home with them, where Dan tries to use the contents of his toolbox to open up the rocks and see what's inside. He fails miserably, but one of the rocks falls from the kitchen table and cracks open on the floor. Dan and Ev are both quick to notice the large diamond that was hidden inside the rock, but neither of them notice the spider that was in there with it, so they are soon filling thier home with the strage rocks. No surprisingly, Ev soon discovers the Kester house seems to have a not-so-little spider problem, and she sits nursing a fly squatter that looks pitifully inadequate for the task at hand.
The Giant Spider Invasion is rather a corny movie. It is also quite entertaining, but not at all frightening. When the 50ft spider puts in an appearance complete with ping-pong ball eyes, I couldn't help but smile—a Volkswagen Beetle with legs! As to the smaller spiders, they look more like tarantulas than invaders from outer space. Hey! Wait a minute, they are tarantulas! The stripy ones are Mexican red knees and the other ones are chilean rose tarantulas, both of which are recommended starter spiders for those who fancy keeping tarantulas as pets. I know, I keep tarantulas, so the movie failed to scare, and I found it very hard to suspend disbelief when the giant spider ate one of the local citizens by sucking him into its mouth. Spiders don't eat like that—even when they are ninety percent German automotive engineering. 

DVD Review: The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

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The Giant Spider Invasion is not exactly a believable movie, but there are worse ways to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon, and it is probably worth watching the movie just for the unbelievably cheerful sheriff, and the fire and brimstone preacher—who is so cliched that he is a monument to the word—and the movie even allows him a final say as the final credits roll.

Runtime 84 mins
Certificate: 15 (UK),| PG (USA)


 Steve Brodie              ...  Dr. J.R. Vance
 Barbara Hale              ...  Dr. Jenny Langer
 Alan Hale Jr.              ...  Sheriff Jeff Jones

 Robert Easton             ...  Dan Kester
 Leslie Parrish              ...  Ev Kester
 Christiane Schmidtmer ...  Helga
 Kevin Brodie               ...  Dave Perkins
 Tain Bodkin                ...  Preacher
 Bill Williams                ...  Dutch
 Diane Lee Hart            ...  Terry
 Paul Bentzen               ...  Billy Kester
 J. Stewart Taylor         ...  Deputy
 William W. Gillett Jr.    ...  Paul Rider

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