Earth vs. the spider (1958)



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We now come to my greatest weakness when it comes to Giant Monsters. As a recap number three on the list was the American Giant monster movies and number two was the Ultraman franchise. Hands down my greatest weakness in the giant monster fandom is Giant Spider films. 

Yes for me once a spider gets bigger than the size of a silver dollar I high tale it out of the room. It took multiple viewings of Return of the King before I got fully accustomed to seeing Shelob on the screen. I literally squirmed in my seat during the Desolation of Smaug when the group gets captured by the spiders. That on the table you can understand that there will not that many film reviews of Giant Spider movies. Today’s review though is and I’ll explain later what made me decide to watch this particular film. 

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Carol is worried about when her father doesn’t come home the previous night. When she and her boyfriend Mike go investigating they only to find a giant Tarantula. They inform the police who find the creature and decide to use poison against it. After knocking the monster unconscious, its taken to the local High School for holding until they can transport it to a university for study. What they don’t know is that the spider isn’t done by a long shot and the town doesn’t realize that the Spider will be ready for round 2 soon.

This movie has a lot of plot holes that are impossible to overlook. First off they don’t explain at all how the spider grows to its incredible size. They just discover a giant spider and they have to deal with it. Also, the police got on board with believing the kids a bit too quick. The spider probably should have taken a few more victims for the authorities to really get their collective butts in gear. 

Also, can we talk about these insane high school students for a second. How desperate are these kids for entertainment that they would be able to overlook the corpse of a huge spider and start to swing dance? Personally if I heard such a huge beast existed I would make sure to move at least three states away from wherever that thing ever was. No telling if it left eggs behind or not. My fear of giant spiders aside this movie isn’t really that threatening. The spider itself only really gets to kill like two people and web up a town. For the most part he’s really more of an inconvenience than he is is a threat. 

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It wasn’t really a bad movie but its just so bland. If it wasn’t for my arachnophobia the movie wouldn’t have bothered me at all. I did enjoy the way they were finally able to dispatch the creature but still a good ending after sitting through a crap film will only get you so far. Hence the rating.

Rating: D

The Giant Gila Monster


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My third weakest point in my all things Gigantic Fandom would have to the American live action monster movies. The other two I’ll mention on other posts. Anyways, the American Giant Monster films are a category onto themselves. From their beginning with the original King Kong movie, their evolution into being the prized attraction at Drive-In Cinemas, and their eventually home on the TV movie and Direct to Video market makes this group of films an aspect of Monster Fandom in its category. Still, when I do find myself watching a noteworthy Giant Monster Film in this category I’ll make sure to do a review for this blog. Except for today where I will be reviewing a movie that comes off as “meh” at best.

When strange accidents start happening in a small town, a young mechanic known as Chase takes notice. Adding the Sheriff in the search for his lost friends, they keep noticing that accidents are occurring one after the other with little explanation. When a train is destroyed they find that the cause of the damage is a Giant Gila Monster. Will the Sheriff and Chase be able to stop this giant monster before it destroys the city? Yes, yes they will. 5730cbedee71ff72812b0f2d0e148462bfe39663-700

With American Giant monster movies, the whole concept is that you are generally afraid of the creature on screen will come to eat you in the middle of the night. Frankly, the Gila Monster just isn’t that scary to me. A real Gila Monster was used with models but they didn’t really showcase it going on that much of a rampage. Other than eating like three people, smashing a few cars, a train, and busting through a wall in a building the Giant Gila monsters ins’t that menacing. Kinda makes me wish they had found a way to actually capture the monster and study him. Of course few American Giant monster movies DON’T end with the titular monster getting killed off. It’s easier to just find a convenient stash of explosives and blow the monster to kingdom come.

The main character, Chase does come off as too much of a wonder boy. He’s works in a garage, is helping the family and his disabled sister, is always willing to go the extra mile to help someone out. Considering his hobby is street racing you would think that he would be a hot shot rebel who didn’t take no for an answer. Instead he comes off a boy scout which is a change from what you’d expect but he’s a bit on the bland side. He is the hero of the film and just happens to know where some nitroglycerin is to ensure that they have a way of killing the monster at the end of the film. I guess he might grow on a person after a few viewings or from seeing characters in other giant monster movies who are so self centered and foolish that they bring about their own demise.

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It’s not bad really. Some of the acting is dated and again Chase is too much of an all around nice guy but nothing truly drags the movie down into the depths of the gutter. Unfortunately nothing really raises this film onto the plateau of excellence, except for the fact I think that the Gila Monster (which I know was a live animal) was cool to look at. In the end the film just rests in the middle with a few out there that I know will give it the attention they feel it deserves.

Rating: C