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Camel Spiders

Camel Spiders (2011) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  79m  •    •  Directed by: Jim Wynorski.  •  Starring: Brian Krause, C. Thomas Howell, Melissa Brasselle, Frankie Cullen, Hayley Sanchez, Diana Terranova, GiGi Erneta, Michael Swan, Kurt Yaeger, Matthew Borlenghi, Jon Mack, Michael Bernardi, Corey Landis.  •  Music by: Chuck Cirino.
       Based on actual creatures that for years have tormented our armed forces in the Middle East (yeah right), these creatures have now invaded the southwestern deserts of the United States. The Camel Spiders now freely hunt for prey, unafraid of any predator - including man. No place is safe no one is beyond their paralyzing sting. In the end, a small band of hearty fighters are forced to make one last stand against the creatures.

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   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 1:18
 
 0:33
 
 

Review:

Image from: Camel Spiders (2011)
Image from: Camel Spiders (2011)
Image from: Camel Spiders (2011)
Image from: Camel Spiders (2011)
Image from: Camel Spiders (2011)
Image from: Camel Spiders (2011)
Image from: Camel Spiders (2011)
Image from: Camel Spiders (2011)
Camel Spiders starts in Afghanistan where some US soldiers are fighting enemy forces when a swarm of large Camel Spiders join the fight, a US soldier is killed in battle & one of the baby Camel Spiders crawls into his mouth. Captain Sturges (Brian Krause) & Private Reba (GiGi Erneta) are tasked with escorting the body back home, while driving through Arizona the truck they are driving is involved in an accident & the simple wooden coffin breaks open releasing dozens of Camel Spiders that crawl off into the desert. The Camel Spider grow to huge proportion's & multiply very quickly, soon a small town is overrun with the vicious flesh eating creatures that outnumber their human prey. Sturges, Reba & a small group of locals from a diner that came under attack manage to make it to an abandoned factory & barricade themselves inside but with hundreds of Camel Spiders outside trying to get in they have to work together to find a way to escape alive...

Co-written, executive produced & directed by Jim Wynorski under his regular Jay Andrews alias one has to say that I went into Camel Spiders expecting the absolute worst & while my expectations weren't exactly blown away Camel Spidres turned out a little better than I had predicted. Although Camel Spiders looks & feels like a SyFy Cahannel creature feature & will undoubtedly be shown on the channel it is in fact an independent production from Roger Corman's studio, generally I hate anything Wynorski does so the fact that Camel Spiders wasn't the worst film I've seen since I last watched one of his films came as somewhat of a surprise. The script is standard creature feature fare with little going for it, sure it starts off briskly enough with the title monsters making an appearance a few minutes into the film but there's absolutely no explanation as to why they are so big even if Camel Spiders are real creatures found in the deserts of the Middle East. Once the script hits the US & the town, which consists of one hotel & a café, comes under siege the film has my interest but once the various survivors reach the abandoned factory & hide there the film takes a nosedive & there's lots of boring exposition & the Camel Spiders themselves are a bit underused, they just don't seem to do much apart from crawl around & jump on people. Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect them to build a house or learn to drive a car but they feel wasted. The film has two main groups of survivors, the army people & the townsfolk from the café & some teenage kids from college stuck inside a house & the narrative shifts back & forth between them although both parties find themselves in exactly the same position so it's rather samey. The script also feels unfinished, we keep cutting to two more soldiers in a truck looking for Sturges but they just disappear until the end & then only seen standing in the background while we never find out what happens to the two girls in the red car. Utterly predictable, a bit boring & populated by dumb people (why does that kid wander off on her own despite her knowing that giant killer Spiders are infesting the place? Why do they not drive the truck right up to the factory at the end? Why park it a few hundred feet away from the door?) Camel Spiders is standard creature feature fare that isn't terrible but isn't exactly good either.

One thing that Camel Spidres has going for it is that the CGI computer effects are better than usual, sure they aren't brilliant but the Camel Spiders are reasonably detailed & move convincingly enough. They look quite cool too, they probably resemble Scorpions more than Spiders to be honest. The lack of blood or gore is disappointing, there's a bit of blood splatter as the Camel Spiders bite people but otherwise most SyFy Channel creature features have far more blood & gore than on show here. Not much to look at Camel Spiders is reasonably well made & is a virtual masterpiece compared to what Wynorski usually churns out.

With a supposed budget of $500,000 this was apparently shot in Feburary in 2010 but remained unreleased until late 2011, filmed in Indiana the low budget doesn't help but the makers did what they could with limited funds I suppose. The acting isn't great, Krause is alright as the hero while C. Thomas Howell really will appear in anything won't he?

Camel Spiders was better than I expected but that's no recommendation on it's own, Camel Spiders has better than usual CGI effects but a clichéd & empty story sink it. Passable by creature feature standards but only just, don't rush to watch it.


Review by paul_facchini [IMDB 29 March 2012] from the Internet Movie Database.