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Earth vs the Spider

Earth vs the Spider (1958) Movie Poster
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USA  •    •  73m  •    •  Directed by: Bert I. Gordon.  •  Starring: Ed Kemmer, June Kenney, Eugene Persson, Gene Roth, Hal Torey, June Jocelyn, Mickey Finn, Sally Fraser, Troy Patterson, Skip Young, Howard Wright, Bill Giorgio, Hank Patterson.  •  Music by: Albert Glasser.
        When a man doesn't come home one night his daughter and her boyfriend go out searching and encounter a giant spider in a cave near the man's wrecked car. Coming back with the Sheriff, the spider is seemingly killed by DDT spraying, and the body then hauled for storage in the high school gymnasium. However, a loud dose of rock music by a teenage garage band revives the arachnid and sends it rampaging through the town.

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   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 1:48
 
 

Review:

Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Image from: Earth vs the Spider (1958)
Despite its lack of credibility, "Earth Vs. the Spider" is an entertaining monstrous arachnidan horror movie which appeared three years after director Jack Arnold's "Tarantula." This low-budgeted American International Pictures release takes place in a small, isolated town. Unlike most of the giant monster movies made in the 1950s, this Bert I. Gordon helmed hokum neither explains the origins of the gigantic spider nor does it blame it on nuclear radiation testing. Instead, the county sheriff and a high school science teacher acquit themselves admirably in taking care of this eight-legged menace. Basically, all Gordon has done is use rear-screen projection and blown up footage of a real-life spider. Indeed, there is a scene in the sheriff's office when a spider like the giant one is crawling across a desk and the sheriff knocks it on the floor and stomps on it.

Basically, Gordon and scenarists László Görög and George Worthing Yates play this larger-than-life action in a thoroughly straightforward fashion. Like his later outing "War of the Colossal Beast," Gordon opens the film with a man, Jack Flynn (Merritt Stone of "The Magic Sword"), driving his pick-up truck home late one night when something mysterious (which we're never shown) gets in his way on the highway and then hits him. The following day, Jack's daughter Carol (June Kenney of "Teenage Doll") worries about the disappearance of her dad and persuades her boyfriend Mike Simpson (Eugene Persson of "Bloodlust") to help her search for the old guy. Mike has to borrow a jalopy from one of his friends so he can take Carol to look for her father.

Eventually, they find the truck off the side of the road, but nobody is in it. Nearby is a cave with a warning sign posted to keep intruders from entering the cavern. Our teenage hero and heroine enter the cave, prowl around, and then fall into a giant net that turns out to be a spider web. Not long afterward, they are attacked by a huge spider. Miraculously, they manage to escape, but skeptical Sheriff Cagle (Gene Roth of "Young Dillinger") does not believe the teenagers. Carol and Mike approach their high school science teacher, Professor Art Kingman (Ed Kemmer of "Calyso Joe") and he convinces Cagle to investigate. They discover the giant spider and spray down with DDT and kill it. At least, they believe that they have killed it.

Professor Kingman persuades Cagle and his men to help him move the giant spider out of the cave and mount it in the high school gym. Kingman uses some of his savings to get the critter moved and he hopes that a university will take it off his hands to study it. Later, our hero learns to their shock that the spider was only knocked out. The spider hears some early rock and roll music, recovers, smashes its way out of the high school, goes on a rampage through the town, attacks the home of Professor Kingman, and scrambles back to the cave. Sheriff Cagle and company assemble a team to blast the cave entrance to seal the spider off. Little do they know, however, that Carol and Mike have gone back into the cave looking for the necklace that Jack had brought for his daughter before he died.

Altogether, "Earth Vs. the Spider" is not a bad as it could have been. The spider certainly poses a threat to the community, and it seals off the community from the outside world by knocking down long-distance telephone service so our heroes must fend for themselves against their adversary. They never get a call through to the National Guard or any kind of higher authority, even though a sheriff deputy takes a motorcycle and rides out of town. The spider waylays him and sucks the moisture out of his body. Professor Kingman, Cagle, and other open a hole in the top of the mountain and descend into the cave. Mike and Carol are trapped by the spider. Kingman has arranged for electric cables to be taken into the cave and they catch the giant spider between the cables and fry it. This 73-minute, black and white feature is good fun, with decent performances. This is better than most of its kind. Incidentally, if you look closely, you will see a movie poster one-sheet at a movie theater for "The Amazing Colossal Man.".


Review by zardoz-13 from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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