Arachnia (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Arachnia is kinda funny in a way that is hard to read. I don't know how much of the humor was intentional. It is, in essence, a perfect 1950s giant creature movie in every respect - same set-up, same poor effects, same amateurish acting, same cheesy sets and hyperbolic dialogue. The characters are exactly what you would have encountered in a 50s movie - the insensitive professor, the crazy old man, the stalwart pilot, the bimbos, and the Gilliganesque comic relief guy. There were only a couple of ways to spot that it was made fifty years after its time:

  • nudity

  • color


Grade B nudity award to Alexxus Young, who is cute and shows her breasts and buns in a completely gratuitous bath scene.

Note that the Spider's body is transparent! This is really how the movie ends. I didn't make it up. The army thinks they have ended the menace, but some little spiders come out of the ground, and "the end?" appears.

DVD info from Amazon

  • no widescreen

  • amazingly enough, this film has a full-length commentary, which I didn't have time to listen to, but am kinda curious about.

I honestly don't know whether they were making an homage to 50s creature features, or a subtle parody. I guess you can find out if you want to, because there is a director's commentary on the DVD!

I'm not sure it really matters because it's the same from your viewing perspective - a bad movie, but a movie that is so bad in so many silly ways that it can be quite fun to watch. I thought some of it was a hoot, but it can be slow going in between laughs, and the terror isn't even remotely terrifying because of the cheap effects.

It would make an excellent candidate for MST3000.

The Critics Vote

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The People Vote ...

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The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-, but be warned that I am assigning that grade assuming a genre of "campy bad movies", ala Plan 9 From Outer Space, and I'm therefore assuming it is watchable for you if you enjoy watching that kind of thing as a hoot. If you don't like that kind of thing; if you assume any other genre; it's an F.

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