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We open with a meteor shower streaking sort of OK-ly across the night sky, then cut to the interior of a plane where the occupants (grungy guy, black girl, impatient professor and two idiettes) are making ooh-ahh noises. The idiettes wonder where “shooting stars” go. The black gal says they fall to earth. The idiettes say, get outta here, a star is bigger than the earth! They are informed that they are meteors, not stars, at which point they shudder and cringe and wonder if they're going to get hit. They hope the pilot will fly between the meteors. (This is actually not a bad idea, but these women are so stupid you automatically disregard everything they say.) Bear in mind, these are not kindergartners. They are grown women. Honestly, me calling them idiettes is neither mean nor hyperbole. If they're not making this up (and they don't seem to be) they are dumber than the very rocks cascading around them.

Black gal (Chondra) makes her way to the cabin. She introduces herself to the pilot, who looks like one of the guys from that show, Friends. She says that Grungy Guy (Deke) is a grad student, Professor is an expert on paleontological life, and the two idiettes are also students (which answers the question, “We're you born stupid, or did you study?”). There's some sexual bantering, and Pilot asks why they're going to Arizona. A colleague of Prof's has found an unusual dinosaur fossil.

They talk about how meteors usually burn up in the atmosphere, then a big green one shoots by and explodes in the ground before them. A big green atomic type explosion, that throws the plane into turbulence.

The plane crashes pretty spectacularly (wings and tail shorn off) but of course Grungy sleeps through it all. He wakes up, thinks the plane is gonna blow, and throws himself on the ground (about ten feet from the plane). Then he runs away, whimpering. Man, this Shaggy act is already tiresome. Hope he gets et first.

The rest of them all wake up and escape the plane afore it blows. Deke pretends to be hurt, and I still hate those two girls. And I hate Deke too. C'mon, spiders. Nice fresh idjits! Well, we find out Pilot is named Shawn. And they're all gonna hike to find a town or something. Idiettes are whining and whining and Prof tells em to shut up. Good for you, Prof.

Uh, oh—infrared POV of our intrepid band. But they find an abandoned house. They build a fire and Shawn gets the pump going. No, no--the water pump, you guys, with your dirty minds. They also find some moonshine. And Deke drinks it right up. Deke and the Idiettes are really well hated by me at this point. Prof and Shawn start getting on each others' nerves. Prof is a bit of prick, see, and Shawn is kind of sensible, if thick.

More POV of cattle, and a quick shot of a spider face. Interestingly enough, the POVs of the cattle are all normal vision, while the shots of the spider are tinted red. Um, it must have been looking in a mirror. Yeah, that's it. Anyway, the POV attacks the cows...

Back inside, one idiette is taking a bath, and Deke is all whining about wanting to peek. Then the makeshift door falls down and everyone gets a peek, to a brief wailin' sax. Deke whines like a dog and grabs the moonshine jug again. Oh Shaggy, you're so lovably hopeless, will you ever learn!

Idiettes are having a water fight, giving us a bit of nudity. Shaggy can't take it anymore and goes for a walk. C'mon spiders! Let's get going, here! I mean, “the early spider catches the Deke” and all. Prof and Shawn argue a bit more, and I think Prof reminds me a whole lot of Jeffrey Combs. He has the same clipped, supercilious delivery laced with a touch-and-a-half of contempt. He's just older than Jeff and is losing his hair, other than that he could be Jeff's uncle. More chatter about stuff, by the way.

Back to Shaggy, he's going to peek at the gals. He gets an eyeful (“It just doesn't get any better than this!”--man, his internet access must be terrible), before a gun pokes the back of his neck.

It's Angry Farmer time. He kicks Shaggy (still alive, damn it) back into the house and asks what the hell everyone's doing here. Except, when you imagine that being said, imagine it acted much worse than you were imagining it. “Who are you?” asks Shawn. “I'm Otis Cobb, and I own this place.” “You live here?” “Hell no, who'd live in a sh*thole like this? But I own it all the same, which makes you tresspassers.” Thank you, Angry Farmer, for the first joke in the film which made me...well, it didn't make me laugh, but I could see how it was funny. There's some more talk, in which Angry Farmer says his ownership of the gun entitles him to answers and such. It's more amusing than I made it out, there, but not by much, I'm not holding out on you.

Anyway, he sees naked Idiette and says these are the kind of tresspassers to have. “Thank you,” says Idiette coyly. And we cut to some other place.

Some random guys are putting the horses away for the night. One of them gets into his truck and squashes a toy spider. Then the truck shakes, and in a really quick shot, a giant, house-size spider skitters over the truck in stop-motion.

A digression. I love stop-motion. It rarely looks “real” but, like black-and-white film, it has a reality of its own, with rules and atmosphere and a kind of “life.” I always enjoy seeing it. One thing where it works is that, unlike bad CGI, there is no attempt to say “This is really happening.” You watch the stop-motion, and know what it is, and enjoy it for that reason. No one's trying (and failing) to trick you.

Another digression: You might have noticed how this whole thing is pretty dull (more than usual I mean) with all this blather and such. And you might be saying, “Really, I understand how you hate Deke and all, after all I'm only reading this and I hate him too, and I'm pretty easy-going, ha ha ha! But when is something entertaining going to happen? They say movies are your best entertainment value, but you're not giving me more than a couple of pennies here, and I'm being more generous than I am usually.” Well, dear reader, you're right! But you don't know the half of it. There's lots and lots more dull stuff I could have written about, but didn't. I mean, mostly all this stuff above is to keep my fingers limber when something DOES happen. Which it might, any time, I sure hope!

Trivia corner: There's a movie out there called Arachnid which is much, much better than this movie. Yet, the differences between the two films' titles couldn't be further from the letter grades they would get! Arachnid would definitely not get a D but Arachnia...well, no A for sure, but they just might pass if they write an essay for extra credit. And that's this week's Trivia Corner! I sure have drifted far afield here, but trust me there's nothing worthwhile on screen now.

Anyway, Angry Farmer attempts some more comedy and fails and itches for his Worst Actor Trophy. More talk and blather. Angry Farmer talks about the meteor, and says he has something cool everyone should see. Prof says no thanks, but Angry Farmer uses the gun trick again, so they all troop out to the barn. It's an obvious sculpture of a giant spider, about the size of a car. I'm sorry, it doesn't look real at all. It looks like part of a kiddy ride at the carnival, Ride The Giant Spiders or something like that. Prof proclaims it a “sideshow prop” made of “paper mache and chicken wire.” Oh, the Post-Modernism of it all. “An arthropod of this size is impossible,” Prof goes on, “its legs would snap if it tried to stand up, its respiratory system could never support life. No insect has ever grown larger than a foot in length.” I quote all this because it's true, and I'd like to see how the film deals with it. And it does by...yelling at the professor. Basically he's wrong because he's No Fun. Angry Farmer locks Prof in the barn with the spider (of course, Angry Farmer said it's been dead for a long time, so big whup), because, um, he was disrespectful of said spider. I guess. Makes no sense to me. And next, I'm sparing you from some awful “comedy.” You're welcome.

And some more comedy you probably wouldn't like. I'm sure not liking it, so I'm just guessing. Then a lesbian scene between the idiettes, but don't get excited, it's very lame and nothing is shown. Whattaya think this is, Cinemax? Chondra and Shawn (in different rooms) hear a crappy noise. I mean, creepy. Man, it's been thirty-two miutes of this, this thing! Help!

Oh, a giant spider face crawls down the window! And there's a few seconds of excitement as folks panic, but apparently the film can't take too much of this here “excitement” so it's all over now. Sigh. I suppose it's back to the comedy. Damn it. Only one idiette and Angry Farmer saw the spider and no one believes them so the stupid film will be longer. Deke slept through it all. I hate you, Deke.

The next morning...oh, I'll write if anything interesting happens. Pause.

Um, well, here's a theory, put out by Angry Farmer. It seems that the spider in the barn was found in the area after the “Big Earthquake” of 100 years ago. He thinks the recent meteor strike brought another spider up from deep in the earth. Angry Farmer is going to go check out the meteor's crater, just to show em! Ha ha, show them all! Hey, that sounds like a good idea, huh? Let's recast this in more plausible terms. “I think the earthquake damaged the old army base, where they stored nerve gas. Maybe some nerve gas got out and killed those people! I think I'll take myself over to the base and check it out. Before you start worrying, I have a gun to protect myself from the gas. Let's you and I go. No, maybe I'd better wait until Friday the 13th. I'll break this mirror under this ladder of black cats before I go.” Sound any better? And before you say that a gun would be OK against a giant spider, these spiders are the size of houses and we all saw Starship Troopers. Well, I did. And I bought the laser disk, too. Hey, lots of people did. I bet.

Chondra shows up and wants to go, so Angry Farmer and Shawn trick her and leave without her. She's pretty mad, but really, all I would have said is, “Chondra, we need to leave someone competant in charge. Would that be you, Deke, the Idiettes, or PO'd Prof?”

So, Angry Farmer and Shawn get to this field covered in snow...what the hell? OK, I guess I wasn't paying attention when they said “Hey, it's winter-time!” but this really seems out of nowhere. Or maybe Angry Farmer has been driving around for weeks! He has an old Chevy truck, I bet it runs on corn-squeezin's, and that's lots of miles to the gallon I hear. Well, they get to the crater. “See over there?” Angry Farmer points, and we get this big closeup of a damn obvious cave in the crater. And they go into the cave. An old guy, our designated hero (I hope, cos if Deke lives I'll bust this DVD into a million pieces) and one shotgun. Man, I thought they were dumb in Starship Troopers....

Oh, now Shawn goes back to the truck to get the flashlight. And he grabs another gun, too. NOW, he does this. And he gets back, just in time to see Angry Farmer in the jaws of a stop-motion spider! He shoots at it a couple of times, lamely, but it drags off Angry Farmer anyway. You forgot Deke, Spider! Come back! And, impressed as I am by someone who will do stop-motion in this day and age, I have to say, the detailing on the model isn't that great. But, you know, B for effort and all.

So, Shawn heads back to the farm and tells everyone it's time to go. But Prof has discovered that the old spider is real. Which we know, of course, having seen the live one. But Prof has a Discovery which Will Make Him Famous! So he doesn't want to leave. He also said, a propo his remarks about size limitations on arthropods, “This is not a bug. Look at the thorax.” Well, I'm convinced. But how to prove it? I should point out that spiders don't have a thorax, insects do. Anyway, sensing a heap of fame for himself, Deke will help, he'll bring the truck around so they can take the body. But as he gets into the truck and locks the door (and Shawn threatens to shoot him—go Shawn!), suddenly Shawn lifts his gun to aim at something it a spider? No!

Actually, its two spiders! They're only horse size, but they're after Deke! Go spiders, go go! Go spiders, go go! YES!!!! They bite him into bits. Good spiders, now they go after the idiettes! Oh, I like you spiders! But Chondra stabs one in the eye, and the spiders say, Man, the heck with this. And they leave. And there's this sad music, about Deke? No, no, it's about the truck. It's all crumpled up, no escaping in that vehicle now. And Prof shows up, and vomits. Uh... OK. Glad to see the movie knows about the finer things in life.

Shawn mentions that they just killed Deke but didn't eat him, they just left his bits there. Prof says something about how “they [Deke's Pieces, I guess] may be no good to them, dead.” He says he'll explain. He explains that the “parasitoids” need a live host to lay their eggs. Shawn says they should bury Deke. Ha, ha, Rest in Pieces, Deke! Sorry, I am showing my non-sensitive side, right? Honestly, though, I don't think I've ever hated a character more than Deke. Not even the Smurfs. Not even Scrappy Doo. Hitler, yeah, and Stalin, sure. But then they only did bad things. Not bad comedy.

Anyway, Shawn goes to get a shovel, and finds a chainsaw and a case of dynamite. And they bury Deke. And I've spared you some comedy and assorted dull stuff. No, no...thank you! And then there's some more comedy, too! No, no, please, I'm just doing my job.

Anyway, it turns out they all had cell phones...yes, all that time, they had cell phones, and they work just fine in this remote area. Shawn calls and yells about spiders, and no one believes him. So Chondra calls and cries to Daddy (but, it's all an act! Ha ha!) and says Prof tried to molest her! She hangs up and says they should be rescued soon.

Okay, this next humorous bit requires a bit of setting up. Sorry! Anyway, Prof starts going on about how these are social creatures and they'll be back, and Shawn takes him into another room and hits him! Even though Prof is telling the truth, still, Shawn says, “If you see more of those creatures, you tell everyone, Oh, those are good monsters, here to help us!”'re right, it's not that funny. I'm sorry. No, no, don't spare my feelings (hey, I didn't write this screenplay...). I thought it was kind of amusing, and thought I'd tell you. But it was wrong of me. But, in my defense, you take what you can get, right? And right now, I have a sense that my life is just slipping away. Cough. It's this damn movie, I tell you, it makes everything bad.

Anyway, the Prof lies to everyone to make them feel better about the spiders. Oh, good plan. Let's calm everyone's fears so when they're bitten in half, one half will be smiling! And then we get the boarding up the house montage, laying in supplies for a siege stuff. Nice piano and drums music. Hey, you take what you can get.

And I'll give the film props for the interracial romance between Chondra and Shawn. I mean, it hasn't happened yet, but it's inevitable. Oh, the first kiss! Now it's daylight? Or do they have really bright lights? Conflict twist Chondra and Prof. Yawn. Now, Shawn just said that the bugs won't attack from one side of the house. And he said it with such confidence that I bet they do just that...oh, hell with it. I'm tired of the cliches. And whoa, bad effect...look at that tiny fire on that windmill! (No idea why that previous sentence is there.) More comedy. By the way, it's not really comedy. That's the intent, but it just ain't.

OK, Spider attack. Not very well composited with Shawn on the roof, but props to Shawn for dueling with a chainsaw and not falling down off said roof, which is slanted. Ever try to even stand on a slanted roof? It's pretty hard, so fighting a spider at the same time I imagine would be pretty difficult-a-rama. Of course, Shawn does lose the chainsaw. So, he lights a stick of dynamite and throws it at the spider, and the spider eats it. Boom. The film hasn't mentioned it, but I wonder if the spiders absorbed Deke's brain power (like Attack of the Crab Monsters)? It would explain a lot. Even my cats won't eat something if, you know, it's ON FIRE on one end.

More attacks by lots of spiders, but they're vulnerable to dynamite and fire. And pretty dumb, too. Anyway, we get lots of cool stop motion, lots of spiders blow up, but they get under the floor and burst up, and grab an idiette. Prof pulls a Dr. Smith and cowers cravenly. Satisfied that they've lost lots of fellows but captured one idiette, the spiders leave. Blah blah, the humans decide to rescue idiette. Oh—thanks. Thanks a lot. Off to the cave. Remaining idiette, Chondra and Shawn go into the cave. “I hate caves,” says Shawn. I guess that's characterisation? Anyone know?

Anyway, Prof goes to his death...I mean, he decides to abandon the others. Too bad, he was a good Jeffrey Combs imitation. And probably the best actor aside from Chondra. He gets a good exit line, though: “An arthropod of this size cannot exist!” he tells the assembled spiders.

Back in the cave, the remaining trio come across an empty spider husk, like the discarded skin of a cicada. Apparently, remaining idiette knows all about this! Now, fine, but this really strains credibility. Had she been shown to have ANY brains at all, fine, but no, she doesn't even know what shooting stars actually are. By the way, Shawn's weapon of choice is the chainsaw, which did him no good before. But really, how else can you gain cred with the Bruce Campbell crowd? I mean, aside from having talent and being a fun character actor. Be fair.

They come upon a chamber filled with grubs. I suppose I should point out that grubs (larval stages), and skin shedding, are not spider characteristics. Anyway, Shawn blows up the chamber, which causes some cave in stuff. They all fall down a shaft, and I bet they're in the main lair. No, it was an easy guess. Yep, main lair. Lots and lots of spiders who all seem to be asleep.

And they see the queen spider. Yes, you read that right. Queen spider. Captured idiette is in a big web at one side of the room. Angry Farmer's in the same web, and he bursts open with some baby spiders. Okay, so what were all those grubs, then? Anyway, more spider attacks, dumb Shawn cuts the web with his knife, not the chainsaw. They rescue idiette (thanks for nothing) and get out of there. Once outside the cave, helicopters (several different kinds) show up, with a bunch of military (Chondra's dad was military—and he's a white guy? “Yeah, I'm adopted,” she tosses off. Could they not have hired another black actor? I mean, what the hell? I guess the actor was free or one of the crew, or something.) “So where's the SOB who tried to molest you?” he asks. “Oh, I knew you wouldn't believe me about the spiders,” she says. Which makes me wonder if he protects his daughter's honor with helicopters and troops with grenades as a matter of course. Boy, good thing it was all a story, and Prof's dead, or he'd really be in bad, bad trouble! Now, the “Oh it's all over” piano music starts, but don't think I'm forgetting rescued idiette. Angry Farmer was full of baby spiders, after all...I bet there's a tag scene.

Hey, maybe the queen spider lays eggs, which hatch into grubs, which pupate, and then have to be placed in a living host! No, that doesn't work either. Sorry, I'm just trying to figure this stuff out.

Anyway, now that Chondra's Dad knows it's those damn spiders, he calls in the special Spider Unit. Really, he's not one bit surprised that giant spiders have shown up. So, some guys in clean suits (?) show up and kill the rest of the spides and blow up the queen. Then they blow up the hillside.

And yeah, romance is in the air, and it's the end...or is it? Tiny baby spiders (make great pets, I bet! They're so cute, and great for killing Dekes.) burst out of the ground, leading to roll credits, and “The End?” And no, captured/rescued idiette did not burst with spiders. I admit, I was wrong on that one. Leave that for the sequel, I guess. Oh yeah, you know they're planning one. Fool me once, shame on me...

So, credits. Shawn's real name is Rob Monkiewicz. I hate making fun of anyone's name, but he's got “Monkie” in his last name. I'm just pointing it out.

The idiettes real first names are Bevin and Alexxus. There's a “body double” for one of idiette's bathtub scenes (shot from the back). Dan Mazur and Mary Beth French were busy, I've seen their names a lot in the credits. Dan even played random truck driver a while ago, who squashed the toy spider then had his truck's paintjob scratched and marred by those dastardly arachnids! Filmed on location in Vermont, it says. Subbed nicely for Arizona. What do I know? What am I, a tourist board? Honestly, I couldn't tell. It was all fields and one crater and one cave. Could have been anywhere. Well not anywhere (not THE MOON) but you know what I mean. Oh, and filmed in “Bug-O-Vision.” Ha ha ha. I'm laughing on the inside.

So, what did this movie want to be? That's easy, a horror-comedy. Which is one of the hardest damned things to do. The successes are very few, the only one that immediately comes to mind is Dan O'Bannon's “Return of the Living Dead.” The failures are legion. Sorry folks, this is one more. To be a horror-comedy, you have to have great jokes, and you have to know when to STOP the jokes and make it full-on scary. Arachnia...didn't. Didn't do either, really. No great jokes (not even good ones) and not scary. Props for stop-motion spiders, folks, cos stop-motion is cool. Otherwise we're coming up empty. Except for Most Hated Character I've Ever Seen, and is that an award anyone wants to win?

So. Is it worth your time? No, not really. Was it worth mine? Well, I enjoyed the special effects, but, again, I'd have to say no. Was it worth the nine bucks I paid for it? Ah, now that...would be telling.