Kingdom of Spiders (1977) Movie Review
Written By: K.M.C
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: John “Bud” Cardos
Producers: Igor Kantor, Jeffrey M. Snelle
Writers: Alan Caillou, Richard Robinson
Date Released: November 23, 1977
William Shatner as Rack Hansen
Natasha Ryan as Linda Hansen
Marcy Lafferty as Terry Hansen
Tiffany Bolling as Diane Ashley
Woody Strode as Walter Colby
Altovise Davis as Birch Colby
Lieux Dressler as Emma Washburn
David McLean as Gene Smith
Joe Ross as Vern Johnson
Adele Malis-Morey as Betty Johnson
Roy Engel as Mayor Connors
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Veterinarian Rack Hansen receives a phone call from farmer Walter Colby expressing concern when his prized calf falls incredibly ill out of the blue. Hansen examines the calf, who ends up sucomming to death, and sends specimens of the cow’s blood to a university lab in Flagstaff. Arachnologist Diane Ashley shortly arrives in Verde Valley, Arizona to inform Hansen that the cause of death for the calf was an extremely high dosage of spider venom. They soon realized that the reason for the attacks stem from the pesticides that have caused them to become violent and carnivorous. Upon discovering this, chaos ensues as thousands of spiders attack the town and all of the people attending the county fair.
For those who are squeamish and easily grossed out by blood, this is the film for you. There is not a drop of blood throughout the whole film and is dry as bone with any slasher shots.
The Grave Review
Kingdom of the Spiders receives our mild praise for its unique concept that pins those with arachnophobia and expands the underlying fear of spiders. Some may say it is a cop out, others may say it is a genius way for bringing out a very real fear. The acting was decent yet there were a couple story lines that didn’t really add to the plot such as Hansen’s brother being dead and Hansen taking care of his wife and child or the short story line of the Johnson’s.
The acting was decent from all actors especially given the fact that they all had to handle tarantulas on set. From sexist comments and jokes to a semi-pushover female lead, the film definitely shows the common socially problematic hints of the 70s. If the viewer can look past these annoyances, the film is pretty decent. Even the camera work was up to par given that the 5,000 tarantulas on set would actually move away from their “victims” due to tarantulas being shy with humans. What really gave Kingdom of the Spiders its third Grave was the unsettling ending that stays true to science fiction horror films of a not-so happy ending.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Kingdom of Spiders (1977) three graves out of five graves.
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