spiders from south amaerica


Year: 1990
Directed By: Frank Marshall
Written By: Don Jakoby, Al Williams, and Wesley Strick


Before starting this film I look it up on IMDB and it is actually listed as comedy/sci-fi/thriller.  That’s an odd combination of categories but no where in there is horror.  I don’t know now if this movie is right for our horror month but phobia is in the title, that has to count for something right? No, I’m only kidding. I bought this movie specifically because Amber is terrified of spiders and I thought it would be a good idea to add it into what we were doing this month.  It’s always a good idea to choose to watch something your wife is terrified of……right? Maybe by the time this movie is over I will be much more scared of my wife than she is of this movie.

We are half way through this movie now and it is absolutely everything IMDB said it was.  While people are dying all around from spider bites the movie still manages to be light hearted.  It’s like a joke that occasionally throws in John Goodman as a punch line. It’s a damn good punch line if I will say so myself, John Goodman is a gem that we should all appreciate every time we have the opportunity.  To get back to the point, it seems I have made a horrible mistake in making this film part of our special month of Halloween.  Not only is this movie not a horror film, but it’s actually a comedy in some twisted way.  Of course I did succeed in one way, Amber is freaking out with fear. Although she is getting angrier at me with each passing spider scene and I know I am going to pay for this eventually.

I have seen this movie before but it has been quite a long time and it didn’t make enough of an impression on me for me to remember much about it.  I knew I was all wrong about what I thought the film was when the spider reached America. The spider climbs out of the coffin it came in and scared first the dog then the cat out of the examining room through a doggy door and onto the street.  Something about that scene seemed specifically intended to be humorous and I realized I had really made a big mistake. Later there was that scene where the two spiders meet and presumably fall in love.  I looked at my wife and wanted to laugh but her eyes weren’t filled with laughter at all.  She didn’t see the humor in that scene. When I looked in her eyes I saw only fear, and searing anger directed right at me.

Holy shit, John Goodman just said, “Oh my God they got the professor.” Obviously this movie is not to be taken seriously but nobody delivers that line better.  John Goodman is just so damn good, if nothing else he makes this whole movie worth wild.

The family is now climbing through a bathroom window to escape a never ending amount of swarming spiders. Is it really necessary to run or flee from something you can simply step on?   This movie is so silly but in the strangest way I have found myself sucked in and can’t look away.

OK Jeff Daniels has just had his climactic battle with the queen upon which she was electrified to death in the end.  It’s so awesome in the strangest way, both ridiculous and dramatic.  It seems this fight isn’t over though; there is still a king to be dealt with.  Uh oh, Jeff Daniels is trapped and the king is dodging the wine bottles he is throwing.  Is it going to come after him? Is he going to relive his oldest and scariest memory for real this time as an adult? Oh he has escaped and now has a spray paint can and lighter he is using as a blow torch. Could this man vs. spider fight be any more riveting? Wait for it, wait for it…..it’s happening right now, that king spider is crawling on him and he can’t move.  He’s a baby in his crib all over again but this time he is going to die.  The spider is taking it’s time, critical bad guy mistake……..paralysis conquered, Jeff Daniels launches king spider into the fire. It’s finally over, wait no it isn’t! The spider leaps from the fire and readies for another attack, this time in flames.  Jeff Daniels finally kills it by shooting it to death with a nail gun…..a nearly horrific moment, and here is John Goodman catching Jeff Daniels as he falls just in time to stop you from really feeling fear and remembering that this movie is kind of funny.

The movie ended on the most light hearted and happy go lucky note I may have ever seen.  I was so off base when I thought this was a horror film and I feel ridiculous for it now.  In the strangest way I actually liked this movie though and can’t say that I feel like I wasted my time.  It was silly but I think it was obviously meant to be like that.  The film was made by the Spielberg crew (Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall) so maybe it was made to mock Jaws in a certain way.  I don’t know this; it’s simply an idea because when I wrote about Jaws I discussed how the film had created an entire genre of movies about killer animals.  Regardless I found myself entertained by this movie and at the end of the day that is all that really matters.  Amber hated it with a passion and during the next few days I’m sure to find out just how much she hated it.  Halloween is a season for scary things and under these circumstances this comedy/sci-fi/thriller had just what was needed to scare her.  I’m going to call this a success despite my mistake and be happy with it.



I fucking HATE spiders. I know that a lot of other people are like me too, but I can’t stand those little gross fuckers. This movie was ridiculous. It was weird and funny at times, but ultimately it was a really stupid movie. Having said that, it still creeped me out to a very uncomfortable degree. I hid my eyes and did that shudder thing you do when you see something just so so so so so so GROSS.I hate that Ryan made me watch this.

arachnophobiaThis poster is actually pretty nice. It’s very slightly asymmetrical, except when it comes to the moon and the dangling spider. It shows the little town that the movie takes place in and then gives you the image of a moon (creating the mood of the film) and a spider hanging from the web above its head. It forces you to look there. There is nothing really special about the title and in fact it reminds me of a lot of Stephen King typography. The colors are nice and for the most part so is the imagery, so I am actually about to say that I like this poster. I don’t shudder and hate it, so that’s saying a lot coming from me.