Earth vs the Spider
Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson, Bert I. Gordon for AIP
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, Jack Kosslyn, Bob Garnet, Shirley Falls, Merritt Stone
Bert I. Gordon's giant creature films
When high school girl Carol's (June Kenney) dad (Merritt Stone) fails to arrive
home for her birthday (he was killed by an itzy bitzy giant spider, but only
we, the audience, know that), she persuades her boyfriend Mike (Eugene Persson)
to go look for him with her. Soon they find his thrashed car, & a trail
leading to a cavern ... & in this cavern they find no dad, but a giant
spider, & boy is it mad.
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Fortunately our youngsters were able to make an escape, & Carol even
found a small parcel her dad was planning to give her for her birthday - which
she of course plans to forever treasure.
Not really sure about what to do, Carol & Mike turn to their school's
science teacher Mr Kingman (Ed Kemmer) & manage to convince him there's a
giant spider, & he in turn convinces the local sheriff (Gene Roth), &
soon the kids, Kingman, the village's police force and a truckload of DDT all
go to the cavern to search for the spider ... & find it too, but also the
corpse of Carol's dad ...
The spider is killed with a mighty dose of DDT, & brought to the local
highschool's recreation room ... only that it's not really dead but only in a
coma, & when the school's rock'n'roll band is practicing next to it, it
wakes up & lays ruins to much of the village, then it returns to the cave
for a rest ...
Mike & Carol meanwhile have returned to the cavern yet again because
Carol has (quite stupidly) lost her dad's gift in there ... & soon they
have to face the spider again - & the situatin is not made any better by
the fact that the sheriff & Kingman have decided to blow up the cavern's
entrance, leaving the kids locked up with the spider.
However, in the finale, Kingman manages to find a way in & goes there
with electric cables to electrocute the spider for good ... which he does just
seconds befroe it can get to the kids.
Typical 50's AIP-drive-in fodder, Bert I.Gordon-style (who was never
as good as when manking giant creature films), which of course did not have the
technical or financial ressources to compete with the similar-themed Tarantula
(1955, produced by Universal,
directed by Jack Arnold), however, part of the charm of The Spider - &
Bert I.Gordon's giant creature films in general - lies in its shortcomings.