Tarantula (1955)

Yes, I know EXACTLY what I’ve said in the past about me and giant spider movies, SHUT THE FUCK UP. It’s on two of my lists, I was going to have to check it out some time… just wish the Youtube copy I got was better quality (what, YOU THOUGHT I’D SPEND MONEY ON A DVD OF A GIANT SPIDER MOVIE? FUCK OFF!!!!!), though maybe I will now shell out for it on disc (I hope you’re as amazed as I am myself for actually entertaining that notion). Unlike our last film, I was quite glad of the lengthy tracts of runtime our titular monstrosity spends off the screen, even happier that most of its appearances on-screen are actually of comparatively low definition (or was that just my ho-hum video? I did avert my eyes during the scene with the educational film on tarantulas, though)… And the non-spider stuff is actually quite good too, buoyed by a somewhat pulpy plot—scientists experiment with a synthetic nutrient intended to ultimately help combat future food shortages, said nutrient unfortunately doing rather horrible things to the human researchers who test it on themselves and doing other worrying things to their test animals, including the titular arachnid. I mean, I suppose they could have made the adorable bunny rabbit the monster, but no one would have bought that (hello Night of the Lepus)… Like I said, it’s pulpy, it’s b-grade, it has its dodgy moments, but on the whole it’s actually pretty good; the human characters are more interesting and better played (particularly Leo G. Carroll’s unfortunate scientist) than they were in Beast, and the science which unleashes the hairy horror was at least better-intentioned than this sort of thing usually tends to be in this sort of film. So I’m glad I managed to overcome my own arachnophobia for 80 minutes at least to watch this; let’s see if I can now do the same with Kingdom of the Spiders

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One thought on “Tarantula (1955)

  1. Lucius Paisley October 5, 2012 at 12:31 am

    When I saw this at least 20 years ago, it was on the ABC (John Hinde Presents, I think) and I’m sure it had been through some decent remastering back then.

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