Camel Spiders

The giant spider invasion begins after U.S. military forces fight a Middle Eastern enemy in an unspecified desert, and not everyone survives the gunfire or, in case of the enemy, the spiders who pull their bodies into caves for feasting. One spider clandestinely crawls into the coffin of a dead American soldier, and upon return home in California, a car wreck lets the eight-legged freak loose on an unsuspecting populace.

Luckily, and because it’s conducive to low budgets, the spider — and soon spiders, plural, as in dozens — attack a rural community on land due to be developed for an American Indian casino. The arachnids lay waste to some young punks on a sex picnic, then at most of the primary cast at a down-home diner.

Fresh from Piranhaconda and Dinocroc vs. Supergator, director/co-writer Jim Wynorski clearly cranked this one out in a matter of days with little regard for the finished product. Helicopters look like toys; the driving scenes are among the most artificial you’ll ever see (note how everything in the windows moves in slow motion); the size of the spiders shifts greatly from one shot to the other; and the lighting ranges from decent to near-solar-flare.

On the plus side, in his role as the mustachioed sheriff, C. Thomas Howell clearly gets the joke. Too bad there was no true joke to tell. —Rod Lott

Rod Lott

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