Creature Feature monster movies are an old favorite of mine, especially the old black and white ones. I don’t care if they are corny, or cheaply made I find them fun. I would stay up till 10:30 at night and watch them on Saturdays when I was a little kid. One however I was not a fan of. That was Tarantula. Nothing against the movie mind you, I have arachnophobia. I am truly scared to death of spiders. From the little dust ones to the big giant ones in Sc-fi films. They all frighten me. Arachnophobia is the most terrifying movie ever made. So when I opened the mail and saw Scream Factory had sent me Tarantula I got scared. But I still made myself sit down to watch it, with the lights on during the day.
Tarantula is a classic giant monster movie made back in 1955. It starts out with a Dr. by the name of Matt Hastings investigating the death of a horribly deformed man that local cops find in the desert. Hastings thinks its foul play but the local sheriff and Dr won’t believe him . Its primarily because Dr Deemer is doing scientific experiments in his underground lab. One of his experiments is a Tarantula that’s about 5 times its normal size. He’s working in his lab when he’s attacked by a man suffering from the same deformities as the one in the beginning. The lab catches fire and during the struggle the tarantula gets lose. Dr Deemer manages to kill the assailant and clean up the mess.
The next day the Sherriff again calls on Dr Hastings to help him investigate an entire heard of dead cattle that have been sucked dry essentially. There’s also a think white web like substance around the bodies. It turns out this is the work of the tarantula that escaped and is now giant sized. It goes on quiet a rampage as well. Killing some bums, a farmer, some people in a truck. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out it is the work of a house sized tarantula.
I must say, although incredibly frightening to me the stop motion effects used for the spider are really quiet well done. I’m not saying it looks real by any means but its definitely not cheap looking. As plot lines go this is actually one of the better ones. Most films like this from this era the monsters were always the result of some type of radiation, or something caused by the government. Having this one be the works of an evil Dr helped to make this have more of a horror feel as opposed to the usual sci-fi story. The acting is also very good. Not played to serious, and not played for laughs makes it have a good tone.
Scream Factory has done a wonderful job with the transfer in both audio and video aspects. The film looks crisp and clear, and the transfer only makes the film look more polished as opposed to pointing out flaws. They have as always included special features as well.
If you hate spiders stay away. If you like old school monster movie fun definitely add this one to your collection.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!