Directed by: Griff Furst
Written by: Eric Forsberg, Paul A. Birkett
Starring: Bug Hall, Edward Furlong, Ethan Phillips, Gralen Bryant Banks, Megan Adelle, Olivia Hardt, Paul Boocock, Tiara Gathright, Tracey Gold
(15) Running time: 86 minutes
Director: Griff Furst
Writers: Paul A. Birkett, Eric Forsberg
Starring: Tracey Gold, Edward Furlong, Bug Hall, Olivia Hardt
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
I tend to see the funny side to the majority of the creature features which first show on the SyFy channel, and I would happily admit to rather enjoying them and their badness. I feel that usually while watching these awful awful films, I am in on the joke and can join in with the fun. If you can’t laugh with them, then at least laugh at them, but if there is nothing to laugh at, then you might as well give up. Sadly, that is nearly what happened with Griff Furst’s Arachnoquake, a SyFy film that made me angry, fed up and ready to throw in the towel on the so-crap-its-brilliant genre.
See, Arachnoquake suffers the most painful of mistakes for these types of films, and often actually believes it is a good film. It is not, it is hideous, and the lack of any real comedy or fun does not help ease the suffering you will endure watching this. To give you an example, a terribly cast black guy really struggles with his attempt at being macho, and while a speech half way through provides one of the films stupidest highlights (think Deep Blue Sea and Samuel L. Jackson), the script is so bad it might very well make you feel sick. Not happy with having his tour interrupted by giant blind albino spiders, he shouts at the ticket desk “I’m from the hood, I’ve seen and done things you wouldn’t believe!” It not funny, it’s stupid and insulting.
The film see’s an Earthquake hit New Orleans, and the ground opens up to reveal dinner plate size blind albino spiders. The ugly little bastards look like they have been conjured up by a child, and the CGI is terrible (as expected), and why oh why do spiders tend to scream in these movies now? I am sure it all started in Eight Legged Freaks, and nowadays they scream and sound like babies more often than not. The noise does get an explanation here, but why bother? The scary thing about spiders is how they suddenly just appear on the floor, or on the wall, and they make NO SOUND and are all the more creepy for it. Anyway, sound issues aside, these little shits can actually breathe fire like a dragon, so go figure! It does make for some hilarious scenes later on, but the fire can’t save this mess.
The cast are the problem, but the script doesn’t do them any favours either: “time to show Daddy Long Legs how we roll in the Bayou” Did that make you feel sick? Best you have a sick bowl ready for this because the movie is full on pathetic one-liners like that. Most of the cast you will instantly forget, and even the main cast will only be remembered because they are just so damn annoying and so incredibly stupid. Edward Furlong (we’ll come properly to him in a minute!) thinks he can push a bus out of being stuck in mud, another guy pushes a boat off being stuck in a river bank, a daft girl see’s a giant spider and immediately picks it up, the black guy throws tin cans at a spider instead of running away, the police shoot them with no facial expressions or body movements, and for some reason the “heroes” do not spot a house sized spider chasing them up the river until a helicopter flies above them. Speaking of the house size Queen Spider, when she arrives in town the first thing a clearly frightened group of hunters can tell the military is “she’s on the move!” Really?
Yeah, this is painful, and apart from some good eye candy (especially Olivia Hardt), there is very little to talk about with the cast apart from the fact the increasingly sick looking Edward Furlong plays a father. The strange thing is he plays a father of two teenagers who look older than he does! Furlong is fat, greasy haired and looks like a twenty year old serial rapist whom should never have been allowed to drive a bus full of cheerleaders. It is no wonder the military give him a funny look when they catch up with them. However, bad as his appearance is, it is good seeing him still making movies, and his films can only get better from this.
Arachnoquake is silly, make no mistake, but it misses that all important element of fun, and embracing the fact it is crap. I can handle the dodgy effects, the awful music, Hell, even the screaming spiders, but I simply cannot tolerate a script quite as dumb and pathetic as this. This is crap movie making on a epic scale, but sadly it is trying too hard, and so can never possibly come under the banner of ‘so-bad-it’s-good, and thus can only really be labelled as ‘bad’, with a capital bloody B.