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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Steve's Church-less Movie Of The Week: Giant Bug Edition ...

Yoiinked from dvddrive-in, and the almighty wikipedia ...

"The Giant Spider Invasion is a low-budget 1975 film produced by Transcentury Pictures, a partnership owned by the film's director Bill Rebane. The film is about giant spiders that terrorize the town of Merrill, Wisconsin and the surrounding area. The Giant Spider Invasion was given a U.S. release in theaters in 1975, and was distributed by Group 1 Films.

The film gives major roles to some actors who might have been considered 'has-beens' at the time. The leads were Steve Brodie and Barbara Hale, with other roles going to Alan Hale, Jr. and Leslie Parrish. The film's final monster - and the film's largest 'giant spider' - was constructed by covering a Volkswagen automobile with artificial fur. The back of the car was the front of the monster, and its red tail lights served as the monster's glowing eyes. A few other 'giant spiders' were puppets representing spiders as large as dogs.

This truly unforgettable film was given a boost by no less a personage than Stephen King, who marveled at length over its unabashedly budget-conscious monster effects in the chapter on awful horror movies in Danse Macabre, and while some points of King’s description are either exaggerated or just plain mistaken, the various gargantuan spiders— created by Richard Albain (who went on to have an actual career) and Robert Millay (who did not)— are indeed pretty incredible. But as is so often the case with the best of the worst, the fabulously shitty monsters are only the beginning.

The altered Volkswagen Beetle actually doesn't look that bad, and I think people ridicule the effects only because it's well known that there's a car under that carpet and those tremendous pipe cleaners (hell, they only had about $10,000 to spend on effects). Seeing people get sucked upside down into one of these things, blood gushing and all, is a site to behold. Other veterans in the cast are Barbara Hale ('Perry Mason') as an astronomer and Steve Brodie as a NASA scientist. Neither look too embarrassed.

An outrageous mix of 50s giant monster motifs and backwoods 70s sleaze, the film's impressive theatrical poster art was a throwback to the giant monster movies of the 1950s ...

It seems there’s something about spiders, more than any other invertebrate, that fires the imaginations of really lousy filmmakers. Even with that in mind, however, The Giant Spider Invasion is something special. It isn’t often that Alan Hale Jr. puts in the most credible performance in a movie, nor is it common to encounter a film that will offer up something as ludicrous as a black hole crash-landing in a cow pasture with a straight face.

The film was shown mainly in drive-in theaters where it languished and died. Director Bill Rebane's movies usually did just that, but this movie as well as his first film, 1965's Monster-A-Go-Go, achieved additional exposure decades later when they were wonderfully ripped to shreds in episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The Giant Spider Invasion was ripped in season 8, episode 10 ...

This movie also has some of the most wonderful fleeing-crowds footage since Reptilicus, and a few shots of the main monster eating people which are on nearly the same exalted plane of gross technical overreach as their counterparts from the latter film. For my money, the actor-eating spider is even funnier than the spidermobile that attacks the carnival, if for no other reason than that we get a much better look at it.

But really, the most incredible thing of all, however, may be the simple fact that The Giant Spider Invasion was not by a long shot the worst movie Bill Rebane made. Have you ever really SEEN Monster-A-Go-Go before? Worst movie ever made. Kida sad."

Steve's Snacks Of The Week:



Old Ice Cream

A Few Fruit Snacks

Whatever I Can Raid From Next Door

... AND NOW, Reverend Steve and this blog are omnce again PROUD to present today's Church-less Movie of the Week absolutely FREE!

But first lets go over a few theater rules. Absolutely no talking is allowed during the feature. Any and all talkers will be murdered Sweeney Todd style, hell yeah! there are no cell phones or African-American berries allowed in the theater. And NO TEXTING allowed!

And be sure to dim your headlights (where applicable).

Well, all that's left to say is ...



Pope Steve loves you.

Wind Clan out.

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