Professor Gerald Deemer has been working on a special nutrient to help ease a predicted food shortage that is expected to come with the increase in human population. His experiments have been moderately successful but there have been some failures as a result. One day while he is gone two of his colleagues inject themselves with the nutrient with disastrous results and die a few days later. One however goes mad and injects Deemer with the formula. During a struggle, a giant tarantula injected with the formula escapes its cage and grows even larger and starts to attack cattle as well as human beings.
John Agar ... Dr. Matt Hastings
Mara Corday ... Stephanie 'Steve' Clayton
Leo G. Carroll ... Prof. Gerald Deemer
Nestor Paiva ... Sheriff Jack Andrews
Ross Elliott ... Joe Burch
Edwin Rand ... Lt. John Nolan
Raymond Bailey ... Prof. Townsend
Hank Patterson ... Josh
Bert Holland ... Barney E. Russell
Steve Darrell ... Andy Andersen
Director: Jack Arnold
Codecs: XVid / MP3
I watched this movie a hundred times while growing up and I've seen it at least a hundred more times as an adult! Great story. To me it's the greatest big bug movie ever made. Interesting side story of the effects of the nutrient on humans, also. I fell in love with Mara Corday after the first time I saw this as a young child and I still think she was one of the great beauties of the screen. I think the main reason the film holds up today is the special effects are still quite impressive and there is nothing that todays audience would find hokey or cheesy. The only thing that "Bugs" me is the sound effect of the tarantula growling as it attacks. But thats just nit-picking. Its also fun spotting a young Clint Eastwood. Great sci-fi and great entertainment! A film viewing must!
This is one of those films which starts off with a bang, slows down with a big lull in the middle section, and then finishes strong.
Kudos to the special-effects people to make the giant tarantula scenes look pretty good, even by today's standards some 50 years after this was made. Many times, the huge spider looks real while it's crawling down the road. I would like to have seen one or two more scenes of it in that middle section which would have kept viewers on edge throughout the film. Instead, it got a bit talky in spots.
Anyway, it still entertained and it was fun for me to see Leo G. Carroll, a guy I saw each week growing up watching "Topper" on television. Carroll played, by far, the most interesting character in this movie.
The acting was good in here, too, once again above '50s sci-fi standards. It was one of the better entries in the recently-released Sci-Fi Ultimate DVD set, offered at Best Buy. A pretty good transfer, too.
This is a top-of-the-line Sci-Fi thriller from the studio that did 'em best in the 1950s - Universal-International. Produced by William Alland (who also produced "Creature From the Black Lagoon" and "It Came From Outer Space", and directed by Jack Arnold (who directed those films) it has an intelligent script and good acting all the way around. Arnold does a great job of building suspense as he cleverly keeps the titular monster mostly off-screen for the first 2/3 of the film until it's simply too big to hide. And then --- watch out, folks! As in many another sci-fi story, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and if there's a villain of the piece, it's the Nuclear Age - the spider of the title is merely doing it's natural thing: searching for food. Except that, thanks to Leo G. Carroll's well-meaning experiments (to increase the world's supply of food), this is one BIG spider with an equally BIG appetite! Universal's special effects department just about out-did themselves here - the matte work is almost flawless (check out Leo G. Carroll's house after the spider's visit), and the make-up department did excellent work as well. This is one of the best of it's kind, and great fun on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
# Look for a young Clint Eastwood as the (uncredited) leader of the jet squadron that attacks the tarantula in the film's climax.
# The tarantula was an actual live spider. Air jets were used to make it move in the desired way over a miniature landscape.