DVD Review: Camel Spiders



Based on the size of camel spiders, the fact that they are really fast as far as arachnids go and that they are rarely seen outside the Middle East, it’s not surprising that a giant bug movie would be made based on these strange creatures. It also makes perfect sense that Roger Corman would be the man to produce a film like this. He is, after all, the king of the B-film world. But does that make this film worth watching?

Camel Spiders opens amidst a fire fight between American soldiers and unnamed Taliban-looking opposition. The Americans seem to be losing the fight until a bunch of camel spiders show up and eat all the enemy. One American dies in the battle and is sent home; three spiders hitch a ride.

Thanks to some well-placed exposition dialog we learn early on that the spiders are large, vicious, deadly and breed at an alarming rate. (Most of this is factually untrue. In fact, 90% of this film is based on the urban legends surrounding the spider and not actual fact.) So it comes as no surprise that when these three spiders are unleashed in a small desert town the numbers grow exponentially in a matter of hours with some running around large than humans. So they must grow quick too.

Our main heroes Capt. Sturges (Brian Krause), Sgt. Underwood (Melissa Brasselle) and Sheriff Beaumont (C. Thomas Howell) must find themselves trapped in a small diner surrounded by the deadly camel spiders and must lead a ragtag group of people to safety.

If there is one thing this move teaches is, nothing bring a group of people together who have nothing in common (and include a couple heading off to Las Vegas to get a quick divorce) like a bunch of giant killer spiders. Even the self proclaimed pacifist is pushed to his limit and agrees to help out, when asked why he says, “Let’s just say I’m beginning to see the light.” This line made me laugh out loud.

As one might expect the acting across the board is pretty bad, though Howell does the best he can with what he’s given. Also what little plot there is pretty sad. Random characters are introduced just to be killed and even one group that is followed for a good chunk of the film is completely killed off. Spiders appear and disappear as need to drive the plot. How four foot spiders squeeze into a sealed of area is beyond me, but hey, if the film needs them there, then they’re there.

When you go into a film like Camel Spiders you should know what you’re getting into, so the bad plot and acting should not come as a surprise or a disappointment. You what a film like this to see bad giant CGI camel spiders kill and eat people. And that’s exactly what you get.

The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital surround. Across the board the CGI in this film is really bad, from giant spiders to military helicopters. But that’s to be expected. The film itself doesn’t look too bad for the budget. And the sound was completely acceptable.

Sadly, there are no special features. Some interviews or a gag real would have been fun.

Anchor Bay Entertainment presents Camel Spiders. Written by: J. Brad Wilke & Jay Andrews. Directed by: Jay Andrews. Starring: Brian Krause, C. Thomas Howell and Melissa Brasselle. Running time: 85 min. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: March, 27 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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