Genius Products // 2007 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 6th, 2007
Caught in the web of fear.
Lance Henriksen (Aliens) goes nuts in the jungle and screws around with spiders. Enjoy!
Henriksen is Doctor Lecorpus, which immediately sounds evils and sinister because "Corpus" sounds like "Corpse." He's living deep within the Indian jungles, kicking it with a tribe that worships spiders as gods.
One day, a member of a group of idiot backpackers is bitten by a highly poisonous spider and she immediately starts foaming at the mouth and drooling and generally being a burden on her friends, so they haul over to the nearest village, which happens to be Lecorpus's hangout.
Seeking help, they are unaware of the mad doctor's true intentions, and once those are revealed the rescue mission turns into a fight for survival against a crazy black market internal organ cartel and an unending supply of computer-generated spiders.
Did that synopsis grab you? Because it bored the crap out of me writing it. What to say about In the Spider's Web, except it's yet another made-for-TV creature feature, with a swarm of ill-tempered poisonous spiders stepping in for the Carnosaur/Boa/Python/Megalon/Yeti/Blood Monkey and that it does absolutely nothing to merit a recommendation.
After a while these movies just blend together in a smear of unrecognizable bad acting and piss-poor CGI, with the occasional one-time pseudo-celebrity popping his or head up in the vortex. In the Spider's Web is another such entry into the emaciated zero-budget-CGI-creature genre and its fate is assuredly one of vanishing down the memory hole never to be heard from again.
All this is, really, is a bunch of jerks wandering into a scary-looking cave and getting themselves spooged on by an army of fake spiders. The reveals as to why Doctor Lecorpus has engineered these disappearances and web-mayhem is cheesy enough to be moderately entertaining, but because the film takes itself so seriously and actually places much stock in the adequacy of its visual effects to generate fear and suspense, the entire organism ends up merely shuddering and dying before the end credits roll.
Because this sad enterprise hangs its hat on the impact of the spiders, let's take a gander at the spotlight monster. The spider effects are accomplished three ways: 1) with real spider, used mainly for close-ups, 2) rubber spiders, used for lowering on twine to land on the actors shoulders and 3) computer-generated spiders, used to call attention to the fact that the Gameboy Color can do a remarkable job rendering visual effects. The real, big, hairs spiders are cool and all, but the latter two effects just tank. The rubber gags are obvious, as none of these arachnids even move. And the CGI spiders are awful, especially when there are hundreds of them and they instantly turn into a pulsating ball of indecipherable special effects.
Not much else to say here. All the stereotypes of these low-budget made-for-TV thrillers are in play here: wooden acting, a goofy plot, a lack of R-rated horror themes (this one is virtually gore-free) and effects that fall far short of mediocre.
The DVD is a bare-bones things: full frame, 2.0 stereo, no extras.
Dig out your old copy of Arachnophobia or reach your hand under the fridge for superior spider thrills.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Genius Products
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated