Arachnoquake presents itself as a direct to cable to film, complete with all intentions of a b-movie, and all the glory of an original Syfy production, headed by director Griff Furst, noted for his work on Swamp Shark (2011), Lake Placid 3 (2010), and mostly recently he stars in Terminator: Genisys. The film never expands too far away from the core, Furst, is assisted by screenwriter Paul A. Birkett (Haunted High ) and from the story by Eric Forsberg (Mega Piranha ), and actually works very well for a low-budget television movie about the strangest looking mutant spiders unleashed on New Orleans.
A few tidbits, one must deal with spiders breathing fire, and occasionally emerging out of humans, though ends too quickly, and this occurs because of an earthquake striking New Orleans, (told not from experience) and unleashing white and pinkish small to gigantic spiders from the CGI factory of ugh. Now the casting brings along an odd bunch, filled with delicious snack food for the spiders, the group contains a tour bus guide Paul (Bug Hall) and his boss, his father (Ethan Phillips) who blames him for everything including the spider attack. Round number two of cast delights first Charlie (Edward Furlong) a bus driver and coach of group of very attractive baseball players and Katelynn (Tracy Gold) a biology teacher, experienced in dissecting mutant spiders. A note on Gold, while not a stranger to the horror genre, she currently averages a gap of 20-years between a horror film her last one was The Willies (1990). Furlong gives a mediocre performance, as an odd character, who has the worse driving skills ever for a bus driver. One must watch for Grant James (a man with over 35 acting credits in horror films) as Gramps, his attitude truly makes his scenes entertaining. All logic seems to trickle down and oozes out especially involving Paul running the streets in a diving suit complete with helmet, mask, and shotgun, facing with monster sized spider doing a great impersonation of King Kong and the Empire State Building.
The entire movie fills itself with clichés, goofy dialogue and overwhelming insane amounts of CGI, and yet still not enough, cue the mega spiders after all another Syfy production needs over-the-top creatures for the audience screams – correct that, laugh uncontrollably over it all. One recalls the 1950s of the oversized creatures in Them! (1954) and Tarantula (1955), yet for those films the style worked convincingly well and audience in love with the creature features remembering them with great fondness. However, the biggest aspect missing from the oversized explosion of spiders is the understanding that great chills come with smaller packages of horror, preying on instinctive fears, which would create a better storyline for this film, similar to Bug (1975) in which mutant cockroaches attack civilization released from an earthquake. Hence, recalling horror creepy-crawling movies such as Ants (1977) or Kingdom of the Spiders (1977), CGI, very commonplace cheapens the production, the actors’ work and the script, those films mentioned brought plenty of shifting in seats to unnerve the audience rather than groans and moans filled with laughs. Arachnophobia (1990) set forth laughs, action and some light-hearted terrors to the screen with great creepy moments, showing smallness often outweighs the great size of horrors in creature features. Lastly, a pure observation concerning the care of the film, when the production team listed the movie on the IMDb site, no movie poster ever took the proper place just a screen shot of the silly large spider from the film, once more another uncaring moment.
First, none of the film’s errors needs great understanding, nor accuracy in fact that would hurt the premise of the movie, such as no true damage from the earthquake from possible fracking just adds an incredible volume of madness to the production. The backstory of the characters finished as cliff notes, while gags fail and yet keeps the attention of a viewer, perhaps that states how bad it could get, mentality strives one to enjoy the laughs, which have a commonplace in ventures like Piranhaconda (2012), Sharktopus (2010) or even Sharknado (2013). In addition to everything else, the endless start and dead end to various campy plotlines, telepathically linked spiders, blind, and able to run on the water at high speeds without sinking, but they have fire breathing abilities, really sounds like director Jeannot Szwarc’s Bug (1975). One of the saddest aspects comes from the DVD itself, it plays as if recorded from the television, the breaks all show the placement of intended commercials, no other movie setup ever has that occurring, a sheer laziness for the program manager and editing.
One can only accept the film, not for scares or even chills, nothing here echoes fright except the CGI and some of the acting, this is an enjoyable movie for laughs, especially when certain libations introduce themselves, otherwise Furst’s film fills 86-minute worth of a Saturday rainy day boredom, with inane actions.
This review was originally published in July 2015 on Rogue Cinema’s now defunct website with a view count of 1,971.
IMDb Rating: 2.8/10
Baron’s Rating: 2.5/10