“You know what we eggheads are like Sherriff: We want to know why this, how come that, what about the other?”
It is Merrit Stone! And Jack Kosslyn and Gene Roth: The Bert I Gordon All-Stars! Gene Roth was a regular in the Three Stooges shorts.
I just can’t get enough of 20+ year old high schoolers. At least Frankie and Annette were in college.
Fred Ziffel and Wally Plumstead are the biggest stars in this film (Hugo the janitor and the ultra-hep bass player).
One thing I like about this movie is the pace. Too often in b-movies, there are these long breaks in action either by the monster or those responding to the threat. (Think about Horror of Party Beach, how many people are killed before they really go after the creatures). Here, once the spider started roaming outside the cave, it didn’t stay unknown for long. And the actions taken to stop the spider are quick and logical. Ok, the decision to go back for the damn bracelet by the teens is stupid, but they are movie teens after all.
Pretty good model for the dead father.
Cut for the SOL, a bit of the DDT applying sequence. I suppose it was just padding, but it did create some tension prior to the spider attack on the deputy. There is also a bit cut out of the beginning of the scene were the glasses guy is knocked down by the ‘dead’ spider. It is apparently the camera/art clubs using the ‘dead’ spider as a model. I don’t think I could be that casual around a huge spider, even if it was dead. I’m terrorized by those beast in reality, I supposes that’s why I like seeing the monster ones meet their ends.
As far as Bert I’s process shots, this is one of the better executed ones. Handling one spider is a lot easier than a swarm of grasshoppers. There are some very effective scenes blending the spider and reality. Some very good panic shots when the spider is moving through town. The static spider at the house isn’t very good, and neither is the leg that reaches into the house. The ‘chase’ up the road, where the teach hides behind his car for less than a moment, had some of the same issues The Black Scorpion.
The shameless self-promotion scene is my favorite. Something about Puppet People, sounds kind of wild.
Sally (Mrs Kingman) Fraser has three MST3K films on her resume: this, It Conquered the World and War of the Colossal Beast. June (Carol) Kenney was also in Viking Women and Bloodlust. Gene Roth, of course, is the sheriff of everywhere.
Yeah, why does a ‘rock’ group need a conductor? He does moves like Charlie Callas. Further, why did they have a tarantula at the sheriff’s office? I get that is was probably the giant spider, and showed how big the creatures really get, but, it makes no sense.
Hats off to Hugo, died doing the right thing.
Would you go back in that cave? Knowing there might be a slight slight slight chance there is another giant spider in there? NWB. No way, baby.
Watchability: 4 of 5. The ‘lost in the cave’ plot device grates on me, I wish this had a stronger 3rd act. Overall, though, this is one of the best Bert I ever did, if not the best. Only 1 real effect failing (the attack on the Kingman house) and no gaping plot holes. A very good ‘giant bug’ movie.
Missing the Riffs: 4 of 5. This is an episode I like a great deal, but the movie is strong enough to stand alone. I did miss a few gems, but overall, I didn’t miss the SOL crew.