24th Sep2012

‘Arachnoquake’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Tracey Gold, Edward Furlong, Bug Hall, Ethan Phillips, Olivia Hardt, Megan Adelle | Written by Paul A. Birkett, Eric Forsberg | Directed by Griff Furst

Arachnoquake-Blu

I love cheesy Syfy channel TV movies – mainly because unlike big-budget Hollywood flicks, these movies know exactly what they are and their limitations and have fun with it! This time round it’s the story of an earthquake in the Deep South that, besides making a mess of the roads, unleashes a swarm of albino spiders of all shapes and sizes who, as they do in these types of movies, converge on New Orleans to reek havoc on the locals.

I will say one thing for Arachnoquake, it has one hell of a pedigree. Written by Paul A. Birkett and Eric Forsberg, who penned Altitude and Mega Piranha respectively and directed by Griff Furst, who cut his teeth working for The Asylum and also helmed Swamp Shark and Lake Placid 3. What Arachnoquake sadly doesn’t have is decent special effects – even for a super low-budget Syfy monster movie of the week. Instead we’re “treated” to fire-breathing, web-spitting, water-walking, pink spiders – that’s how we know they’re albino by the way, along with the obviously stated “they have no eyes” (oh how I love characters who state the obvious) – that look like they’ve stepped out of the 1989 Commodore Amiga game It Came From the Desert. That’s not to say there isn’t some cheesy charm to the bad SFX… especially when the filmmakers crack out the giant mother spider who spins a web between to of the cities skyscrapers.

There’s something I’ll never get over as I get older and that’s seeing former child stars playing parents – as is the case here in with T2‘s Edward Furlong and Growing Pains‘ Tracey Gold, who play the parents of one the spiders first victims. Arachnoquake also features another child star, Bug Hall, from Little Rascals, as the constantly drunk, constantly partying tour guide who makes good and saves his tour party, his family and the whole of New Orleans from being turned into one giant spiders nest.

Interestingly (well interesting if you’re a fan of these types of flicks) Arachnoquake is a lot tamer than a number of recent creature features – there’s no bimbos in bikinis, no over the top gore, in fact this is a very family-friendly flick that, if not for a gruesome dissection of one of the spiders and some grisly exploding cysts, could easily sit on Saturday afternoon TV schedule. The movie also has a real moral centre too – even one of the characters, who would typically turn villain, or at least be in it for himself, in big-budget Hollywood flicks, ends up trying to help save New Orleans from the killer arachnids!

Focusing more on frolics than fear, Arachnoquake is a fun and funny flick that will please fans of low-budget creature features.

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