Director: Griff Furst
Screenplay: Paul A. Birkett, Eric Forsberg (story)
Starring: Tracey Gold, Edward Furlong, Bug Hall, Ethan Phillips
Producers: Kenneth M. Badish, Daniel Lewis
Running Time: 86 min
BBFC Certificate: 15
With a 'Weekend of Trash' just around the corner (I'm meeting the guys tomorrow night), I figured why not make a head start on the B-movie celebrations. Those friendly folk at Signature Entertainment sent me over a copy of Arachnoquake recently and with an awesome name like that it had to fit the bill.
As is probably clear from the title, Arachnoquake is about killer spiders that emerge after an earthquake (which we never actually see - the budget didn't stretch that far) to wreak havoc across New Orleans. These spiders are made extra-terrifying by their varying sizes (including a gigantic queen the size of a large house) and the fact that they can do all sorts of crazy stuff, like breathe fire!
To battle these highly evolved (or possibly mutated) predators we follow the usual motley crew of potential bug-food. The main protagonist is Paul (Bug Hall), a loser that is going nowhere in life, demoted by his own father (Ethan Phillips) to running the trolley tour around the city. Whilst running this tour he picks up a few punters, including Katelynn (Tracey Gold) and family, who are forced to separate from her husband Charlie (Edward Furlong) who is a coach on tour with a group of sexy female baseball players. So we watch the two groups get in various scrapes with the bugs until of course everyone left standing comes together to save New Orleans (and possibly beyond) from the arachnid threat.
This was just what the doctor ordered to accompany our video marathon weekend. Yes it's loaded with cliches, ropey dialogue and poor CGI, but for a SyFy channel bug movie you can do a lot worse than Arachnoquake. Where the dodgy gags fail, the sheer daftness of what goes on and the infectious zeal of the young/has-been cast make for a fun 86 minutes. It's never tense, it's never scary, in fact it's never all that exciting either, but there's a certain enjoyment to be had in watching something that knows what it is, doesn't try to be anything different and delivers what you want from a low budget TV movie about giant mutant spiders. The ludicrous finale, where our hero ends up in a diving suit (don't ask) to fight the queen which has scaled the city's tallest building (wonder what that could be referencing?) is worth the rental price alone.
Of course it isn't a great film, it's certainly not a Tremors level B-movie pastiche, so I'm not going to give it 4 or 5 stars and tell everyone to rush out and buy it, but if you're in the mood for something quick, dumb and a whole lot of fun, Arachnoquake will fit the bill.
Arachnoquake is out now in the UK on Blu-Ray and will be out on 1st October on DVD released by Signature Entertainment. I watched the DVD and the picture and sound quality were decent enough. There were no notable features on my disc.