Directed by Bill Rebane
Starring Steve Brodie, Barbara Hale, Leslie Parrish, Alan Hale, Robert Easton
By just about every way you determine how crummy a movie is — acting, writing, special effects, etc., The Giant Spider Invasion (1975) is as crummy as they come. In fact, it’s a common sight on those Worst Movie lists — and those Mystery Science Theater 3000 folks got ahold of it once. But, if you judge a movie simply according to how entertaining it is, just about every Important Film you’ve ever seen falls far short of this one. And over the years it’s developed enough of a following for VCI to grant it a two-disc Deluxe Collector’s Edition.
A throwback to the Big Bug movies of the 50s, The Giant Spider Invasion was made in Wisconsin on a shoestring. Its special effects ain’t so special, with a Volkswagen Beetle transformed into a giant spider. (The amount of retouching necessary in the still below hints at the film’s paltry production values.) Sure, it’s terrible. But it’s great fun.
The story goes that the original screenplay was a total disaster, and Alan Hale suggested that the producers call in Robert Easton, a noted dialogue coach/charactor actor/English professor. Easton gave the script a major overhaul and wrote himself a sizable part. Now, if you don’t remember Robert Easton, he’s great as Dusty Acres in The Loved One (1965) and Carter Mawson in a very funny episode of Father Knows Best, among other things. Hale and Easton are joined by Barhara Hale of Perry Mason, Leslie Parrish and Steve Brodie, whose CV includes everything from Out Of The Past (1947) to The Wild World Of Batwoman (1966).
VCI is promising to pull out all the stops on this one, with interviews, galleries, trailers and the old Super 8 version you could order out of the back of Famous Monsters magazine. The invasion begins in June on both DVD and Blu-ray.