Spiders 3D Movie Review
Written by Ted McCarthy
Written and directed by Tibor Takacs
2012, Rated PG-13
Patrick Muldoon as Jason
Christa Campbell as Rachel
William Hope as Col. Jenkins
Pete Lee-Wilson as Dr. Darnoff
Fans of those silly-ass giant monster movies that make up most of The Asylum's film library, as well as SyFy's primetime movie lineup, will likely find value in the cheesefest that is Spiders 3D. And honestly, it's not totally unwatchable, but it's far from good.
The film's supposed to be set in New York City, but as someone who lived in New York for years and has nothing but adoration for the Big Apple, I can tell you it all looked offensively fake. Anyway, trouble starts when a chunk of a defunct Soviet (naturally) space station falls to Earth, crashing through a Manhattan sidewalk and into a subway tunnel, releasing a bunch of genetically engineered (naturally) super spiders. The spiders were part of a top secret Russian experiment, and the evil U.S. military now wants to harvest them for weaponry. But the spiders get loose, and it's up to NY transit manager Jason (Patrick Muldoon) and city health inspector Rachel (Christa Campbell), also Jason's ex-wife, to help save the day.
The acting and dialogue, particularly from Campbell, stinks as bad as the actual New York subway — where, by the way, there is no underground cell phone reception, which is a point these filmmakers ignored. Muldoon's no stranger to huge bugs after getting his brain slurped out in Starship Troopers, and I think a better writer would have seen an opportunity to work in a sly reference that sci-fi fans might have appreciated. His character here is the standard workaholic who means well yet continues to neglect his family, here missing his daughter's birthday in order to show some spider eggs to a medical examiner who refers to spiders as "insects." This person supposedly had a medical degree, and called spiders insects.
It's actually true that scientists have been trying for years to harvest spider silk to use in the creation of lightweight body armor for soldiers and law enforcement personnel. I would have found it pretty cool if the movie worked that into the plot. But other than a throwaway line of dialogue about an army with spiders having "an extreme tactical advantage over its enemies," we never hear about what the military would want with Russian super spiders. Lame.
I have yet to see a film where the 3D has truly impressed me and enhanced my viewing experience. I was hoping we'd at least get a few cheap spider claw swipes at the screen or something to make the 3D semi-worthwhile, but no. And if there's one thing that can take me out of a film faster than anything, it's blatantly obvious CGI, and Spiders has it in spades. I understand giant roaring (!), city-stomping spiders don't exist, but they could have shown us a few real ones up close at the start to give us a tiny dose of reality. The film that immediately came to mind when I thought of this was, of course, Arachnophobia, the 1991 Disney (yes, it was Disney) film with Jeff Daniels and John Goodman about killer Venezuelan spiders that invade a small town. That movie used real spiders, and was way, way creepier for it.
If you get a kick out of the aforementioned Asylum fare like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus or Supercroc, or if you can just power down the old noodle for a bit and reconcile yourself with the fact that you're gonna watch a movie called Spiders 3D, you might find some sweet brain candy here. It's not irredeemably bad, but it's not one that you'll want to watch more than once, either.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screening.