Saturday, 30 October 2010


In the early years of the 21st century someone came up with an idea which would revolutionise nothing. It would, nevertheless, provide some entertainment for fans of monster movies. The idea was that, using the titles of some AIP horror movies produced by the legendary Samuel Z (pronounced Zee) Arkhoff, a new production team which included Lou, son of Samuel Z, and the equally legendary Stan Winston would create new and different movies. While made for cable on a relatively low budget, these movies would nevertheless look good and star moderately well-known actors including the likes of Rufus Sewell, Carla Gugino, Clea Duvall, Dan Aykroyd, Theresa Russell, Natassia Kinski, etc.

I'd seen a couple of these when they were first released on DVD, under the banner title Creature Features, borrowing them from a nearby and now long-closed Blockbuster store and rather enjoyed them. In the last few days I've discovered all five of them available on Amazon and all for £3.00 or less. A couple of them have pretty terrible reviews but what the hell I thought and ordered the lot. And here is the first I watched.

Now the original was a giant monster movie so popular in the 50's but this one comes over as a cross between Spiderman and Cronenberg's version of The Fly.
Nice but ineffectual security guard superhero obsessed (The Arachid, a Spiderman type) Quentin has a crush on a pretty young nurse who lives in the same rundown apartment building and they are both harrassed by a couple of young thugs. After a tragedy at work (genetic engineering research experimenting on spiders) Quentin injects himself with spider juice which at first appears to give him super powers -he's certainly strong enough to save the girl from a serial-killer- but is actually turning him into a spider-monster with all the attendant inclinations. He even got his own action-figure.
Investigating is weary detective Grillo (Aykroyd) haunted by the death of his partner and stressed out by his slatternly wife (Theresa Russell).

And it's all rather good fun with plenty for both superhero and monster movie fans. The acting is fine, the effects, both cgi and mechanical (Stan Winston remember) are very good, the pace is good, particularly towards the end and Devon Gummersall (of whom I've never heard) is excellent as the nerdy hero turning into haunted monster. I'd seen this before and remember it as being fun and it still is.

Coming soon to this blog -explosion of thunder- is She Creature!

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