Joe’s Blog

Arachnoquake (2012)

October 19, 2012 2:43 am

Arachnoquake poster

Watching Arachnoquake made me realise there are bad movies and there are bad movies. Which you prefer is your own decision. I love a bad movie that manages to be entertaining, normally for all the wrong reasons. Watching a dull, insulting bad movie (like say Ishtar) can be an infuriating experience.  Arachnoquake bored me to death and I really wanted to like it. The title and premise are bulletproof: earthquake unleashes prehistoric giant spiders. You can’t lose. Unless you are making a SyFy original movie.

Spider movies are such a winner I’m surprised there isn’t a new one every month. Everyone is, at the very least, a bit unnerved by the sight the site of the hairy, spindly bastards scuttling everywhere, mummifying small creatures and eating their sex victims. They are just insane. make them giant sized and, well, I’m too terrified to finish that sentence.

Arachnoquake doesn’t do one scary thing for 90 minutes. It also fails to feature one good line of dialogue, one performance that comes anywhere near the dictionary definition of ‘acting’, and contains the worst CGI I have ever seen. Ever.

They make their first mistake very early, and it’s a doozy. We get our first glimpse of our monsters for this evening. Yes, prehistoric killer, fire-breathing, spiders that will grow to building-sized proportions… what could such horrors possibly look like?

Shit, a spider!

Shit! A Spider!… I mean, a shit spider

What the hell is that supposed to be? It looks more like a crab than a spider. They’re supposed to be white, but in most shots they look pink; they don’t have a hair on them (too expensive to render in CGI); and, as it customary with low budget CGI, they don’t cast shadows.

This first one is seen bursting out of the back of some redneck who’s been bitten. He backs away from the thing which is the size of a toy car, like it’s about to bit his head off, instead of just treading on it. He ends up dead in a hole. The idiot.

We are in New Orleans for the main action (obviously filmed way, way off the beaten track, and very early in the morning, for the most part) where we meet tour guide Paul and his bus full of tourists. (Paul is played by an actor called Bug, I’m not making this up. C Thomas Howell was clearly unavailable due his killer bee movie schedule, so they got he actor who looks most like him).

On another bus we find a girls school baseball team. The bus is driven by their coach, played by the only recognisable name in the cast (sadly, he is unrecognisable in the flesh, of which there is plenty)… Ladies and Gentlemen I give you, John Connor.

Now, under normal circumstances, the man who led the human resistance against the rise of the machines would be the perfect person to lead a human resistance against the rise of the CGI spiders. Sadly, here, Mr Furlong is not the hero. He doesn’t even get top billing (or an ‘and’ credit for that matter). He’s just another struggling actor, just like the rest of the non-descript cast.

The spiders seem to arbitrarily change size depending on the situation until eventually we find the Queen on her web between two skyscrapers. Incidentally, the film makes no attempt to explain whether the spiders are web based or not (early on they don’t appear to be, then for the purposes of moving the plot along a bit, they start spinning webs). Also, as far as I’m aware,  spiders don’t have queens, since they are solitary rather than hive-based… god, I’m questioning the logic of this piece of shit. That’s how shit this thing is. I actually gave up on the plot and started pondering useless crap like this.

I’m just so tired of seeing these useless movies. Budgetary restraints should not be a barrier to good film-making. I’ve no idea what this cost, but I imagine it was probably between 1 or 2 million. Lots of decent horror films are made for that price range every year. It’s very simple: if you have a low budget write a script that you can film for that budget; don’t just employ actors who look like the characters in the script, employ actors who can ACT like the characters in the script; don’t employ fallen former “name” actors, as they will have open contempt for the material and make no attempt to give a good performance.

If SyFy isn’t even going to try to make decent monster movies, then don’t flipping bother. Years ago, they used to show old AIP and Corman movies. Yeah, they were tacky, low-budget crap too, but they were entertaining. They were made by people who cared about what they were making (they had to, because if the film didn’t make it’s money back, they probably wouldn’t make another) or were at least enthusastic enough to think it would be a stepping stone to greater things. The director of Arachnoquake has made far too many of these shit-flicks to give the impression that he is anything other than a hack, who is happy to take money from the suits at SyFy who for some reason seem to be happy with the turds he lays on their schedules twice-yearly.

Sadly, until people stop watching them, he’ll carry on laying them.

And, yes, that includes me.

No Responses to “Arachnoquake (2012)”

Care to comment?