Review – Kingdom Of The Spiders (1977)
The Killer Spider Season Kicks Off……….
I first saw this film on a double bill with a little known horror movie called The Redeemer, and it is, in my humble opinion, quite easily the undisputed king of Killer Spider films. The “Nature Fights Back” genre is something the 1970s did really well. You only have to look at the output of this type of movie throughout the 70s to know that. We had, to name but a few. Day of the Animals (1977), Grizzly (1975), Frogs (1972), Night of the Lepus (1972), Prophecy (1979), Food of the Gods (1976) and The Swarm (1978). The animal kingdom really did hate the hell out of us in the 70s.
Kingdom of The Spiders is in my opinion the finest example of this genre. I’ve seen it many times and it still terrifies me. I hate spiders and this particular film, take it from me, is an arachnophobes nightmare. It stars William Shatner, and what we have to remember when were watching this, is that K.O.T.S was made in 1977. There was no CGI back then and special effects weren’t all that special, so when we see actors crawling with huge spiders, they were actually crawling with huge spiders. I’m guessing that the majority of the cast members were selected for the parts they were playing, based more on the fact that they didn’t mind spiders, rather than their acting ability, and had no problem spending a lot of the time covered in the damn things.
The story is fairly standard fare. Man is killing off the spiders natural food sources with DDTs and various other chemicals, and they start to attack livestock and eventually the local human population.
It’s brilliantly done. the acting is as hammy as you’d expect from the likes of Shatner, but the movie is all the better for it. It’s set in a beautiful old desert town, Verde Valley, so the whole thing is gorgeous to look at, but be warned. If you have a dislike of spiders , this is definitely not the movie for you. The scenes of folks covered in them from head to toe, are horrifying, even by todays standards. I still find them unsettling now, after repeated viewings throughout the years.
To round up, this is easily one of my favourite movies ever, and it would make it into my Top 10 any day of the week. Still scares the crap out of me though……..