Another Classic I Haven't Seen Yet #26 - Tarantula (1955)


This was one of the most gloriously B-Movie films I’ve ever seen. It took itself just seriously enough for it to actually work.  And I was very surprised at how well done the tarantula effects were done.

Dr. Matt Hastings is your typical 1950’s male American.  Cocky, self important, and able to talk down to women with the best of them.  But no one believes him when he thinks something’s fishy about the scientist who ended up dead with a mystery illness.  So I guess ‘upping the ante’ can’t really describe the feeling when he ends up being right about the 3 story tall tarantula that is terrorizing the desert. 

Leo G. Carrol definitely is over a barrel when his secret growth serum lab is ransacked by his old assistant, inadvertently setting free the then-dog sized tarantula into the wild.   Carrol is injected with the serum by his angry ex-assistant before he dies.  This causes Carrol’s Dr. Deemer to slowly morph into Sloth’s grandfather for the rest of the film.

Hey, you guys!!!

Mara Corday is there to be the obligatory damsel in distress – though she’s given an important occupation for once – she’s a scientist.  After Hastings jokes about how women’s suffrage ended up giving the world women scientists, her character is reverted back to the 50’s norm of looking pretty, screaming, and being told what to do by men, however.

So, in one of the best retroactive twists of all time, they end up having to drop napalm on the damn spider to kill it.  All of the times people have wanted to kill house spiders with fire – I guess this makes the most sense.

I wonder what cooked tarantula smells like?

This was pretty damn good.  Just enough cheese to make it not scary, but well done enough to make you interested throughout.  Now, I only have two more “Science Fiction/Double Feature” movies to watch – Flash Gordon and Day of the Triffids.


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