In the Spider's Web (DVD)
Directed by Terry Winsor
Distributed by Genius Products, LLC.
Within the first few minutes of In the Spider’s Web I was shuddering. Not with fear, mind you, but with disbelief at what I was seeing. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence when it comes to arachnids would have the same reaction to a tarantula as it dangles on screen suspended by its own web like a common garden spider paying a visit to Little Miss Muffet. They can’t do that! In order to give the film a fair "layman’s" shake I attempted to ignore everything I know about tarantulas and spiders. This was not an easy feat while being faced with such an abundance of blatant fallacies.
This cinematic web of arachnid misinformation spins the tale of a group of individuals trekking through the jungles of India when they stumble upon an area that is covered in intricate spider webbing and an offering altar full of spider "skins". Their guide tells them that the residents of a nearby village (including an American doctor) consider spiders to be gods and the “skins” are offerings that are meant to bring good luck.
Well, with the stage set it’s only a matter of time before one of the group’s members is bitten by a local eight-legged inhabitant and falls seriously ill. Because they are closer to the spider-loving village they decide to take the ailing woman there instead of risking the long journey back to the nearest town.
Big hairy-legged mistake!
Dr. Lecorpus (Henriksen) is in the village and treats the woman with some medieval style healing and a syringe that would make Dr. Giggles proud. The group then splits up, which is always such a great idea in these situations. Greatly distressed by their bitten friend’s plight, the two who stay behind in the village decide to go spelunking in a nearby cave that is obviously infested with more spiders than Joe’s Apartment had roaches. The other three head back to town which is now even farther away than before. Upon their arrival they enlist the help of the local police department which apparently consists of a single man who has only been on the job for two weeks.
As for the rest of the story ... I wouldn’t want to give away all the details. Like the rituals, chanting, and the human organ black market ring!
If there was one thing that kept my interest throughout this arachnid atrocity it was the quality of the tarantula and spider specimens that were used. I was truly impressed with the variety and superior condition of the various species utilized in the film. I’ve personally owned several varieties of tarantulas myself and I am always happy to see them used live and unharmed in cinema. Too bad they are usually portrayed in such ways that only feed into people’s fear and ignorance of them.
Too bad, also, that the human actors couldn’t hold up as well as their multi-legged co-stars. I’m not sure what Lance Henriksen was thinking when he agreed to take this role, but it certainly wasn’t anything involving the continuation of his acting career. Even the haters of Alien Vs Predator will have to agree that In The Spider’s Web is lower on the list of Lance’s films. The rest of the cast is barely worth mentioning at all and I’m not sure if that is because of the dreadful writing or that they simply can’t act.
The two hours I spent In The Spider’s Web was more than enough for me. I’m not sure how many more rubber spiders on strings, store bought webs, and mummy style encasements of medical gauze and cheesecloth I could have taken. My skin crawled with every passing moment and not for any intended reason. I might as well have been one of the poor schmucks on screen who had been pumped full of spider venom because I too was paralyzed and helpless to escape…someone had to write the review!
2 out of 5
Discuss In the Spider's Web in the Dread Central forums!