Action / Horror / Sci-Fi


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June 12, 2014 at 06:02 AM



Clint Eastwood as Jet Squadron Leader
Leo G. Carroll as Prof. Gerald Deemer
Bing Russell as Deputy
John Agar as Dr. Matt Hastings
720p 1080p
692.81 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 0 / 5
1.23 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 1 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8 / 10

A Good Edition To The DVD Sci-Fi Ultimate Package

This is one of those films which starts off with a bang, slows down with a big lull in the middle section, and then finishes strong.

Kudos to the special-effects people to make the giant tarantula scenes look pretty good, even by today's standards some 50 years after this was made. Many times, the huge spider looks real while it's crawling down the road. I would like to have seen one or two more scenes of it in that middle section which would have kept viewers on edge throughout the film. Instead, it got a bit talky in spots.

Anyway, it still entertained and it was fun for me to see Leo G. Carroll, a guy I saw each week growing up watching "Topper" on television. Carroll played, by far, the most interesting character in this movie.

The acting was good in here, too, once again above '50s sci-fi standards. It was one of the better entries in the recently-released Sci-Fi Ultimate DVD set, offered at Best Buy. A pretty good transfer, too.

Reviewed by telegonus 9 / 10

Desert Bloom

As someone who'll kill a common house spider on sight, and as a resident of one of the the cooler regions of the United States, I try to watch the fifties sci-fi movie Tarantula whenever it's on. Maybe I do it as therapy. I dunno. Or maybe I'm trying to convince myself that it really is better living in a city that has been known to have blizzards in April. Whatever. But enough about me. This Jack Arnold-directed movie was made for the old Universal-International at a time that studio wasn't nearly the behemoth it is today. But U-I, or rather its management, wanted to be big, and were aiming to grow. Kind of like the eight-legged creature in this film.

The movie is set in an Arizona desert town whose handsome young Dr. John Agar is trying to solve the mysterious death of a man from a condition known as acromegaly (or acromegalia, as it's called in the film). His quest takes him to the laboratory of research scientist Leo G. Carroll, who, though outwardly polite, clearly doesn't want to be bothered. He doesn't want his beautiful young assistant, Mara Corday, to be bothered, either, least of all by the romantic Dr. Agar. As luck would have it, Carroll and his former associate and friend,--let's call him the acromegaly man, and leave it at that--were working on a nutrient that they hoped would cure world hunger. To make a long story short, one of the creatures they were experimenting on, a tarantula already the size of a Volkswagon, escaped from the lab when the acromegaly man set it on fire, as he had gone mad. He also injected Dr. Carroll with the formula that would in time give him acromegaly, too. Some friend.

In a brief period of time the spider has grown to the size of a house, then an office building. He's either very shrewd or very lucky to avoid being spotted, feasting mostly on ranchers and men in remote areas where he won't be seen by others. Guns are useless against the big guy. Dynamite can't kill him, either. He just ambles on right through it. The Air Force has to be called in. I won't tell you any more because I don't want to spoil the ending for you.

As big bug movies go, this one's near the top of my list. It's very well photographed, and the life of the small town is presented with just enough credibility so that even when the story gets a tad weird, the people seem real. I especially liked Nestor Paiva's extremely (to put it mildly) aggressive performance as the sheriff. Forceful as he is, he's never obnoxious, just assertive. Mara Corday doesn't have much to do but look pretty, which she does superbly. The late John Agar is quite good as the town doctor. No, this isn't George C. Scott we're talking about, but Agar is competent. Also, there's something about his looks, the eyes and cheekbones especially, that give him an alien, almost unreal aspect. It's a perfect face for a fifties sci-fi hero. Slightly android. Leo G. Carroll is his usual diffident self, and he does make a convincing scientist. There's something about Carroll's manner and delivery of dialog that makes you want to hear more. I wish he'd have more to say and more to do, and not just in this movie, in all the movies he appeared in. This isn't exactly a star vehicle for him, but his role is substantial, and in a way it's his low-key underacting that keeps the movie anchored in something that resembles reality. Put a more flamboyant type in the part, a Rathbone or a Lugosi, and the film would be over the top.

Reviewed by monkeys-4 8 / 10

The second best 1950's big bug movie !

This one has a special place in my memories ! I grew up in New Mexico near the desert, and whenever they showed this one on the late night science fiction Saturday night TV thriller show, I was afraid to walk to school and back on Monday! As I have grown up over the last forty years, I have come to appreciate it as a well crafted science fiction near classic! Jack Arnold directed many good sci-fi movies in the 1950's, but there is no doubt this was the creepiest! Next to the superior "THEM", released the year before (at a different studio), this UNIVERSAL STUDIOS chiller was , for my money, the second best of the giant bug movies of that decade! You will never look at the desert the same way again. Actress MARA CORDAY impressed me so much in this one, that I named one of my daughters after her! JOHN AGAR gave a great performance, and this one led to him doing a string of more horror and sci-fi movies for the next decade or two! It helped that they used a real Tarantula (named TOMORROW), instead of a fake one, and Clifford Stine's special effects will convince you that spider is really 100 feet tall! Another plus is Henry Mancini wrote some of the music score! So, I recommend this one to all those that hate creepy crawlers of any kind! Get out the can of RAID! But, you had better make it a really big can !!!

Signed, Baron Beast

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