So this has been one screw-up after another. See, when I noticed I forgot to review Piranha Sharks the other day, that led to me noticing I forgot to review another movie I own. Well, there is a reason why that one wasn’t necessarily reviewed, which I will bring up when I review that movie, but it did bring up the fact that another movie that was also included in that particular collection was left off of my list. So, I am forced to backtrack…again…and take care of my own oversight. So here is today’s movie, Arachnoquake.
The plot: At a chicken farm outside of New Orleans, some of the workers are talking about an earthquake that occurred the night before while one of the men complains about something biting him the night before. The owner of the farm, Jean Jacques, hands the man who was bitten a shotgun and tells him to go check out the hen houses as something has killed two of the hens so he heads out and stops when he sees a large hole has opened up in the ground. Suddenly, his shoulder starts to seriously hurt and as he takes off his shirt to check it out, a small spider bursts out of a boil on his shoulder and comes towards him, backing the man up until he falls into the hole. In New Orleans, Paul shows up two hours late and his dad, “Pops”, berates him for costing them their first charter of the day due to his not bringing the boat back to the dock so he demotes him to driving the trolley bus while he and Petra, Paul’s sister, go get the boat .Meanwhile, Charlie, a high school girls’ softball coach, shows up to pick up his team and take them back to Houston but his assistant Barb is seriously ill after being bitten by something so Charlie is forced to drive them back to Houston, to the displeasure of his wife Katelynn, and his kids, Justin and Annabel, who had gone there on vacation to be with him. Katelynn and the kids, along with Glen, Tina, and an old man nicknamed Gramps, get on the tour bus that Paul is driving and they start the tour but are forced to stop after awhile when they come across a section of street that has collapsed. As Paul gets out to check the street, Annabel notices a small spider and captures it and all of the passengers get out to look at it before Justin grabs the container and tosses it down a storm drain. Paul shows back up and they notice a spider on his back but Paul knocks it off of him and Gramps knocks it away with his cane. When some larger spiders get on the bus, Paul quickly gets everyone back on the bus and they drive off. When Paul stops at a gas station to refuel, Glen, Tina, Justin, and Annabel head inside to look for bug spray while Paul, Katelynn, and Gramps stay outside but they quickly head inside when the giant spiders show up. Inside, the have the clerk call the police but he complains about not feeling good just as a boil on his neck explodes and he falls to the floor dead, where a baby spider crawls on his face. Paul and Glen manage to kill some more baby spiders but when a giant spider breaks into the store, they all run back to the bus but Gramps is killed by one of the giant spiders. Katelynn starts to have an asthma attack and Paul tries to get her to a drug store but Glen argues with Paul and tries to take over driving the bus. When Paul is forced to stop as police have blocked off the way ahead of them, Annabel tries calling her father but when Charlie picks up the phone, he ends up wrecking the bus he is driving while trying to avoid a giant spider on the road. As Charlie and the team try to get the bus free, they are attacked by a giant spider and manage to kill it but get back on the bus when more spiders appear. Meanwhile, Pops and Petra go get their tour boat but while making sure the boat isn’t caught on the reeds, they notice the body of Armando, a famous local alligator, floating in the water. When they get back to the dock, they notice fires coming from the city and Pops goes looking for Paul and escorts the bus back to the dock. On the dock, Glen wants a refund for the tour and starts ranting about what is going on but he ends up getting killed by one of the spiders and Pops has everyone get on the boat. Once they get on the water, Paul gives Katelynn a tank of Heliox to breathe in order to combat the asthma attack but when they see another boat that has been attacked by spiders, Tina panics and heads for the bridge, where she pushes the throttle forward. Petra loses her balance but Paul is able to catch her and drags her back on the boat just before they crash onto the shore. Tina is killed by the spiders and Pops tries to distract them so the others can escape but he ends up getting burned by one of the spiders. Paul and Petra run to help him and a spider approaches them but it is killed by Mary, Armando’s mate. The group makes its way through the swamp and run into Jean Jacques and two of his workers, who take them back to the farm to tend to Pops’ wounds. Back on the bus, Charlie and the others are rescued by Major Crandle, whose daughter is on the team, and while the girls are taken back to Houston, Charlie rides with Crandle to rescue his family. Back at the farm, Katelynn asks them to try and capture or kill a spider so she can dissect it and learn a possible weakness to them. The farmers manage to kill one in a pit trap and bring it back for Katelynn to study and as she learns what she can about them, they figure out that recent fracking is what caused the spiders to come to the surface. When the spiders suddenly attack the farm, most of the ranch hands are killed while the group ends up getting split up. Katelynn, Justin, and Annabel head off with Jean Jacques but when Katelynn is snared in spider’s web and dragged off, Annabel chases after he while Jean Jacques prevents Justin from following. Meanwhile, Paul and Petra notice that they have become separated from Pops so Paul goes back to look for him, managing to save him from another spider attacking him but when they return to where Petra was, they find that she has disappeared and Pops ends up dying from his wounds. Jean Jacques and Justin show up and Paul asks Jean Jacques to take Justin to the safe zone while he goes looking for Petra and the others. Returning to the boat, he sees Annabel grabbing something off the boat and running off into the woods and follows her, where he sees her jumping down into a hole. Following after her, Paul makes his way through the cavern and find Petra, then they locate Katelynn and Annabel, who are observing the queen spider. When the queen notices them, they head back to the boat and manage to get free just before the queen reaches the surface, where it starts to chase after them but Katelynn ends dying from her asthma. Back in the city, Justin and Jean Jacques arrive at the safe zone, where Justin is reunited with Charlie while Crandle is informed of the queen heading towards the city. As the queen makes its through the city and begins making a web between two buildings, Paul puts on his father’s diving suit and makes a bomb to use against the queen, then heads into the city after the spider while Petra and Annabel take Katelynn’s body with them. Paramedics take the body while Annabel and Petra are taken to the safe zone, where they watch Paul and Jean Jacques, who had grabbed a bazooka from the military, get captured by the queen. The queen kills Jean Jacques but when it goes to attack Paul, he manages to grab the ovipositor and gets swallowed by the spider. Inside, he attaches the bomb to the queens gas bladder and after managing to crawl out the spinneret, he ignites the bomb, killing the queen and causing all of the drones spiders to die as well. Everyone celebrates while Petra believes Paul is dead but as Crandle tells her that he is going to see that Paul is given the highest honor a civilian can receive, they see Paul had survived the blast and send a team to rescue him.
As far as spider movies go, this was a pretty decent movie to watch. The acting was pretty good, with some funny dialogue popping up every now and then, especially some of the dialogue between two of the farmers. The story was ok, although the whole hive mind idea is not exactly original. I did think it was interesting that they took their own stance on fracking, coming up with a very unique danger to what could happen. The special effects were pretty decent, with the spiders looking pretty good but the whole fire breathing part was a bit much, though the concept did come back in Lavalantula. On the whole, a decent movie to watch if you are in the mood for watching some creepy crawlers.
Rating: 3 out of 5