So it is time to take a brief pause on the superhero movies and get back to the cheesy scifi/horror B-movies that I know and love. Now I will be honest, this was not the movie I expected when I got this movie. The movie I was thinking of is actually the sequel of this movie, which I actually still need to buy now that I think about it. Anyways, so here is this movie that I had never seen before but it was from Nu Image, whose movies I have always enjoyed, so that is why I wasn’t too upset about the mix-up. Now let’s see if this mix-up pans out to be worth it as I watch today’s movie, Spiders (2000).
The plot: Marci Eyre, a reporter for a Los Angeles college newspaper, is interviewing a couple that claim to be aliens that beamed down from their home planet. Her editor thinks that the couple are crackpots and tells her to find another story but she decides to investigate a research center out in the California desert with her friends Jake and Slick. Meanwhile, a DNA experiment involving a spider, dubbed Mother-In-Law, is being conducted on board an orbiting shuttle when the shuttle is struck by a solar flare. The spider is mutated by the flare’s radiation and begins attacking the crew and NASA has the shuttle brought in remotely to the desert facility. That night, Marci and the others are watching the facility when her editor calls her and tells her that the shuttle has been reported to have burnt up during an emergency reentry and chastises her for not being there to cover it, giving the story to another reporter. As she hangs up the phone, Marci and the others see the shuttle crash land within the compound’s fenced in area and go to investigate, with Marci telling them that a cover-up story has already been put in place. Inside the shuttle, they find the bodies of several crew members with horrific injuries and one survivor who begs them for help. Suddenly, a helicopter and military vehicles arrive and the three hide as the military and government agents arrive, not noticing Mother-In-Law approaching the surviving astronaut and crawling inside his suit, where she lays an egg inside the astronaut. Marci, Slick, and Jake mane to sneak out and hide in one of the trucks, which happens to be the one that the soldiers throw the dead bodies in. They manage to watch as doctors locate the survivor and want to take him to a hospital for treatment but the agent in charge, Agent Grey, shoots one of the doctors before telling the others to get the body to the base, then throws a grenade into the shuttle’s interior to blow it up and make it look like it was destroyed on reentry like the cover story said. After descending down into the lab, the soldiers remove the bodies from the truck and Marci and the others are able to sneak out and start exploring the complex. They soon find a lab filled with jars containing strange specimens, including one with an alien, and Marci has Slick take pictures of them all. Continuing to look around, they find a room where the survivor was taken and after the two doctors leave the room, they sneak in and decide to help him leave there so they can get him some medical help. Suddenly, the man wakes up and begs them for help before he starts screaming, as a giant spider begins crawling out of his mouth. The two doctors return to the room just as the spider finishes emerging, and starts spraying it’s webbing at the female doctor. Marci, Jake, and Slick duck as the spider attacks the other doctor, sinking it’s fangs into his neck, then follows after the female doctor as she runs from the room. Marci and the others quickly decide to hide, barricading themselves back into the lab and heading down a back door that leads further into the complex. Meanwhile, the male doctor manages to hit the alarm before dying from the venom and Agent Gray, his assistant John Murphy, Colonel Dixon, and the other soldiers head down to the lab. When he sees the webbing in the room, Gray realizes that Mother-In-Law is in the building and orders the men to capture it. Back in the lower levels, Marci and the others make their way through a cryogenics area, where they find a frozen astronaut from the undocumented Apollo 18 mission, and continue through a second storage area, where they find the body of the female doctor. Making their way up a flight of stairs, they find the exit webbed shut when Mother-In-Law attacks Jake, causing him to fall off the rail. Marci and Slick manage to grab Jake to keep him from falling and Slick knocks Mother-In-Law off of him, sending her plummeting down to the floor below, but not before it bites Jake in the leg. Heading back down the stairs to a hallway, they see a door marked “Project M.I.L.” and Marci realizes that it stands for Mother-In-Law and they head inside. Looking through the area, Marci discovers that the project has pictures of the “aliens” she was interviewing and realizes that they are somehow connected. Meanwhile, Jake gets on the computer and finds out more information about how Mother-In-Law was created when he discovers that the venom has no antidote. Freaking out, Jake rushes out of the lab and decides to hunt down Mother-In-Law and kill it but he passes out from the venom before he finds anything. Marci and Slick try to find Jake but when they are unable to, they see the elevator doors are open and they quickly head inside. The elevator starts heading for the surface but stops suddenly, demanding a security code and so Slick and Marci climb up onto the roof and start climbing the emergency ladder up. When they reach the next level, they open the door when they are confronted by Mother-In-Law, who has grown even larger. The two fall down the shaft and land on a giant spider’s web, and as Mother-In-Law climbs down towards them, Marci is able to get free but Slick is trapped and yells at her to run as Mother-In-Law starts attacking him. Marci manages to get out of the elevator, avoiding Mother-In-Law’s attempt to capture her, and makes her way down into the complex, where she eventually runs into Murphy, who is shocked to see her. Murphy chases after her but she manages to catch him with a surprise attack and take his gun, firing a couple of shots at him before running again. Meanwhile, Mother-In-Law manages to capture and kill all of the soldiers, with Gray showing up to finish off Dixon, claiming he failed to follow orders. Murphy catches up to Marci again and as they struggle, they end up falling down an open shaft and into a pool of water below. As they continue to fight, Murphy is suddenly grabbed by Mother-In-Law and Marci grabs a pole and stabs her in the eye, allowing Murphy to escape. The two make their way back through the tunnels and find where Mother-In-Law has webbed up it’s victims and Murphy searches for Dixon’s body so that he can grab the keycard for the elevator. As they head for the elevator, they encounter Gray, who recognizes Marco from the stories in the newspaper and prepares to kill them both but before he can, he is webbed up by Mother-In-Law. As Marci and Murphy run for the elevator, Mother-In-Law approaches Gray and stabs him in the stomach with her ovipositor. Marci and Murphy reach the elevator and start heading up but Mother-In-Law manages to smash through the bottom of the elevator, halting their progress but Murphy hits the down button, causing the elevator to head to the bottom and crush Mother-In-Law. The pair head back to the surface and then to the newspaper office so Marci can tell her editor about what happened but when they get there, they find Gray waiting for them. Gray explains about how the alien DNA in the spider was supposed to be the ultimate weapon for world domination and prepares to shoot them when he starts convulsing and a new spider emerges from within him, ripping him to shreds in the process. As Marci and Murphy leave and evacuate the building, the spider, now grown to monstrous size, burst through the building and starts attacking the students. Murphy and Marci locate Gray’s helicopter and Murphy grabs a rocket launcher from inside and fires it at the spider but misses. As the spider heads into the city, they fly the helicopter after it and Marci goes to take the shot so that Murphy can continue flying the helicopter. Tethering herself to the helicopter, she fires one shot but it bounces off the spider’s hide. Realizing that the only way to kill it is to fire a rocket into the mouth, she has Murphy fly lower but the spider strikes the helicopter, knocking her out of the helicopter and leaving her hanging by the rope. As the spider tries to attack her, she fires the last rocket into the spider’s mouth and kills it, then yells at Murphy to land the helicopter so she can write up the story.
This was a pretty average movie on all accounts. The acting was…average, though it was interesting to see Lana Parrilla (Marci) before she became more of a household name in her role of Regina in Once Upon A Time. The story was interesting, more or less a nod to some of the 50’s & 60’s sci-fi horror movies with the blend of giant insects and aliens as the source of the horror. The special effects were reasonably bad, which is what I expected and actually enjoyed about this movie. Your usual sci-fi B-movie that might be worth watching if you are a fan of the genre but probably isn’t for everyone.
Rating: 2 out of 5