Tagline : More terrifying than any horror known to man comes a creeping crawling monster whose towering fury no one can escape!

Runtime : 80 mins

Genre : Horror Science Fiction

Vote Rating : 6.5/10

Plot : A rogue scientist near a small desert town arouses the suspicion of the town's doctor when his lab assistant is found dead from a case of acromegaly, which took only four days to develop. As the doctor investigates, aided by the scientist's new female assistant, they discover that something is devouring local cattle and humans in increasingly large quantities.

Cast Members


Can all mankind escape the terror of its dread embrace... Professor Gerald Deemer has been working on a special nutrient that will help offset a predicted food shortage, the serum he has created escalates growth in his lab animals at an alarmingly quick rate. Deemer quickly loses control of the experiment and during a fight at his lab a fire breaks out and a Tarantula that is already 50 sizes bigger than it should be, escapes, and soon all species are on the menu! Tarantula is a big personal fave of mine from this particular genre, so I make no apologies for my uncontrolled bias! The film opens with a facially malformed man running through the desert until he collapses, and from then on in we are treated to a story involving acromegaly (a disease that causes gigantism), and a gigantic tarantula eating everything that gets in its path, its pure sci-fi/horror hokum for sure. However, Tarantula has that knack of spinning the story with only minor glimpses of the spider until we are positively sensing the dread that is about to be unleashed. Using a real spider inserted onto the screened landscape, and then having it crawling over smartly moulded miniature sets, really adds to the creepy fun unfolding. Directed by genre hero Jack Arnold, and starring stoic actors like John Agar & Leo G Carroll, Tarantula is 80 minutes of pure genre entertainment. 8/10

Boy, does this show its age!* But, you know what, I really enjoyed it. 'Eight Legged Freaks', eat your heart out! I seem to have found a new go-to Spider Rampage Flick™. To be serious, 'Tarantula' achieves what it intends to - it is relatively creepy in parts. The special effects, as alluded to, have aged averagely, but there are still some excellent shots in there. When the spider is in a wide shot it looks very neat, the issues tend to arise when the creature is at the forefront of the shot - which turns into a sharp black-and-white shadow clash. Speaking of the b/w, it is a very dark film visually; especially for the night scenes. The make-up effects look great, either way though. Leo G. Carroll, John Agar and Mara Corday are all good fun in their respective roles, they work well together which is obviously important. Corday oddly reminds me a lot of modern day actress Madelyn Cline - I'm not entirely sure why, I think it's Corday's facial expressions/mannerisms. Clint Eastwood has another small - though, quite the opposite in plot terms - role, this time towards the conclusion. He has a few lines of dialogue, but it's not a role of his that'll live long in the memory. To think, Universal made 7 'Francis' films but produced just one of these. Unfortunate. I'd be up for a remake. '* = I'm sure, and I am led to believe, it looked great for the time.

Allowing for the fact that the special effects are getting on for 65 years old, this is a cracking little sci-fi/horror feature. John Agar is the scientist on the trail of an industrial-sized spider that is wreaking havoc on a local Arizona community. Leo G. Carroll (in increasingly "Elephant Man" style make up) and Mara Corday help keep this Jack Arnold film moving along well. Herman Stein's music is a little derivative but it also helps to create some tension as they all race to stop the arachnid terror from desiccating everything it meets.

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