Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 90 minutes
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In a blatant, rushed attempt to cash in on the upcoming Spider-Mania, Creature Feature Productions shot this bile-soaked phlegm nugget into my video cassette deck. Devon Gummersall plays Quentin, your average, everyday comic book dork, enamored by his quasi-hot neighbor, Stephanie (Hienle). Quentin, SURPRISE SURPRISE, works in a biological research facility. Naturally, said bio-research lab is doing experiments on spiders, attempting to make Super Spiders (cough) for the military. Yes folks, I’m as confounded (no, “confounded” isn’t the word. How about “appalled,” yes, “appalled” will do quite nicely) as you at this point. Both at the sheer lunacy of the plot, and the filmmakers’ audacity to so blatantly and shamelessly plagiarize a Stan Lee story.
When his lab is broken into by a masked thief and his partner killed, Quentin injects himself with the Super Spider serum, and sets out to avenge his partner’s death. Equipped with new Spider Powers, Quentin becomes an avenging knight, protecting the weak and disenfranchised people of Old New York. You yawning yet? I sure as hell am.
When Stephanie is nearly raped by the “Midtown Murderer,” Quentin uses his newfound Spider Power to save Stephanie and kill the serial killer that co-star Detective Grillo (Dan Ackroyd) has been pursuing for years. Grillo, a once hard-boiled cop who, predictably, has since had his partner shot down in the line of duty, pursues Quentin, following the trail of desiccated bodies left in the Man-Spider’s wake. Will he catch the Arachnid Avenger (groan) before he strikes again? Will Quentin get the girl? Will the audience remember this movie five minutes after the credits end? These questions and more not answered by this film!
If you love shameless, heartless, talentless, visionless rip-offs of beloved comic properties, then Earth Vs. The Spider is the flick for you. If you also adore gap-toothed, wart-lipped, bemulletted leading ladies, then Earth Vs. The Spider is the right flick for you. And another note, if you can’t get enough horrible special effects, shoddy makeup effects and woeful acting, then baby, this movie is right for you!
Earth Vs. The Spider is a marvelously unique and imaginative little film about a boy, a boy with a dream and a problem. This boy, Quentin (Devon Gummersall) is a security guard for a biological weapons research lab that develops Super Spiders for the military. He has a dream, a quaint, lovely, romantic dream that lies in his neighbor, Stephanie (Amelia Heinle). You see, Quentin is a shy, lonely comic-book obsessed loner, madly in love with his comely neighbor, yet he is too bashful to reveal his deepest feelings. Oh what is a poor lad to do.
Later that night, a masked robber enters the bio-lab where Quentin works. In the resulting melee, Quentin’s partner, a kindly old man, gets gunned down. Quentin vows revenge, and in a completely unpredictable twist, injects himself with the Super Spider serum.
Quentin, now equipped with super strength, enhanced senses, the ability to climb on walls like a spider and the unheard of ability to shoot webs in which to ensnare criminals becomes an unstoppable Avenging Arachnid, out to protect the people of Old New York.
Will Quentin discover the fullest extent of his powers? Will Quentin get the girl? Will Quentin discover inner peace?
Also starring Dan Ackroyd as Detective Grillo, the hard-bitten detective that doesn’t once remind us of his portrayal of Det. Friday and never makes us yearn for a time when he made great movies alongside some of the world’s leading comedic talents.
I just recently sat down and watched Spider-Man in a sticky-floored theatre full of chatty, annoying little punk kids. Imagine my shock when I saw how horribly and shamelessly Raimi and Co ripped off Earth Vs. The Spider in their bland summer blockbuster. Geeky protagonist? Genetically-engineered spiders? Cute girl next door? Superhero with the power of a spider? Web-thwippers? For shame, Mister Raimi, and to think that I once lauded you for your unabashed creativity and originality. Just color me a little more disaffected with Hollywood and the whole sharklike process of moviemaking. Not a single one of those powerful filmmakers out there could come up with an original idea if it bit into them with the inch-long fangs of an engineered Super Spider.
Posted on May 14, 2003 in Reviews by Steve Van Pelt
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