B-movie legend Roger Corman never fails to provide bits of monster movie mayhem to help us waste our time on a Friday or Saturday night stuck at home. His latest offering is "Camel Spiders" -- real, oversized, six-legged insects -- which wreak wonderfully grotesque havoc on actors C. Thomas Howell ("The Outsiders"), Brian Krause ("Charmed," "Sleepwalkers"), and a number of nameless women for guys to gawk at.
This is one of the best "so-bad-it's good" movies I've seen in a long time. Legendary schlock master Jim Wynorski ("Chopping Mall," "The Return of Swamp Thing") directed this fun little flick under the name Jay Andrews.
When an Army captain brings the body of a dead soldier back to the United States, he has no idea that deadly creatures known as camel spiders hitched a ride inside the cadaver. As the captain and his sergeant transport the body cross-country, the camel spiders escape, begin reproducing at a rapid rate, and attack the residents of a small Southwestern desert town. A small band of survivors must find a way to destroy the deadly monsters before they take over the world.
I have a hard time complaining about the high-definition transfer of a Roger Corman creature feature. Of course the clean and crisp picture is going to show the limitations of budget CG effects. There's no way around it. Will it affect a viewer's enjoyment of the movie? That depends on what you're looking for or expecting.
If you sit down in front of "Camel Spiders" looking for "Aliens," then you're going to be disappointed. If you sit down to blow an hour and a half looking for something better than "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus," this is for you. There's no denying the picture here is vibrant and the black shadings don't blend together. Most of the action involving CG creatures takes place during the day, which doesn't help mask the less-than-stellar visual effects.
One thing the makers of this movie didn't do was spare expense when it comes to the 5.1 surround sound. Every firing of a sub machine gun and squish of a bug being trampled rings out of its assigned speaker. This brings the rather artificial clicking sound of the creatures crawling toward their prey to the forefront.
However, no one can say the mixers of the audio didn't do their jobs. The music score, sound effects, and dialogue are all well-balanced.
Maybe I shouldn't have expected anything when it came to bonus material, but I was actually shocked to see there was absolutely none to be found here. There wasn't even a trailer for this thing. The production team couldn't even get somebody on the crew to video tape enough material for a short "making of" featurette?
The Blu-ray version of "Camel Spiders" was quite a bit of fun. I actually found myself cringing in certain parts because of the nasty little creatures. This movie will definitely freak out anyone who hates bugs or spiders of any kind. Even the low-budget CG effects didn't even keep me from being creeped out. I guess it did its job then, didn't it?
Just don't expect Oscar-worthy performances from the actors. Consumers looking for special features are going to be left empty-handed. If you're in search of a kooky flick to pass the time with some friends, this will do the trick.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Kenneth Branagh, Gerard Butler, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.
Check out the "The Hunger Games" live red carpet premiere on March 12 only on Yahoo! Movies.