Friday, June 26, 2015

Kingdom of the Spiders

Directed by John Cardos.

1977. Rated PG, 97 minutes.

William Shatner
Tiffany Bolling
Woody Strode
Altovise Davis
Lieux Dressler
David McLean
Natasha Ryan

Walter Colby, played by the ever-so-awesome Woody Strode, raises cattle. One morning he finds one of his calves laid out in the grass, in pretty bad shape. As you would expect, he calls the local vet, Dr. Robert “Rack” Hansen. Yes, they really call him Rack. Anyhoo, when the good doctor gets there, we find out it’s none other than the original Captain James T. Kirk, William Shatner. Okay, true Trekkies will tell you he’s not the original, but why let the facts get in the way of entertaining prose? So Kirk hauls the calf back to his place but can’t save it and can’t figure out what killed it. Where’s Bones when you need him? This means he has to call up the local university, University of Arizona in this case, and get an expert “down here” to help out. As luck would have it, our expert is a hot blonde who happens to be single. Cpt. Kirk putting the moves on her ensues.

Wait…what? Spiders? Oh, right. The lady from the university, Prof. Diane Ashley, gets the cockamamie idea that the calf was killed by spider venom. Besides constantly trying to show her his phaser, Kirk tells her that’s crazy talk because ain’t no itsy bitsy spider gonna bring down no calf, or something to that effect. He hits on her a few more times during which she manages to blurt out that it might not have been just one spider, but hundreds or even thousands of them.

If you think I’m exaggerating the captain’s sexual aggression I can assure you I am doing no such thing. During one scene, before she’s actually succumbed to his…charm, for lack of a better word, he uninvitedly and creepily walks up behind her and buries his nose in her hair and takes a long, intoxicating sniff. It’s a good thing for him this was during the 1970s. Nowadays, a star commander could get locked up for that sort of thing. Frankly, I’m thankful for his shenanigans. Watching him trying to give her a ride in the captain’s chair keeps the first two acts of the movie entertaining.

On the other hand, watching (hehe) turn down some lovin’ is interesting, too. He repeatedly rebuffs the advances of the wife of his deceased brother. She’s also attractive and obviously very horny, you know, since she evidently hasn’t gotten any since her hubby passed. Therefore, she throws it at him whenever she’s anywhere near him. He playfully flirts but ends up teleporting away as fast as possible. Hey, even an intergalactic pimp like James Tiberius has a line he won’t cross. Then again, you have to think if she were green he might’ve went for it. You never know.

Oh yeah, spiders. Once we get to the last act, the spiders kick it into overdrive. They pop out of everywhere, gang tackle some folks, take down a plane and surround a cabin like the mob of zombies from Night of the Living Dead. Oh, oh, almost forgot, they wrap people in their webs after they kill them. Just wait until you see what they make Walter’s wife do to herself. And I can’t forget what Kirk does with his niece that he’s supposed to be saving. Hi-larious! Seriously, how has this not gotten a super-gory 21st century remake? It should because it’s so bad, it’s awesome!

Check out my reviews of other movies so bad they're awesome!


  1. Funny review, really it's the only way to look at this type of low rent opus. Oh what horrors and junk The Exorcist and Jaws wrought with their success. While I don't recall this piece of cinematic "art" in theatres I can remember its ilk from the same era like Day of the Animals, Empire of the Ants or the Devil's Rain where some poor former topliner like Ruth Roman, Joan Collins or Ida Lupino respectively were reduced to appearing in said junk. The budget on this one must have been rock bottom if all they could afford was Shatner. I also remember some terrible TV movie from around the same period called Curse of the Black Widow, that ensnared the unfortunate Patty Duke and June Allyson in some similar shenanigans having to do with spiders.

    1. "Low rent opus," love that! Let's throw in Killer Bees with Gloria Swanson and Kate Jackson, and Frogs with Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, and Joan Van Ark.

    2. Killer Bees!!!! Love that one with Glo ever the regal diva even covered in bees. She makes that one a singular sensation by her unique presence. Because of her participation its the only one of these films that I would willingly watch again.

    3. To be honest, it's been so long since I've seen that one I don't remember anything of it. Not even sure I saw the whole thing. I'm willing to give it a go, though.

  2. Lol...Arachnophobia did that to a lot of people.

  3. Where has this been all my life?

    This sounds like a must see. I'm going to set my phaser

    1. Given your particular tastes, this is definitely a must see.