Movies From the Black lagoon: Camel Spiders

Movies From the Black lagoon
Camel Spiders - 2012, Unrated
By Tom Doty
Weekly Contributing Writer

A rural community faces a terrifying attack by the titular creatures in this belated attempt to cash in on "8 Legged Freaks" from Roger Corman.
The story begins in Afghanistan (which looks suspiciously like Southern California) were some American troops are engaged in a battle with evildoers. It is a pretty even battle until Camel Spiders show up and attack the other side. They are fierce beats that look like scorpions, hiss like frightened Geckos, and tear into humans like beef jerky. Our side wins the battle with only one casualty and a minor wound to the head officer, Sturges.
Sturges opts to fly home with the body but doesn't realize that a trio of the beasts has hitched a ride in the coffin (this development is a blatant rip off of 'Arachnophobia' or a loving homage depending on whether the director is a film fan). When they arrive a female officer who drives him through the desert to lay the body to rest meets the Captain. Unfortunately their trip is sidelined when they get T-Boned by a guy who fled the Sheriff but never watched an episode of "The best Police chases Caught on Tape."
The crash leaves the bad guy dead but the Army now gets an escort from the Sheriff. The spiders escape in the confusion and immediately multiply. They also find time to take their first American victim down. He turns out to be an A-one doofus who treats his girl friend like a slave. He pays for his character flaws in true "America's Funniest Home Videos " fashion by having a Camel Spider attack his groin. The girlfriend high tails it to town but finds that the spiders have already attacked the local gas and grocer.
Meanwhile a field trip by a science class ends hilariously when the teacher strolls over to a camel spider and begins orating about how far from home the creature is when said creature decides to leap onto his face. The teacher screams like he just won a microwave on "Let's Make a Deal" before dropping dead. Four of the students run away and hold up at a deserted house.
Meanwhile Sturges goes for a bite with the Sheriff and is treated to the sight of giant spiders invading the diner. He organizes an escape to nearby Gypsum mine. Now you have two groups fighting for survival. Sadly the movie takes a nap here and we are treated to embarrassing attempts to develop sympathy for these people before they are mostly killed. It doesn't work and you just start rooting for the spiders. Eventually the film forgets about the four teens in the house and just concentrates on the larger group. Most of them die during their escape and little suspense is generated.
It is obvious that this film was made for short attention spans. It boils down to a series of kill scenes spread out amongst a plethora of bit involving small talk. Finally we have a movie that all but pleads with you to go to the bathroom, text a friend, or start on a quilt. The movie is more interesting if you generally ignore it until a camel spider hiss alerts you to a potential action scene. That said the final two minutes (depicting a Drive-in that will not be doing any business in the hands of the Camel Spiders) is so well executed that you'll swear someone else snuck in and filmed it after the movie was already finished.
Best Line: "Unfortunately we are dealing with some very large spiders."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@myactv.net.