Plot: When her father doesn’t come home one night, Carol (June Kennedy) is quite concerned and takes matters into her own hands. She recruits her boyfriend Mike (Gene Persson) to help her and the two couple heads to an old cave, where a most horrific discovery is made. She does indeed find her father and not only is he dead, but it looks as if he has been drained of his blood, a most unusual sight. The local sheriff doesn’t seem too worried, but when a science teacher ventures into the cave and finds a massive spider, it raises some eyebrows. The spider is poisoned and hauled back to be studied, but the power of rock ‘n roll threatens to bring it back from the dead and unleash a torrent of arachnid terror upon the locals.
Entertainment Value: This low rent b movie from Bert I. Gordon is a little slow and slapdash, but has some fun moments and old school charm. That assumes you are a fan of the genre, as the real draw of Earth vs. The Spider is the combination of low end special effects, laughable production values, and wooden performances. This means the big action scenes involve a real spider crawling around with terrible matte work, so to call this one dated would be an epic understatement. But that is part of what makes cheap b movies like this one fun to watch and we have a good amount of spider mayhem to soak in here. The highlight is when the spider peeks in on a woman through a window, in a nice nod to King Kong, but there’s minimal destruction on hand, unless you count what we hear about, but don’t see for ourselves. The movie also packs in oddball, stilted dialogue and wooden, hilarious performances, so when combined with the laughable special effects, there’s solid b movie fun here. So if you like old school, 50s style b movies, give Earth vs. The Spider a spin.
The writing in this one feels rushed and sloppy, which results in some awkward lines and exchanges. I think the cast is fun to watch and while the performances aren’t great, they combine well with the ridiculous dialogue. A special kind of magic happens at times when the writing is nonsensical and the acting is wooden, conjuring up b movie hilarity that is immense fun. I wish it happened more often, but it does crop up here and there, which is nice. June Kenney and Gene Persson are our intrepid teen leads and they might be much, much older than teens, but they turn in passable work here and if nothing else, are easy to root for. A likable lead can add a lot to movies this like, so I’m glad these two are fun to watch. The cast also includes Mickey Finn, Gene Roth, and Ed Kemmer, while Bert I. Gordon served as the film’s director.