Plot: Quentin Kemmer (Devon Gummersall) loves to read comic books, but his life is nothing like that of a superhero, to be sure. He is shunned by most of his peers, left to read his comics and daydream, though he can only do that at night. As the daytime hours are spent working as a guard at a biotech research center, though little ever happens. But he is given a chance to show some real life heroics when a band of criminals invade the compound, armed and prepared to whatever it takes to get what they’re after. As expected, Quentin is unable to prove himself as a hero and his partner is killed in the assault, leaving him an emotional mess. In a moment of weakness, he decides to inject a special serum into himself, one he knows has been the focus of much research at the center. The serum is supposed to give humans certain traits of a spider, but Quentin knows the research is incomplete, though he goes ahead with his plan, nonetheless. At first, he experiences some positive changes in himself, enhanced speed, agility, and random other attributes, but soon enough, the bad begins to creep in as well…
Entertainment Value: This movie was part of Stan Winston’s Creature Features series, which reworked old school b movies and tried to recapture the spirit of those low rent, but fun pictures. Earth vs. the Spider is one of the weaker entries in the series, as it has little to no b movie vibes whatsoever, opting for an overly serious, forgettable style that falls flat. I appreciate the premise, as a young man tries to cope with newfound power and the movie has a darker take on superheroes, but it just isn’t well executed and is more dull than anything else. The writing is mediocre and focuses on the least interesting parts of the concept, while the pace is slow and the cast doesn’t handle the dramatic tone well. Devon Gummersall has the lead and just fumbles at every turn, unable to convey the inner turmoil and conflict, which tanks the main narrative and drags the entire movie. I did like some of the film noir inspired moments and the special effects were fun, but otherwise Earth vs. the Spider is a bland, forgettable remake that is hard to recommend.
No nakedness. The movie has innuendo and some sexual elements that transpire off screen, but no sleaze in this one. There is some mild violence present, but little blood and most of the nastiness happens off screen. The movie does have some fun creature effects however, especially the full spider hybrid, which looks quite cool. Given Stan Winston’s involvement and the series’ focus on monster movie vibes, you might expect a lot of visual effects, but that isn’t the case. The effects are infrequent and even when shown, often are briefly seen at best. Some of the practical effects look terrific, but we also have some ridiculous CGI that is laughable, to be kind. The horrible special effects are at least a b movie thread, though. The dialogue is passable, but bland and as the movie is overly serious, doesn’t have much fun involved. No quotable lines or memorable exchanges, just basic dialogue to progress the narrative. As for craziness, the scant b movie traits earn a point, but otherwise no wackiness here.
Overall Insanity: 1/10