Plot: A powerful earthquake has rocked New Orleans, but the damage done in the initial rumble is not the real concern at hand. As the quake opened fissures all over the city, long dormant spiders were woken from hibernation. These spiders aren’t just run of the mill arachnids either, but large, aggressive spiders that can spew fire and seem to hate humans. As the chaos unfolds, Katelynn (Tracey Gold) finds herself trying to survive alongside an eclectic band of folks, while her husband Charlie (Edward Furlong) is across town waging his own battle against the spiders. The body count rises and the spiders begin to take over New Orleans, but can anyone stop the rise of these fire breathing arachnids or will they swarm the entire country?
Entertainment Value: If you love spiders, but you also love earthquakes and you’re tired of being forced to choose, then Arachnoquake is the movie you have been waiting your entire life for. The narrative is simple survival, typical SyFy Channel kind of spider attacks with some famous faces blended into the mix. The spider element is the most prominent focus here however, as the earthquake quotient is low and never ramps up to disaster movie levels. So if you wanted more quake in this case, you’ll likely be let down, but the movie does deliver spiders in generous volume. This one also features perhaps the longest asthma attack in cinematic history, so there’s that little bonus if you’re doing some kind of oddball checklist. The tone is of course over the top, but some serious moments do pass through and the finale has a darker edge than expected, given how the rest of the material runs. But the driving force is spider attacks and they’re plentiful, with the kind of low rent CGI you’ve come to expect. So no, the spiders don’t look good and a lot of the animation seems to be repeated often, but for what it is, the movie has some fun spider battles. I have to think potential viewers know what they’re in for with Arachnoquake, as it follows the usual SyFy Channel formula and if you appreciate that, you’ll probably have some fun here. I wouldn’t rank it with the most fun or wild from the channel, but its passable.
This movie doesn’t have quite as off the wall stunt casting as some of SyFy’s pictures, but we do have a colorful mix of talent on hand. Tracey Gold has one of the leads and that insanely long asthma attack I mentioned before? That’s more or less her entire part in Arachnoquake, for better or worse. She is fun to watch and at least puts some energy into her performance, which is always welcome. All too often, stars sleep through their roles in movies like this, so at least Gold brought some presence and at least tried to make the most of the material. Edward Furlong is also here and is handed some lines that are a little more over the top, so he gets some laughs. He doesn’t go for broke as the bus driver, but he also brings some energy and puts in a little effort, though I think a more scene chewing approach could have helped the movie a lot. The cast also includes Bug Hall, Ethan Phillips, and Grant James.
The Disc: Mill Creek has released the movie as part of an Apocalypse: 4 in 1 Collection, along with several other similar b movies. The film looks fine in this presentation, with a clean print and solid detail levels, as far as DVD goes. The colors are bright and natural, while contrast is even handed. Not much else to discuss, as the movie looks more than passable in this collection.