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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Dorsey Burnett

Reviewer. Dan Cook

One of the more entertaining 70’s “nature on the attack” pictures to follow in JAWS mighty wake, KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS is a silly but undoubtedly skin-crawling B movie classic that sees a small Arizona town completely overrun by a mutated form of super-venomous tarantulas. Leading the charge against the 8 legged horrors is sci-fi legend turned space tourist William Shatner who stars here as a vet who finds himself completely helpless in the face of the seemingly endless stream of arachnids who quickly move from killing the local livestock and house pets to feasting on his fellow townsfolk.

A clear inspiration for later films such as EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS, ARACHNOPHOBIA and the more horrifyingly gory moments of THE MIST, KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS certainly follows many of the conventions we have come to associate with the standard creature feature but it manages to overcome these tropes thanks to some genuinely creepy scenes of webby madness, all of which are accompanied by Dorsey Burnett’s highly effective underscoring, an over-the-top but charismatic lead performance from the always enjoyable Shatner and an unforgettable finale that would make Alfred Hitchcock himself proud.

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