Spiders (2000)
Cobwebs

Nomination Year: 2007
SYNOPSIS:  A radiation experiment on the Space Shuttle goes awry and the mutated spider spawn break free and attack the crew during re-entry. The shuttle crashes in the California desert, and recovery efforts are observed by a trio of college-age newspaper reporters who work for a Weekly World News style tabloid. They see a creepy CIA guy kill one of the astronauts that the military recovery crew were supposed to be rescuing, and Our Heroes decide to follow them into the depths of Area 51. A fairly standard monster movie ensues with webby things in the dark killing off people one by one as Our Heroes try to escape. Two of them manage to get free and return to their paper with a story that no one will believe.

And then, 9/10ths of the way through things, it seems like they found a huge stack of money. Every time a ($) appears in the next paragraph, the movie budget doubles.

At their newspaper office, the creepy CIA type that they'd met earlier and that we'd all assumed had died has tracked them down. He doesn't want the giant spider story to get out, so he's killed their editor. He is just about to kill them when the spider egg that was planted in him (back when we thought he was killed) hatches into an incredibly well-animated CGI spider of doom ($). The spider quickly grows to a size that allows it to throw cars around ($) and inflict massive damage on buildings ($). The heroes find Dead CIA Guy's helicopter ($), and the sight of the giant spider helps them convince the pilot that something has gone horribly wrong. They arm themselves with the military hardware from the 'copter, and chase the spider into a cordoned-off area of downtown LA ($), where they manage to blow it up with a rocket launcher.

Woah!

Fortunately, a lot of the early stuff is incredibly cheesy. Big puppets, lame FX, and a hysterical moment when a radar operator mis-identifies Canada as Italy.

"Whoops!"

Don't they Teach Geography Anymore?
A scene from Ground Control.
"Shuttle is now passing over Canada," says a controller.
Someone puts their finger on Italy on the map.
Gosh, real close.

Smithee Award Winner! Acting Appropriately Stupid

"It's in Here with Us, Let's Keep Going"
The Heroic Trio is heading up the stairs (being unable to find their way back to the elevator). It's quite a climb. But on the bannister -- uh oh! -- webbing. "It's in here," says one of them. They look up the staircase. Yep. Definitely more webbing the farther up you go. "Let's keep going," says another ... and wearily they trudge up the stairs, towards (of course) impending doom.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Lana Parilla regular on Windfall 
Josh Green  
Mark Phelan  
Leslie Harter Zemeckis wife of director Robert Zemeckis -- though not until years after she was in this turkey 
Director Claim to Fame
Gary Jones put in his time as FX supervisor, 2nd unit director, make-up, etc 

Matt Quirk

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