There was a time when giant bug/arachnid films were the rage. And the Giant Spider brings back several characters we have met going as far back as the Terror Beneath the Earth. The titular spider is no doubt some kid’s pet that crawled into the irradiated caves that populate the Mihmiverse and got to be bigger than a tank.
The monstrous Spider works it’s way through the countryside, devouring people. A group of scientists and military work fervently to stop the creature’s rampage. Returning to the Mihmiverse for the film are Dr. Edwards (Terror From Beneath the Earth & Attack of the Moon Zombies) and Dr. Gabriel (Attack of the Moon Zombies). These are fun recurring characters because Michael Cook (Dr. Edwards) and James Norgard (Dr. Gabriel) are very entertaining. They know when to ham it up and when to dial it down. The thing that really makes any of Mihm’s films work is that the characters are largely played straight. There is not a lot of “I am trying to act badly”. Folks bring sincerity to the roles, which is where the amusement comes in. These scientists are delivering pretty weak science, yet, with real conviction.
The effects for the Giant Spider are really strong. They are, of course, a combination of green-screen and a regular sized tarantula and a model creature. The close ups of it’s face are a model (puppet?) but it is a fun “monster” version of our nightmares. The green-screen work is not seamless, nor should it be. It mimics the look of a movie era probably the best of all of the Mihmiverse films to this point.
While most of the Mihmiverse films tend to feel very distinctly 50’s, the Giant Spider kind of straddles a line between the 50’s and 60’s. Especially with the logo (the only splash of color the film) and the theme song. The theme song is very much a sixties proto-punk sound.
Christopher’s films are never overly long, but the Giant Spider is one of the shortest. And this is really in service to the film. It moves at a good pace and is pretty tight in it’s storytelling. The Giant Spider has long reigned as one of my personal favorites in the works of the Mihmiverse.