‘Earth vs. the Spider’ (1958) (B-Movie Review — Part One)

This is Part One of the Saturday B-Movie Review of the amazing hit little-known classic flick, Earth vs. the Spider! Ooh! Creepy! 🙂

One thing about this movie. It doesn’t take long to see the problem. Maybe less than a minute into the film (possibly before the credits?), someone’s dad is driving down the road (in the middle of nowhere, of course) and has a quite obviously horrible accident.

“Honey, I may be smiling, but I’m worried about Dad.” (Image via Just Screenshots.)

But when his daughter raises the fact that Daddy was due home at a time certain, but never made it back, how does her boyfriend respond?

Kinda like this:

Girl: I’m worried about my Dad. He hasn’t come home when he said he would.

Boy: Oh, fugged about it. I’m sure he’s fine.

Girl: But, he said he’d be back by now. If he made other plans, he would have called to tell Mom.

Boy: So maybe he couldn’t find a phone? Maybe he didn’t have a nickel. Dime? Whatever. Stop worrying so much.

And, yeah, I made that up. But it’s way too close to the real dialogue for comfort.

Eventually, Carol reminds her boyfriend about good old Dad’s disappearance enough times that he finally comes to his senses and agrees to drive down the road, looking for him. They do find his truck, which appears to have lost a contest with something sufficiently awful that it’s left the vehicle looking like a wreck. But Dad’s not with the truck.

At this point, the Boyfriend (Mike is his name — and Carol is his girlfriend) transforms from uncaring jackass to completely oblivious and/or stupid idiot.

The dialogue goes like so (I’ll switch briefly to screenwriting format or as close an approximation as Medium will allow):

CAROL
I’m worried about Dad, because he’s missing.

MIKE
Oh, I’m sure he must be around somewhere. He probably went into this cave. To keep warm.

Mike points toward nearby cave. Before the entrance, a sign reads:

“Do Not Enter. No Trespassing. Danger lurks within here. Really, DO NOT COME IN HERE.”

“Um, really?” (Image via Just Screenshots.)

And scene! Well, in so many words. 🙂

[Blogger’s note: There is always some kind of controversy about how screenwriters should format a particular scene. In this case, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and gone with my gut. I didn’t even check my copy of Dave Trottier’s book!]

Despite the obvious sign, Carol and Mike wander inside looking for good old Dad. And while they don’t find him, they do run across a giant tarantula. And despite temporarily getting caught in its giant web constructed of thick, criss-crossed ropes covered in some kind of icky substance, they manage to escape and return to town.

When they tell the Sheriff about it, he laughs the whole thing off.

Sheriff: Oh, you kids and your pranks!

Mike: Dude! Why would I make this up?

Sheriff: Isn’t that what all teenagers in the Fifties do?

PS: There’s an affiliate link in there somewhere. 🙂

PPS: If you enjoy movie discussions, the Anne Arundel Public Library in Maryland has a totally awesome movie discussion group! It’s virtual, so you can be anywhere in the world that has the Internet and do this.

Coming up next is one of my own favorite films, Chinatown! Exciting! 🙂

Spots are filling up, so sign up today! 🙂

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Debbi Mack

Debbi Mack

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New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website: www.debbimack.com.