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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Tarantulas")

 

Directed by Stuart Hagmann
USA 1977

 

A skin-crawling tale of terror begins when two Americans fly down to Ecuador to pick up a load of premium coffee beans. Unbeknownst to them, the cargo contains hundreds of lethal stowaways: gigantic, venomous tarantulas. When the plane crashes in a small California town, the furry fiends escape and wreak havoc on the unsuspecting inhabitants. Beware of the chilling arachno-horror that lurks within Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo. Claude Akins (Tentacles), Charles Frank (The Right Stuff), Deborah Winters (The People Next Door), Bert Remsen (Code of Silence), Pat Hingle (The Falcon and the Snowman), Tom Atkins (Halloween III: Season of the Witch) and Howard Hesseman (Honky Tonk Freeway) are among those victimized by the eight-legged evil. Directed by TV and Film veteran Stuart Hagmann (Believe in Me).

***

An airplane carrying coffee beans from South America has some unpleasant stowaways: a hoard of tarantulas which overcome the pilots as the airplane is flying over an orange-producing town in California. The airplane crashes, and the unlucky inhabitants of the town release the poisonous spiders into their midst. Once the town's officials discover that the tarantulas are responsible for several deaths, the tarantulas have already descended upon the town's only orange-processing factory. The town's citizens risk their lives to remove the tarantulas from the factory while the poisonous pests are rendered motionless by the transmitted sound of buzzing bees.

Posters

Television premiere: December 28th, 1977

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:16.291        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,452,507,188 bytes

Feature: 19,876,706,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.44 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1631 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1631 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,452,507,188 bytes

Feature: 19,876,706,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.44 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian/Author Amanda Reyes and Film Historian (Made for TV Mayhem)
Trailers


Blu-ray Release Date: July 5th
2022
Standard Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (July 2022): Kino have transferred Stuart Hagmann's Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "Brand New 2K Master". The image is restrained by its TV limitations and modest single-layered transfer. It actually looks okay - consistent and clean with decent, if flat, colors and unremarkable contrast. Considering its made-for-television roots, the 1080P visuals may actually exceed expectations. 

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original English language. Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo has aggressive moments that come through with passive depth and a, rather decent, score by Mundell Lowe (Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Billy Jack)  sounding clean with consistent dialogue in the lossless transfer. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by the trifecta of Amanda Reyes (author of Are You In The House Alone?: A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999) , Daniel Budnik (author of '80s Action Movies on the Cheap: 284 Low Budget, High Impact Pictures) and fellow 'Made for TV Mayhem' podcaster Nathan Johnson. Despite there being very little documented about Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo they cover a number of topics including the director E.W. Swackhamer (Night Terror, one of the 1990's Columbo movies), the proliferation of insect-horror genre of the era, Amanda quotes from Katarina Gregersdotter + Nicklas Hlln's Animal Horror Cinema: Genre, History and Criticism book, degrees of separation with the cast and crew in related films, actress Penelope Windust, Charles Siebert plus many others. They kind of drift around but it is still very informative. Nice to hear such positive enthusiasm for Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo and its TV ilk in general. There are trailers for Fear No Evil and Scream, Pretty Peggy but none for this TV movie. The package has a nice O-card slipcase.

Stuart Hagmann's Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo is another of the intensely 'suspension-of-belief requiring' CBS made-for-television 'bug vs. human' horrors - but I found it more believable than Ants! - which, to be honest, isn't setting the bar extremely high. It came out the same year as Kingdom of the Spiders with William Shatner that, at least, has camp value. Tarantulas' greatest appeal may be nostalgia - for those who want to drift back to 1977 TV and indulge in this sub-genre with poisonous spiders killed by... wasp sounds (eyebrows raised). Give me Jack Arnold's 1955 Tarantula any day. The Kino Blu-ray has another highly pleasing commentary and Tarantulas fans know who they are. Late Friday night Double Feature fodder, for sure - popcorn optional.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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