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(aka 'Tarántula')

 

Directed by John 'Bud' Cardos
USA
1977

 

William Shatner stars as veterinarian Rack Hansen in this cult classic about an Arizona town infested with a horde of arachnids that turn on the humans whose insecticides have depleted their natural food supply. After livestock belonging to rancher Walter Colby fall victim to a spider attack, entomologist Diane Ashley (Tiffany Bolling) arrives and tries to help Rack deal with the crisis: but with the big county fair fast approaching, Mayor Connors refuses to let them quarantine the ranch. Soon the remaining residents of the town must barricade themselves at Emma Washburns lodge in an effort to save themselves from the eight-legged invaders in the ultimate man vs. spider showdown.

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Theatrical Release: August 24th, 1977

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DVD Review: Shout! Factory - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:34:45 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.19 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

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

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• All-New Interview With William Shatner (16:36)
• Jim Brockett: Spider Wrangler Featurette (12:24)
• Audio Commentary by Director John Bud Cardos, Producer Igo Kantor, Spider  Wrangler Jim Brockett And Cinematographer John Morrill; Moderated By Hostel Producer Scott Spiegel And Lee Christian
• Rare Behind-The-Scenes Footage (17:19)
• Interview With Writer Stephen Lodge (4:40)
• Poster Gallery
• Original Theatrical Trailer (1:53)

DVD Release Date: January 19th, 2010

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

My appreciation for schlocky cinema only seems to escalate over time. I don't know if it could be labeled a 'creature feature' maybe a 'creatures feature' - but the intent is the same - to give you the heeby-jeebies. 

This is described by Shout! Factory as the a 'Special Edition'. Actually, there was a 'Good Time Video' 25th Anniversary Special Edition from 2002, previously available HERE, but it was open-matte 1.33:1. This 1.78 transfer is dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive. It looks pretty good - very clean - noise exists but contrast is acceptable and colors moderately bright. Good news again that I don't see any manipulations. I wasn't expecting much more. Audio is unremarkable but close, I'll wager, to the way it was produced. There are no subtitles on the region 1 NTSC disc.

Shout! Factory have included an audio Commentary by director John Bud Cardos, producer Igo Kantor, 'Spider Wrangler' Jim Brockett and cinematographer John Morrill. Moderators producer Scott Spiegel and Lee Christian keep things at a good pace and there is some fun here. There is an all-new, 16-minute, interview with William Shatner and he is honest but behaved. The 'Rare Behind-The-Scenes Footage' is 17-minutes of rough looking footage but fans of Indie Horror might enjoy. There is an interview With writer Stephen Lodge for about 5-minuts and a dozen with Jim Brockett- the 'Spider Wrangler' - this is very interesting. Lastly we get a 'Poster Gallery' and original theatrical trailer.

Kingdom of the Spiders is a 'so bad it's good' cinema gem and makes for a fun 1 1/2 hours. Effects are weak but Shatner is Shatner which is a bonus, it has Woody Strode!, and I like the honest feel of the film. They knew they weren't making Citizen Kane II here - but it was taken seriously enough to produce some primo kitsch entertainment. I got a kick out of it and know I'll watch it again one day- creepy and still charming. If you haven't seen - give it a spin some late Friday night... include liberally buttered popcorn.

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 1 - NTSC



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