A movie about a giant alien spider from another planet is never going to be a high class work of art and Arachnid is anything but that. However its B-movie charm, schlocky gore and clichéd characters make watching this monster movie guaranteed fun for those that like there horror on the cheesy side.
Rereleased as part of the Fantastic Factory box set the movie opens with a stealth jet pilot colliding into a mysterious alien craft resulting in both crashing on a small island. Searching for survivors the unlucky air force fellow comes across a lone alien being devoured by a fearsome eight-legged creature, which soon turns its attentions on him.
Meanwhile a gang of scientists and mercenaries hire a plucky pilot, played by Descent star Alex Reid, to take them on a mission in the Pacific islands. Their plane however suffers the same fate and they too crash onto the alien arachnid inhabited island.
Running low on supplies and time the intrepid team head into the jungle where they encounter a number of mutated animals all bearing genetic similarities to spiders and all intent on eating them.
These creatures are nothing compared to the spider that spawned them and soon as the huddle of humans head towards the centre of the web they must face the giant killer arachnid whose primal goal is to lay its eggs inside the bodies of every last person in their party.
With a B-movie plot which has been recycled in a hundred horrors added to a collection of cardboard cut out characters whose job and looks sums up their entire personality Arachnid is anything but original.
The Predator and Aliens franchises plus every monster movie ever made are mixed in with Arachnophobia via a Sci-Fi filter to make a camp concoction of schlocky horror that feels decidedly 80’s considering it was released in 2001.
The cast do the best they can with the lines they are given and Reid does a good job sniping at her allies in an American accent while dishing out some ass kicking in her Lara Croft cast off’s. Ravil Isyanov from GoldenEye, Mr and Mrs Smith and Along Came a Spider, is also passable as the stereotypical spider expert as are the rest of the cast.
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge director Jack Sholder helms competently and the movie manages to deliver a couple of nasty scenes including some guts and gore especially when one unfortunate sole has a bevy of bugs hatch out from under his skin.
Special effects wise Arachnid is hit and miss with the computer generated effects well and truly missing while the models when used of the killer creatures are not actually that badly done.
The alien spider itself looks good for the budget restrictions and is not overused with the full reveal saved till near the end to give it as much impact as possible.
Brought out by the brilliant Arrow Video who always deliver extra extras and perfect packaging the disc includes King of the Spiders documentary as Brian Yuzna remembers Arachnid, Creature Comforts: The Monster Mayhem Of Steve Johnson plus a collectors’ booklet Spider Man and interview with director Jack Sholder by author and critic Calum Waddell.
Overall Arachnid is a cheap cheesy fun monster film which will probably have you laughing more than screaming unless of course you have a severe phobia of spiders in which case this could be the scariest horror you have ever seen.