Camel Spiders review

Having grown up on Roger Corman’s adaptations of the classic Edgar Allan Poe stories, I was pretty psyched to see his name attached to “Camel Spiders”. Today I sat down to check this flick out with big hopes for some classic B-movie cheese; what I got was bad CGI and heartburn.

This movie begins with a firefight between some American soldiers (led by Brian Krause of “Sleepwalkers” and “Charmed” fame) and some Taliban fighters in the deserts of Afghanistan. All of a sudden, during the middle of an everyday gun-fight, out come the camel spiders to drag away and kill the Taliban soldiers while the Americans try to piece together what went on.

Next, a wounded Captain Sturges (Krause) gets shipped back to Arizona along with the body of a fellow soldier. Little does the Captain know that a few of those nasty bugs have hitched a ride inside of the very corpse that is on its way back to the U.S.A. (Sound familiar “Arachnophobia” fans?); so let the baby spider-making begin.

Since this one is pretty thin on plot, let me sum it all up here: A small town gets infested with tons of deadly camel spiders that jump on people’s faces and make big CGI gushes of blood. Oh, and don’t forget to add in the teenagers who just want to party and the hick sheriff played by C.Thomas Howell (Talk about someone who is not aging well – Stay gold, Ponyboy.) In the end, there are big explosions, in the form of a military airstrike, to save the day and those who haven’t been eaten are happy.

The one person who’s not left happy is the viewer. This movie lacks the fun that I look for in a B-movie. What I’ve always loved about most of Corman’s movies is that they don’t seem to take themselves seriously; most are cheesy movies with bad effects, worse acting and questionable plots, but that’s okay; they’re meant to be that way and that’s what makes them fun! Unfortunately I get the feeling that “Camel Spiders” was meant to be taken seriously and if so, it just doesn’t work.

Entertainment company Shout! Factory is currently releasing a series of DVD’s entitled “Roger Corman’s Cult Classics”. Roger Corman is a veritable God in the industry, having been involved in such classics as “Piranha”, the “Slumber Party Massacre” series and a personal favorite of mine, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”. Mr. Corman has spent the better part of fifty years in a genre that has been near and dear to so many hearts (like mine) and he deserves to have a collection of his greatest films re-released to a new generation. However, I have a gut-feeling that “Camel Spiders” will not be a part of that collection.

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Larry Dwyer
Larry Dwyer has been writing for Horror News Network since 2012. Catch up with him on Twitter at @LarryDwyer and read his in-depth bio on our About Us page.

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