Ambitious Professor Gerald Deemer (Leo G. Carroll) has developed an astonishing new project: a special growth formula. Testing the formula on his innocent lab tarantula in Arizona he expects nothing more than it to double in size. But when it somehow escapes into the desert, it grows to gargantuan size and threatens to destroy everything and everyone in its path. (Umbrella Entertainment)


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English Jack Arnold is great. His films (e.g. Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, The Incredible Shrinking Man) are proper filmmaking with good special effects on the side. This also applies to Tarantula. The performances are solid, there is no overacting, the suspense works and an arachnophobe like me will go through some scenes with a chill. The final impression is enhanced by the fact that the giant tarantula is not represented by an animatronic model (thank God), but by Arnold's reliance on shots of a real spider, either moving on a plausible model of the Arizona landscape, or (much more often) by a simple and very effective blending of shots. Only when the tarantula leans toward its victim do they use models for the close-ups of the eyes and fangs. Moreover, as Arnold has already proved in several of his films, he knows how to work with tension; the scene when the young scientist goes to sleep and the big tarantula eyes peer through her window is brilliant. The plot is as simple as it can be (can you expect anything else in a monster-movie?), but apart from small holes in logic, such as the fact that no one notices a giant monster for a few days, even though it is happily roaming the Arizona plains during the day, I have no major reservations and it is above average in the monster-movie genre. Oh, and the poster showing the tarantula holding a scantily clad woman in its fangs is lying :) The classic genre trope of kidnapping the main female character and then rescuing her, unfortunately, doesn't happen here. It’s a pity, I was looking forward to it so much :) ()


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English One of the strongest aspects of my personality is my very strong arachnophobia. But this time, ironically, it came in handy, because Tarantula impressed me in the way it should have thanks to my arachnophobia (and thanks to the skill of the filmmakers). A hideous gigantic spider is scratching its way through the desert, eating horses and farmers, laughing at explosives (in a certain indescribable spider-like way)... But when it manages to step on a city full of those strange two-legged creatures, it doesn't count on Clint Eastwood flying in one of the fighter jets to destroy him. How indicative. Four pure stars. ()



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English I really like this seemingly corny trash. Jack Arnold was an excellent director who did not let the theme around a giant killer tarantula turn into a ridiculous show of limited technical possibilities and creative repetitiveness (in the sense of copying the usual methods of the popular monster movies of the time). Tarantula has convincing and clever special effects, creepy make up, likeable actors, and above all a steady directorial hand that keeps the pace of the narrative and stages some delicious moments of arachnophobic nightmare. The exposition may not have the same power, and at times Arnold is forced to repeat himself to wean the hundred-foot eight-legged beast out of the characters' reach long enough for their personal development to be resolved, but it's still one of the most entertaining and most confidently crafted B-movies of the 1950s. ()

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