Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In case you were unaware of this there’s a war going on in Afghanistan as we watch U.S. soldiers sit on one side of the mountain shooting at Afghani insurgents who sit on the other side of a mountain who shoot back. I’m no military strategist, but ‘I shoot you – you shoot me’ stratagem didn’t look too terribly sound. We call in air support via a helicopter who drops one missile in front of the mountain and hits nothing but a nearby Humvee… which showed up in the next scene in the same spot anyway. Come on man… we might not manufacture a lot in the U.S. of A anymore, but we do make bombs that blow up stuff real good. Since our soldiers can’t hit these insurgents with their bullets and our air support can’t hit them with their missiles, it’s a good thing the Camel Spiders showed up to take out these insurgents, because apparently Camel Spiders, unlike insurgents, love freedom. The name of the movie is ‘Camel Spiders’ it is directed and written by Jim Wynorski under the Roger Corman banner which means there’s the likely chance… before we even see a single frame… that it’s going be awful. But this doesn’t mean that it won’t be entertaining.

After that scintillating firefight, hardcore army badass Captain Sturges (Brian Krause) leaves the deserts of Afghanistan for the deserts of someplace in the United States. Just so you know there’s no real transition here, one minute we’re in one desert, the next minute we’re in another desert and it took a while to realize that we weren’t supposed to be in the Middle East anymore. I know special effects are expensive, but I thought simple text was cheap. Also along for the ride on the trip back to the U.S. was a dead soldier filled with Camel Spiders. Come on customs, we have to do better.

So the Captain makes it back home, chauffeured around by his hot assistant Sgt. Underwood as played by an actress named Melissa Braselle, but uses the name Rocky DeMarco for this movie. We don’t know which one she prefers. They get into a car accident which knocks the dead body around and frees the Camel Spiders. This scene also introduces us to Sheriff Beaumont as played by C. Thomas Howell, and you’re probably thinking to yourself that there’s no way this movie can get any better.

Since the Camel Spiders are on the loose and all, they have to do camel spider stuff like eat some horny young adults, devour a nature resort class where the professor spies a giant four foot spider and went to ‘check it out’, and they also web up a gas station. You may wonder how these spiders propagated, made it all the way to the gas station, and webbed up people even though they just hit town about five minutes ago, and we could point out the genus solifugae isn’t a web producing arachnid, nor are they venomous, nor do they eat people but this isn’t National Geographic we’re watching now is it?

Eventually there’s a camel spider standoff at the diner where the Sheriff takes our captain to get some grub. Here we pick up some usual suspects such as bratty kids and evil land developers. Soon this camel spider standoff moves to some warehouse in a desert owned by the land developers where ‘Camel Spiders’ turns into a version of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ only with giant CGI spiders instead of crazed gang bangers.

Hmmm… ‘Camel Spiders’. I would like to tell you that this Jim Wynorski directed joint is terrible. Amongst Wynorski’s worst’s in a lengthy career that has seen some truly bad movies… but I can’t because ‘Camel Spiders’ isn’t terrible. Thus you would think that would leave me to tell you that ‘Camel Spiders’ is a good movie, surpassing all we could’ve hoped for in a B-Movie calling itself ‘Camel Spiders’ but we can’t tell you that either. No my friends, ‘Camel Spiders’ is neither good nor bad, at least by B-Movie standards, which is almost certain death for a B-movie. There can’t be much worse than a semi-competent, borderline well acted B-movie with a story that halfway makes sense. Take Wynorski’s ‘Vampire in Vegas’ as an example of a B-Movie done completely wrong… which means it was done right. If that makes any kind of sense.

Brian Krause is actually a pretty decent actor often stuck in these types of movies, but to his credit he usually takes this stuff serious as a heart attack and he treats this movie as if he were making ‘Apocalypse Now’. But we like that kind of dedication in our movies of suspect value, it’s just the performances were about as inconsistent as the rest of the movie. And while we mention that the story halfway makes sense, let’s not get confused and think it makes total sense, just enough sense to get by. That being that big spiders are dangerous and find irritating people tasty.

The bottom line is that ‘Camel Spiders’ suffers from being too damn mediocre. It’s not bad enough to be campy fun, and it’s not good enough to be legitimately entertaining. Let’s hope Wynorski’s next ‘Creatures Gone Wild’ flick, that movie being Piranhaconda, doesn’t suffer from a similar fate.

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