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The Spider
Earth vs the Spider

USA 1958
produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson, Bert I. Gordon for AIP
directed by Bert I. Gordon
starring Ed Kemmer, June Kenney, Eugene Persson, Gene Roth, Hal Torey, June Jocelyn, Mickey Finn, Sally Fraser, Troy Patterson, Skip Young, Howard Wright, Bill Giorgio, Hank Patterson, Jack Kosslyn, Bob Garnet, Shirley Falls, Merritt Stone

Bert I. Gordon's giant creature films

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When high school girl Carol's (June Kenney) dad (Merritt Stone) fails to arrive home for her birthday (he was killed by an itzy bitzy giant spider, but only we, the audience, know that), she persuades her boyfriend Mike (Eugene Persson) to go look for him with her. Soon they find his thrashed car, & a trail leading to a cavern ... & in this cavern they find no dad, but a giant spider, & boy is it mad.

Fortunately our youngsters were able to make an escape, & Carol even found a small parcel her dad was planning to give her for her birthday - which she of course plans to forever treasure.

Not really sure about what to do, Carol & Mike turn to their school's science teacher Mr Kingman (Ed Kemmer) & manage to convince him there's a giant spider, & he in turn convinces the local sheriff (Gene Roth), & soon the kids, Kingman, the village's police force and a truckload of DDT all go to the cavern to search for the spider ... & find it too, but also the corpse of Carol's dad ...

The spider is killed with a mighty dose of DDT, & brought to the local highschool's recreation room ... only that it's not really dead but only in a coma, & when the school's rock'n'roll band is practicing next to it, it wakes up & lays ruins to much of the village, then it returns to the cave for a rest ...

Mike & Carol meanwhile have returned to the cavern yet again because Carol has (quite stupidly) lost her dad's gift in there ... & soon they have to face the spider again - & the situatin is not made any better by the fact that the sheriff & Kingman have decided to blow up the cavern's entrance, leaving the kids locked up with the spider.

However, in the finale, Kingman manages to find a way in & goes there with electric cables to electrocute the spider for good ... which he does just seconds befroe it can get to the kids.


Typical 50's AIP-drive-in fodder, Bert I.Gordon-style (who was never as good as when manking giant creature films), which of course did not have the technical or financial ressources to compete with the similar-themed Tarantula (1955, produced by Universal, directed by Jack Arnold), however, part of the charm of The Spider - & Bert I.Gordon's giant creature films in general - lies in its shortcomings.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD