Saturday, April 21, 2012

New-School Crap: Earth vs. The Spider (2001)

You've brought shame to this silly, silly film title!  While I mentioned that the original title is a bit of cheat- since it's only about a small town fighting the creature-, this one is a major one.  I'll get into more details as the review goes on, but, sufficed to say, you'll be disappointed.  This one is part of the more recent batch of Remakes, many of which are Corman films.  There are good ones like the 2001 version of She-Creature, even if it is part of a failed Trilogy, and there are weird ones like 2002's Teenage Caveman.  The original film is about Cavemen fighting a mutant, who is eventually revealed to be a survivor of Nuclear War.  Don't complain about SPOILERS, considering the film was made over half a century ago!  The remake takes a very odd turn, focusing on the latter aspect of the story and excising, you know, the Caveman part of it.  Likewise, this 'Remake' excises nearly everything, save for there being a Spider (which, well, poses more problems) and people wanting to stop it.  If you want to decide whether my disdain is silly, read on...
This is our hero- some guy.  Yeah, he's not worth remembering by name.  He's a Security Guard and has the hots for some girl who lives nearby- but he's a wimp.

To be more accurate, he doesn't fight people at the drop of a hat.  Coward!
The lab he works at makes spiders invulnerable.  I can't see why they need to do this, but whatever.
After our hero fails to save his partner, he feels like more a coward than ever.  Naturally, he injects himself with the last sample of mutant spider blood and beats up a criminal.  Are you reading this, Stan Lee?  Feel free to sue at any time.
In an odd twist, the movie does the 'show the original film on a TV' trope...but it's not the movie.  It's supposed to look like it, but it's not.  What.  The.  Hell?!?
Our hero develops all sorts of mutations...that won't really come into play.  This whole film is just a build-up to him transforming.
It's so sad that he can't talk to the girl he loves.  You know, that girl that the film barely-established and put in maybe two scenes with him.  Tragic.
The whole thing comes to a head when our hero becomes a fully-mutated spider-thing.  This is what we're getting instead of a giant spider, folks.

Oh yeah- this is also The Fly.  Duh.
The monster sets up for the finale, but it's not much to speak of.  This even less like Earth than in the original- it's Dan Akroyd vs. The Spider.  Guess who wins?
In the aftermath, the spider-mutant becomes a collectible figurine like the one he always loved.  Irony?  The End.
So how is this a Remake again?  Seriously, what was the point of calling this Earth vs. The Spider?  Was it because Spider-Man was already taken?  Was The Spider too obvious?  Furthermore, doesn't the full title imply somewhat that this is a sequel?  Like the first film was The Spider, one in which a mutant terrorizes a town.  In the 'sequel,' it grows gigantic and threatens the world.  How simple is that?  Oh right- this was just titled this way to make you think of the original film aka one that people like.  I wanted to like a modern update of the original film.  New special effects, more modern plot and even a hint of humor.  Instead, they gave us a Fly rip-off called something else.  If you like The Fly- either version, really-, watch that movie.  This is a pale imitation wrapped up in a pale imitation of Spider-Man.  Now if only I could find the original Teenage Caveman for a comparison review set.  In the meantime, enjoy future star John Cho trying to stay as far away from this picture as possible...
Next up, the 1995 TV remake of Piranha.  What's old is new again in this film.  Stay tuned...

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