STUDIO: Rhi Entertainment    
MSRP: $14.95
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

  • Nothing.

The Pitch

From the makers of Blood Monkey.

The Humans

Three-time Golden Globe nominee Lance Henriksen

The Nutshell

It’s time to choose your own adventure.

Our story might begin with John Oates spending a typical day in the studio, re-recording one of his biggest hits. It turns tragic after Pro Tools unleashes a burst of gamma radiation, hitting John straight in the face. When the smoke clears, all that’s left of Oates is a grotesque hulk of a mustache, a mustache hungry for the flesh of man. In this installment of the “Maneater” series, Daryl Hall, continuing his never-ending quest, follows what remains of his friend into the jungles of India.

“All I’ve got to do is open my mouth.  The alcohol on my breath will catch fire and it will all be over.”

Or our story could begin with a guided tour through the jungle. When a spider bites one of the tourists, the group detours to the village that Dr. Lecorpus (Henriksen) calls home. There’s something fishy (read: black market) about Lecorpus and his John Merrick-emulating brother, and it’s up to our hapless heroes to not only try and figure out what is going on behind the scenes, but to also survive.

The Lowdown

There are many missed opportunities in In the Spider’s Web. When you promote a film with the term “maneater,” there’s an unspoken agreement that a giant creature will make an appearance and consume some people. You can’t say “maneater” and not have a giant creature. In the film, the villagers worship spiders, believing them to be gods. There’s a cavernous temple. Obviously, there’s got to be an arachnid of unusual size living in there. Towards the end, Henriksen’s character finds himself stuck on a web in the depths of the caverns. Spiders are swarming him. Cut to two spiders approaching the helpless thespian. They look pretty big. Ah, they were saving the giant spiders for the big finale. Of course. But no. It’s just two little old spiders shot in an extreme close-up. The only time I’ve been more disappointed was when Tom Sizemore took a long hard look at my sister and said, “I think I’ll pass.”

“Oi!  Oi!”

If there isn’t going to be a giant creature, at least make the most of the monster you do have. Lecorpus’ brother could have been terrifying. My friend John and I were on our way to a movie (The Descent I believe) when we drove by this homeless person. Not a common sight for downtown Boise, Idaho but not unheard of. This homeless person was wearing about thirty layers of clothing. Again, nothing out of the ordinary. The black pillowcase with the eyehole cut out of it is what was unusual. He was a cross between the Elephant Man and the person behind the Winky’s in Mulholland Drive. All that homeless person had to do was sit on a bench and it freaked us out. So a man wearing a spider-spun cowl over his deformed face should have been at least unsettling. But it’s like Dumb Donald got separated from the rest of the Junkyard Gang during their tour of the jungle and was taken in by the locals.

Mickey Rourke before the plastic surgery.

As long as a bad film gives me one great moment, I feel comfortable forgiving it for its other failings. Had League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ended with Sean Connery crawling out of his grave, dusting himself off, and saying something like “You can’t keep the old dog down,” I would have walked away with a smile on my face. The previous 110 minutes of torture would have been forgotten. In the Spider’s Web had the opportunity for such a moment. After Henriksen is dispatched, the bridge leading to safety is destroyed, leaving love interest John stranded on the other side. Instead of trying to find a way to get John across, the others just tell him “we’ll be back” and leave. If John had pitched a fit, just gone totally ballistic, I would have removed the DVD, pleased as punch. But he just stands there, dumbfounded, and doesn’t say anything. So very sad.

I had gone into In the Spider’s Web hoping to be, slightly entertained. I mean, it had Lance Henriksen in it, so it couldn’t have been all bad. How wrong I was. It’s a mistake I hope to never make again.

The Package

As is common for crime scenes, there’s nothing to see here.

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