In The Spider’s Web is part of the result of a 10-picture deal struck by RHI Entertainment and The Sci-Fi Channel – their horror-happy titles include Grizzly Rage, Maneater, Eye of the Beast, and one other monster movie coming to disc today: Blood Monkey, starring Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham.
In Blood Monkey, Abraham is a jungle-dwelling scientist trying to track down a giant, toothy simian whose power he hopes to harness for his own evil ends. Along for the proverbial river boat ride are various, expendable actors who I couldn’t name if you threatened to smear me with banana paste and throw me to the gorillas.
While Blood Monkey is as abysmal as the title implies, In The Spider's Web is actually a pretty fun little time-waster. The one and only name-actor in this tropical romp is genre icon Lance Henrickson, who plays a civilization-eschewing white man turned witch doctor after his beloved brother gets bitten by a poisonous arachnid whose chomp renders its victims forever changed… for the worse. Bitten bro is so disfigured, all he can do is wander the remote village in despair, face shielded by a web-like white shroud.
Before long, spider-fodder in the form of a good-looking mix of city guys and gals blunder their way into the village where they are forced to seek refuge after… well, I can’t remember why, but they’re stuck in the witch doctor's digs and are basically waiting to be picked off one by one by the hairy eight-legged freaks. In The Spider's Web employs the use of real tarantulas intercut with puppetry, and is augmented by some truly titter-inducing CGI – and it totally works.
The movie's characters, while certainly nothing earth shattering in the way of ingenuity, actually feature some unique-to-them characteristics; and the actors, most of them competent if not actually good, are given some decent dialogue to deliver.
Overall, In The Spider's Web is recommended for those who don't mind a yarn that's somewhat silly-spun.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson