Thursday, February 2, 2012

getting the hump.

Camel Spiders (2011).
Dir: Jim Wynorski.
Cast:  Brian Krause, C. Thomas Howell, Melissa Brasselle, GiGi Erneta, Matthew Borlenghi, Diana Terranova, Michael Swan, Kurt Yaeger, Jessica Cameron and Jon Mack.

“Mom, are we gonna die?”
"No honey, we’re going to be alright.”
 “If we’re not gonna die, can you and daddy get back together?”

Somewhere deep in the desert outside LA (sorry Iraq, or is it Afghanistan? um...Blackpool maybe?) a crack squad of (at least six) American soldiers are engaged in a bloody Nerf battle against a couple of tanned Hollywood extras resplendent in their dads pyjamas coupled with novelty beards and a selection of tea towels on their heads.

They'll be the evil Middle Eastern Insurgent types then.

Leading the battle for universal democracy is Captain Dave Sturges (Sleepwalkers Krause) who, after running around randomly till he gets shot is surprised to see the wicked towel-heads dragged away kicking and screaming by an unseen enemy.

GI Joe: Now with 'licking piss off John Nettles' mooth action.

Hiding behind boxes till the shooting stops (save they kill any British troops/hostages etc.), Sturges orders his men to round up any weapons, wallets or shiny things left lying around (all in the name of freedom you understand) before heading over to examine the only body left in the rocks, a body covered in big blistering sores.

“A Desert Devil did this then ran away”. Explains the medic enigmatically.

 Which is obviously a complete lie seeing as 'The Desert Devil' (or prickly Devil as it's better known) is a lizard that only lives in Australia.

Whereas this film is about spiders.

Or is it camels?

A Desert Devil yesterday.

Anyway, whilst all this David Attenborough style animal chat is going down no-one notices the family of spiders crawling toward a conveniently open body bag and into the dead soldiers mouth, all set for a trip to Hollywood and cinematic fame.

Attenborough: don't let this swim up your arse.

Thanks to the magic of blue screen we're now in the good ol' US of A, where Sturges and a massive breasted stripper in combat gear (Brasselle star of the Eric Roberts classic Raptor) are transporting the body via truck to somewhere important but their journey is cut short due to former brat-packer C. Thomas Howell (hiding his - and our - shame behind a fake porn 'tache and Stetson as Sheriff Billy Beaumont) forcing a random guy he's chasing to crash into Sturges' ride.

The van I mean, not the frighteningly well endowed stripping sergeant Shelly Underwood, causing the coffin to come shooting out the back of the vehicle and trundle down the road before crashing to a halt releasing a couple of pesky camel spiders into the desert and freedom.


Brasselle: the lights are on.

Meanwhile four random 'teenagers' (aye right, the youngest looks about 35) are enjoying a desert based drinking party with the hope of a wee bit of 'the sex' throw in but fat girl Melissa isn't too keen on shagging someone who looks old enough to be her dad and strops off to the car, leaving her beau to ne'er be to have his cock bitten off by a CGI spider whilst his friends run around screaming as if waiting for the animator to pop the spiders on them.

Melissa manages to make it to the local grocers where she's horrified to find the owners webbed to the wall (camel spiders don't spin webs so fuck knows who did this, an angry Tobey Maguire perhaps?).

Not that she has time to worry tho' as she's soon caught and eaten.


"Are you looking at my bra?"

Whilst Sturges and Beaumont bond over coffee and flapjacks at the local diner and an evil local businessman plans to buy up the town a group of 'kids' (including the frankly terrifying Jessica Cameron from the upcoming Death of The Dead) are on a field trip with their professor to the local park to look for dinosaur fossils.

No surprises then that the group are ambushed by spiders leaving the remaining four teens to seek refuge in an abandoned house.

Luckily one of the group (whom we will call Terry)  managed to take a photo of one of the critters and by checking it against his phones built-in encyclopaedia manages to deduce that the camel spider has a bite that's fairly fatal”.

And six legs.

Well researched eh?

After some sickeningly sweet dialogue between lard boy Carl and his secret wife Gina (played by a homeless Tori Amos), the fat boy is quickly dispatched, scoffed by spiders hiding in a biscuit tin, giving Terry, Tori and Ms. Cameron time to tearfully leg it across the lawn towards the local carpark.

Jessica Cameron: cut up like a pig in a market.

Back at the diner and the spiders are making mincemeat of the regulars, leaving
Sturges and Beaumont, alongside owners Reba and Joe (the man-faced Erneta, another star of Raptor and Piranhaconda's Yaeger) to hold off the attack as Underwood tries not to pop out of her army fatigues whilst getting the survivors into her van.

Which, I would like to point out does not have candy inside.

"Either of you boys fancy a nice hot mooth shite-in?"

Heading toward the bad guys warehouse in an attempt to hide from the spiders till help arrives gives the audience a chance to really get to know the characters; Senga and Albert are about to divorce, much to the chagrin of their daughter Alan; airhead waitress Fiona is trying to get into peace-nik  Peters pants whilst Terry Badman and Tony Notsobadman argue over who's in charge.

It's like a Cinéma vérité version of Eastenders filmed in a shed with a slightly drunken cast whose first language unfortunately isn't English.

With added spiders obviously.

GiGi Erneta: slippery when wet.

All seems well until the next morning when the sheriff sneaks out for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle he's cruelly struck down mid stroke by one of the angry arachnids, which is nice leaving Sturges to formulate a mad as a lorry plan to make a break for a nearby truck that involves splitting everyone into teams before travelling backwards and forwards to pick everyone up.

This is rather than everyone just run out together, shoot a few spiders then drive away.

"Aim at the dog!"

Cue ten minutes of shady 'shooting a toy gun' acting with everyone pointing in different directions, some high and some low.

Pay close attention to Underwood tho' as she cradles her pound shop machine gun like a child dancing partner, swaying to and fro' as if hypnotised by some unheard glam rock tune.

As is always the way in these things, Terry Badman manages to screw everything up by running outside before his turn and getting eaten, which then causes some minor confusion allowing the divorcing couples daughter to run off leading to Joe and Tony Notsobadman getting eaten too.

Don't worry tho' she's eventually rescued by Underwood who is, in turn rescued by Sturges.


Underwood, overground, wobbling free.
The surviving folk finally manage to get into the truck and spend a few minutes randomly shooting spiders off the warehouse roof before preparing to drive off as, in the distance two Airfix model jet planes fly shakily toward the building.

Will our heroes escape in time?

Will the spiders survive?

And who actually gives a fuck?


It's almost as if cheap as chips 'director' Jim Wynorski has been around forever, a never improving, never achieving ne'er was languishing in the seedy backwaters of the cinematic sewer.

From the magnificently average Chopping Mall to the frankly shite Return of Swamp Thing via The Bare Wench Project, Wynorski  is still plodding along making shite that no-one likes but everyone has seen.

Except for The Hills Have Thighs obviously.

But surprisingly, compared to his previous efforts Camel Spiders isn't actually that bad.

Saying that tho' it's the equivalent to choosing between a rusty nail to the nut or one to the eye.

Worth a watch if you're clinically insane or have a thing for plastic creepy crawlies and even more plastic breasts.

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