Monday, October 3, 2022

getting the hump.

Day 3 of 31 Days of Horror and I'm already at the point of pulling random shite from the shelves.


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 pajamas coupled with novelty beards and a selection of tea towels on their heads.

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

Either that or the nativity rehearsals have started early. 

Leading the battle for universal democracy is Captain Dave Sturges (Sleepwalkers Krause) who, after running around randomly till he gets 'a cap in his ass' (as the youngsters say) is surprised to see the wicked teatowel-heads dragged away into the nearby rocks 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 after the carnage.

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.

This is more than likely because they were shoddily added on in post production by a blind man using an Amiga.

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 frighteningly chested stripper sergeant Shelly Underwood (Brasselle star of the Eric Roberts classic Raptor) are transporting the body via truck to somewhere important.

The town of Plotcontrivance-ville probably.

Their journey is cut short tho' 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.

And by that I mean the van not sergeant Underwood, causing the coffin to come shooting out the back of the vehicle and trundle down the road before crashing to a halt and 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' thrown in but 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 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 too.

Melissa manages to make it to the local grocers where she's horrified to find the owners webbed to the wall like novelty Christmas ornaments.

As we are all aware tho' camel spiders don't spin webs so fuck knows who's to blame for the mess.

 An angry Tom Holland 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 swap insurance information and bond over coffee and flapjacks at the local diner the plot moves on good and proper with the evil local businessman planning to buy up the town as a group of 'kids' (including the frankly fantastic Jessica Cameron from Death of The Dead) head out 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?
But let's be honest it's more background than any of the onscreen characters get as I'm at a loss to remember who anyone is and I'm actually watching the movie as I type.

Almost as if the writer can hear me we suddenly have a wee bit of 'the character development' with some sickeningly sweet dialogue between lard boy Carl and his secret wife Gina (played by a homeless Tori Amos) which is as uncomfortable as it is misplaced.

Luckily the fat boy is quickly dispatched, scoffed by spiders hiding in a biscuit tin, giving Terry, Tori and the wonderful Ms. Cameron time to tearfully leg it across the lawn towards the local car-park.

Jessica Cameron: She will be mine.

Back at the diner all Hell has broken loose (well stumbled drunkenly out of the toilets) as the spiders busy themselves making mincemeat of the regulars, leaving Sturges and Beaumont, alongside owners Reba and Joe (the wide-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?"

It seems the plan is to head toward the bad guys warehouse in an attempt to hide from the spiders till help arrives but first the director takes the opportunity to give the audience a chance to really get to know the characters and showcase the amazing acting talent on show.

There's Senga and Albert who are about to divorce, much to the chagrin of their daughter Alan; the airhead waitress Fiona who is trying to get into peace-nik Peters pants and Terry Badman and Tony Notsobadman who spend the time arguing 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.

And with added spiders obviously.

GiGi Erneta: slippery when wet.

Surprisingly everything goes to plan and with no casualties and the survivors - after some uncomfortable hugging - bed down for the night.

Waking the next morning and realising that absolutely fuck all of interest has occurred for at least 10 minutes, the sheriff decides to shake things up a wee bit (literally) and sneaks out for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle but is cruelly struck down mid stroke by one of the angry arachnids, leaving Sturges to formulate a mad as a lorry plan to make a break for a nearby truck (which makes a change from transit vans) that involves splitting everyone into teams before traveling 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 hypnotized 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 scoffed too.

Don't worry tho' the wee girl is 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.

Fuck this is going to be a long month. 





















* Things that bug me about films (part 1): The Hills Have Thighs? Actually they don't....the girl standing in front of the hills does. Plus if you want to be precise about it that's a mountain range.....and breathe.


No comments: