2012 Written by Paul A. Birkett and Eric Forsberg
Directed by Griff Furst
Prepare to get ARACHNOQUAKED!!! That’s when there is an earthquake, and GIANT FIRE-BREATHING ALBINO SPIDERS attack! It’s two disasters in one, crawling on eight legs and ready to roast and chomp you! Griff Furst directs this SyFy creature feature, and he has a pretty good track record of delivering an entertaining flick. Once again, a Furst knocks it out of the park, giving us some fun monster mayhem. The flaws in the flick are easily overlooked in the face of giant white spider death!
Now, a common theme for monster flicks is that the monsters were always there, just chilling in a closed off area that recently comes exposed thanks to mankind doing something awful like being greedy. SyFy flicks such as Caved In: Prehistoric Terror, Malibu Shark Attack, and Jersey Shore Shark Attack all feature a similar scenario. And so does Arachnoquake. The twist is, the earthquakes exposing the spider den were caused by fracking, the controversial process of injecting pressurized liquid into shale beds in order to extract hydrocarbons (aka oil), which has been blamed for everything from earthquakes to contaminating groundwater and making it flammable. Despite the big hubbub, fracking is barely mentioned in media. And while I don’t think it will lead to giant flame-breathing albino spiders destroying the American south, I do think it sucks.
Arachnoquake is more fun than a barrel of spiders. Parts are high energy, though it will veer off as we enter zones of plot development. The action is focused closer to the ground so we don’t really see the scope of the giant spider menace, but it would appear multiple states are in for a lot of problems. Arachnoquake does a good balance of not taking itself too seriously, but still being serious enough you feel the characters are in danger.
Paul (Bug Hall) – Paul is a drunken slacker who is down on his luck and doesn’t really want to do the bus tour he has to host. Driving the bus turns him into a de facto leader, which gives him a sense of responsibility he didn’t know he had or wanted. They have a guy named Bug Hall in a giant bug movie? Yes, spiders aren’t technically bugs, but then my joke is ruined. Don’t take that away from me!
Katelynn (Tracey Gold) – A science teacher who is just on a tour and didn’t sign up for this giant spider nonsense! But now she must protect her kids. She also needs a new inhaler. Her asthma attack becomes a phantom plotline, coming and going whenever it is convenient.
Charlie Blackwell (Edward Furlong) – The most realistic girls softball coach of all time! I don’t know what happened to Edward Furlong, he looked semi-okay just a year earlier, but now he looks like he is possessed by the ghost of Brad Dourif’s father. He spends most of the film in his own plotline.
Roy (Ethan Phillips) – Paul’s dad, who spends most of the film either yelling at Paul or blaming Paul for everything ever.
Petra (Olivia Hardt) – Paul’s sister, who is eager to help her dad and prove responsible, but besides wearing short shorts she does little after that.
Anabell (Megan Adelle) – Charlie’s daughter who does more to help her mom despite her past issues than her brother.
Spiders (CGI) – White albino spiders that breath fire and live underground in the darkness, until fracking causes them to be released to destroy New Orleans. They don’t have much of a brain.
Queen Spider (CGI) – The boss spider, uses her massive brain to control all the other spiders and likes to cocoon people up for dinner.