Main cast: Rob Monkiewicz (Sean Pachowski), Irene Joseph (Chandra Weaver), David Bunce (Professor Mugford), Bevin McGraw (Trina), Alexxus Young (Kelly), James Aspden (Moses Cobb), Dan Merriman (Deke), and Fred La Torella (Colonel Weaver)
Director: Brett Piper
Oh, I so wanted to like Arachnia. I looked this movie up because I saw a few YouTube channels devoted to reviewing cheesy, low budget horror and monster flicks praising it, but I can’t deal with the overload of terrible, terrible acting. That’s a shame, because the script has some mischievous nudge-wink moments that can be quite amusing.
This one is basically a giant spider movie. There are a bunch of them, but they are so obviously fake in their ghastly first Mortal Kombat game-style stop motion prop glory that I doubt they can cause people with a phobia of spiders to go into a panic attack. Indeed, the bad special effects are the stars of the show. For example, one moment we have people in a truck, the truck is moving… and in the next scene we will have an obvious toy truck flying across a miniature scenery. This movie is so audaciously in your face about how cheap and low budget it is, I can’t help but to admire the size of the testicles belonging to everyone involved in this movie, as the director-cum-scriptwriter and a bulk of this cast went on to make more similarly low budgeted and ghastly movies. What’s interesting is that Brett Piper also dealt with special effects for an impressive number of movies. Maybe he specializes in terrible special effects?
Oh yes, the plot. Sean Pachowski is ex-military, as that’s how all heroes in such movies are born and made. He escorts the unpleasant Professor Mugford and his passel of students, all of whom are of various degrees of dumb and annoying except for Chandra Weaver who may as well has “Heroine!” stamped on her forehead, as they go on a road trip. A meteor barely misses their plane, causing them to crash onto the wilderness. Soon, they are besieged by fake giant spiders, although this will not stop them from peppering me with godawful bad one-liners and dumb antics. On the bright side, the most annoying guy bites one in a hilariously nasty manner, so I don’t have to endure his overacting and bad dialogues for long.
The terrible acting is what really makes it excruciating for me to sit through this movie. Rob Monkiewicz is probably the best actor of the bunch, actually by default as his wooden acting is simply bland compared to the irritating overacting by Bevin McGraw, Alexxus Young, David Bunce, and Dan Merriman. Irene Joseph has the easy task of playing the only other sane and competent character in this movie, but she seems to be under the impression that her role is that of an emotionless robot instead. All these people look like human beings, true, but my goodness, they certainly don’t act like people. Really, those fake spiders and truck models feel far more real than the actual people in this movie, and that’s a big problem.
The script attempts to pay homage to old monster movies of yore, and it’s also cheeky and unapologetic in exploiting the bimbos among the characters for laughs and cheap titillation. But at the same time, its exploitative factor stretches only as far as female nudity. With little gore or sex as a distraction, Arachnia requires the viewer to be really tolerant of some of the worst acting in the history of low-budget horror flicks in order to get into it. I’m not that viewer, sadly.