“So silent. So deadly. So final.”
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Directed by Chris Munger
Cast: Suzanna Ling, Eric Mason and Herman Wallner
Susan is a disturbed girl who uses her pet tarantulas to seek revenge against her hateful mother and her classmates.
Kiss of the Tarantula was released by VCI Entertainment in both a standalone and Double-Feature with Ruby. Kiss of the Tarantula is presented in 16×9 Anamorphic Widescreen and looks pretty good overall. There seems to be some softness in areas but it doesn’t distract. The disc is region free NTSC.
Just reading the back of the dvd cover for Kiss of the Tarantula, you assume you’re going to get a evil mother vs abused teenage daughter film. And in true schlocky b-movie fashion, she has an army of her spider friends to do her bidding. So for the first 10 minutes we see how the mother is cheating on her husband with his brother. The daughter Susan overhears them on the phone plotting to kill the father and she decides to stop her.
Spiders get released into her bed at night and she ends up having a heart attack from it. The film then follows Susan as she grows up and seems to have issues with her classmates making fun of her. A group of them break into the mortuary where she lives and harasses her and even kills one of her pets. The rest of the film has her killing them in revenge and covering her tracks.
So if you take a sliver of Carrie and majority parts of Willard, you have the Kiss of the Tarantula. One downfall, is even though Tarantulas are creepy – there just isn’t that many ways they can kill you. Majority of the deaths come from the byproduct of the spiders being around. Heart Attacks, people accidently killing others to get away from then and suffocation being the main ways that the people die. One of the greatest scenes is the death in the ventilation shaft. It’s wonderfully eerie and claustrophobic.
The plot is pretty straight forward but seems to have random things thrown in. One subplot is that Susan’s uncle(the man her mother was cheating with) apparently has a thing for Susan. So much so, that he eventually ends up killing someone who threatens to unearth Susan as the person responsible for all the killings. Incest seems to be a common thing apparently in these drive in movies. Not sure what is up with that. We’re also introduced to a boy who has a thing for Susan, but he seems to only be in the movie for 2 minutes and we never hear from him again.
The acting is pretty good overall. Suzanna Ling plays her role nicely if not a little amateurish. However this is the only film you will ever see her in. Some of the acting can end up being pretty hammy but you expect that from a movie that’s about “Killer spiders”. What’s even sadder is the spiders don’t even seem to appear in the last 20 minutes of the movie. No, we’re treated to an awfully long scene that shows Susan putting her now paralyzed Uncle into a coffin with another corpse in order for her to tie up that loose end.
The Kiss of the Tarantula is by no means a bad film. There just seems to be a lot of influences from other films which makes this one seem like a lesser rehash of them.
2 out of 5