Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fucking Spiders: My Top 10 Worst Spider Scenes



I think I talk too much about my intense fear of sharks and vomit, that I often forget to mention how much I hate spiders. This fear isn't as radical or serious as my sharks one, but it draws similarities. You may remember how I decided that I hate sharks on film more than anything? Well it is quite the opposite when dealing with spiders. I can watch spiders in movies (I don't LIKE it but I can do it) but if ever I see a really big spider in my actual real world life, I will die a little on the inside. This means that I greatly detest anyone who has a pet tarantula in their homes. I have never come across such a person, but just know that I hate you. Well okay fine I don't hate you....I just....well.....our friendship could be greatly soured because of it alright? Just the thought that my next door neighbor could have one and that I would never know and that one day maybe just maybe, it could get loose............................................sorry about the really long ellipsis, I was just contemplating how awful and upsetting that would be.

To clarify, I really am talking only about tarantulas in this instance. I can't even spell or look at that word without getting a serious case of the willies! So much to my dismay, I've decided to make a list of what I would deem the top 10 worst spider scenes in cinematic history. From order of least extensive heart failure to most, here is that list.

Note that this post is scary spider picture free so as not to alarm those of you who detest spiders as much as I do. I have however included videos for the braver folks.


# 10 The Hills Have Eyes

If that whole hill billy clan in the desert thing wasn't enough to make me stay far away from Nevada or any place where there IS a desert---then the presence of tarantulas entirely sealed the deal. Honestly, I never EVER want to go to a place that boasts tarantulas just walking around on their own. Fuck that. The last thing I want to see when getting inside my Winnebago is a stupid tarantula crawling on my clothes. The only good thing about this scene is that the tarantula dies.

Spider alert at 6:07



#9 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

When I watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets I was pleased to find that the Acromantula scene wasn't as terrifying as I had assumed it would be. The spiders while big, weren't as scary and as tarantula looking as I had pictured in my mind. So when settling in for the final installment of Lord of the Rings, and after being alerted by those around me of the impending situation of a giant spider--I felt okay about it. Why I decided to make that conclusion based on Harry Potter is beyond me. Needless to say, when Shelob made her entrance, I was not thrilled. Here was a gigantic and entirely realistic looking spider in my face and it was huge. I did not appreciate that, no not at all.


#8 The Craft

The story about The Craft is that while staying at my friends house one night, the babysitter let us watch The Craft. Aside from the fact that we would soon name it as our favorite movie and think that we were witches---there is one unfortunate moment, when Sarah's house is filled with bugs that the presence of a few very large spiders are seen. At this period in my life I was still very afraid to even look at spiders on film. Thanks to the no warning message I got, I was taken off guard and forced to look at them. I still have problems watching this scene because of it.

Bugs start around 8:50




#7 The Serpent and the Rainbow

This scene where Bill Pullman is given the paralyzing drug and then boarded up in a coffin is already filled with trauma. This is because I think it's pretty rare these days to find someone who is not afraid of being buried alive. This scene however is multiplied two fold by the idea that a tarantula is also dumped on top of Bill Pullman. Keep in mind that he can't move a muscle but is entirely conscious of what is happening around him. I can't even fathom being unable to move or react and getting a spider dumped on me. Really, really mean joke voodoo priest man.

Spider Alert 0:25




#6 Spider Baby

As it so happens, I for some reason figured in my mind that the title Spider Baby was less about the actual presence of spiders and more about the cruel nature of Virginia. I was partially right, because although that is mostly what the film is about--there is still the presence of two very big and ugly tarantulas. I saw it coming of course because Virginia was always talking about two animals and how she wanted to feed things to them. Oh and it IS called Spider Baby. Still in my head I brushed it aside and allowed myself to enjoy the film. Then out of a desk and after what seemed to take hours, two big and horrid black and orange (the WORST kind of tarantula) emerged and began slowly making their way to our bound hero. So very uncool.

Spider Alert 8:30




#5 Home Alone

Yes, yes everyone loves Home Alone and all of its Macaulay Culkin glory but as a small child--I kind of despised it. This is because of Buzz's pet tarantula. This is ranked a bit higher on the list because it does a few things that really sends home the message of what I hate about tarantulas. For one, Buzz has one as a pet. And for two it gets loose. Three---it crawls around and comes out unexpectedly and can be used to put on people's faces. I don't care if Marv deserved to have a spider on his face. No one deserves to have a spider on their face. And I really hate people--like KEVIN who just pick up tarantulas like it's no big deal. It's a big deal. Funnily enough I still kind of get nervous watching this because I always forget the random moments where the spider just walks across the floor---like when Kevin puts on the after shave....grrrrrrr.





#4 The Beyond

As luck would have it, I watched The Beyond the day after I had watched Something Wicked This Way Comes (which is coming up don't worry) and as you can imagine my eyes rolled into the back of my head. I really can't deal with TWO movies that contain scenes in which spiders are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. The Beyond scene is especially difficult to watch because thanks to my nemesis Lucio Fulci, we are forced to watch spiders painfully and slowly eat a man. Yes. Eat a man. This moment loses points because the spiders are extremely fake looking, especially with the close ups. I think I saw a stick one time.

Spider Alert 1:37


#3 Arachnophobia

In reality this whole movie should be on the list and taking up every single spot. When I was little and possibly up until a few years ago, Arachnophobia was on my list of movies that I couldn't watch. That list now only contains JAWS. I once tried watching the beginning with my cousin, and spent the entire opening sequence screaming my head off. Luckily since then I've watched it all the way through and realized what a comedic masterpiece it was. This doesn't mean I don't find the majority of the spider sequences utterly terrifying, but now I can appreciate it and at least kind of enjoy myself.

In terms of which scene wins the spot....it's a bit of a tough call. They all kind of rank equally for me but the one that always stands out is the beginning when the scientists squirt the stunning smoke, and all the bugs rain down. The deep and dull thud that we hear off to the side will always to this day give me the willies. I used to read the Guinness Book of World Records every year until one year when they decided to include a picture of the biggest spider in the world, a bird eating spider whose leg span was 11 inches. Yes. Fuck that. The spider in this movie, the big one at the end, happens to be one of those spiders and I fucking hate it. This beginning scene and the one at the end are definitely something to swear about. A close second is when all the drones take over the house as it makes me itchy and I cry.




#2 Something Wicked This Way Comes

I told you it was coming. Honestly, for a movie primarily geared towards children....what the hell. Spiders happen to be one of those things that the majority of children fear so I was shocked beyond belief that this scene exists. The sheer number of tarantulas in this is ridiculous. And they are everywhere. Think of that scene in The Craft where bugs literally pour out of every hole imaginable and snakes are packed tightly against glass--and then picture it all with spiders. Some extreme moments of terror include when our main character steps on a tarantula and when a tarantula is wrapped around the door knob. After watching this I couldn't stop picturing what it would feel like to step on a tarantula and to this day I get goosebumps thinking about it. This scene is one giant dose of trauma, and I implore anyone who is afraid of spiders to avoid it at all costs. By the way there were 200 live tarantulas used in this scene. Yeah.

There is no video of this. Consider yourself lucky.



#1 Raiders of the Lost Ark

In a music in movies class I took in high school, my teacher related to us a moment of brilliance in Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the beginning, Indiana Jones is in some kind of cave and a spider crawls across his back while strings accentuate the many legs and recreate a crawling sensation. As a fan of Indiana Jones growing up, I couldn't figure out why I did not remember the scene she was talking about. I thought for a moment it was because the spider was so small that I simply missed it. When I went back to watch that scene years later the reason why I didn't remember it became very clear. I had completely blocked that scene from my memory forever. I really could not understand why my teacher never thought to mention that it wasn't A spider that was crawling across his back....it was 500 fucking tarantulas, stuck to his back like a fancy coat.

This scene makes me lose consciousness for a few reasons. To begin with, I can never figure out how that many tarantulas ended up on both of their backs. They did walk through a giant web but since when are tarantulas living in caves and spinning webs that house 500 tarantulas? Clearly the answer is not important, as I'm sure they are utilized just for the purpose of freaking people out. But still....their existence baffles me and makes me feel uneasy. Secondly, the spiders on Indy's back are terrifying, but when the other guy turns around and seems to have twice the amount that he did......oh my god. Pulling this stunt one time is mean enough, but again? AGAIN STEVEN SPIELBERG? Honestly. This man has set a course to ruin my life with his damn movies.

Again, you are lucky.


So that about does it. I think one of the most disheartening things about these moments is that real spiders are almost always used. Apparently most actor's don't have a problem being bathed in tarantulas. I always think back to shows like America's Next Top Model (Cycle 3!) or Fear Factor, where one of the challenges has to do with tarantulas. I'm sad to report that had I been a contestant on a show where tarantulas were involved I would back out immediately. And my partner would kill me. But honestly. There is nothing in the world that would entice me to get in a box and have that box filled with tarantulas. Nothing. Except maybe 3 billion dollars.... or sex with Daniel Craig.




23 comments:

Emily said...

1. Eff yeah ANTM Cycle 3! Eva's screams always sound like music to my ears.

2. Though I thought Shelob was fairly incredible, I have to say that it's nothing compared to that passage in the books, where she's described in such stunningly evil detail.

3. Where the eff is Kingdom of the Spiders?

4. Where the double eff is the last scene of the original The Fly???

WGON Helicopter said...

As a kid and into adulthood, I was very afraid of spiders. And while I still don't want their fangs on me, ants took over that top spot. Not just any ants. Fire ants. Anything that's bitten me and made life miserable can keep its distance, thanks. Fire ants and brown recluse spiders. Oh, and the huge, Harry Potter-monster one I did battle with when I lived in a trailer in Florida. Remind me never to show you a picture of that one.

Great, now I have the heebie-jeebies.

Still, I always love your lists, Andre! I would've included the scene from The Beyond as you did.

Andre said...

Emily!- I still find it fascinating that Eva got such a good picture when she was crying hysterically only moments before. A true top model I say!

SORRY about Kingdom of the Spiders, I still haven't seen it, and these moments were freshest in my mind.

As for the fly..... ehh I don't remember being quite as affected by that. Wasn't it a man in a spider costume? Just kidding, but yes if there were to be 11 moments that would be 11.
Or no, Cannibal Holocaust would be 11, The fly, 12.
I thought about including Cannibal Holocaust but I didn't want people to think I endorse actual animal cruelty. Which I do when spiders are involved, but still, no need to upset PETA.

Dod- I forget if I've asked you this, but you have seen Them! right? If anything, that made me learn to fear ants at least a little bit. Also, I bet you loved Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!

Emily C said...

Oh man, spiders are one of my greatest fears too! I have trained myself not to scream when I see one, but I just all panicy and I can't take my eyes off the spider once I spot it for fear that it will come near me and crawl on me. My brother of course took advantage of this fear of mine growing up, having a spider-web collection, and one time, just to be extra mean, he threw a spider right at me. It was horrible, and scarred me for life! (Of course I took advantage of his claustrophobia, so I can't say I was entirely innocent.)

That scene in The Craft is terrifying, and I'm so glad you included the tarantula scene from Home Alone. I would definitely scream in horror if anyone ever put a tarantula on my face, and I would also probably drop dead of fright.

Andre said...

Spider web collection? That's simultaneously neat and terrifying. So there were alive spiders in the webs? How did he store them. I must know! Also, what an asshole.

Thomas Duke said...

My number one would be Something Wicked, and I would probably throw Kingdom of the Spiders in there as my number two. I hate spiders. Even that one in the picture, with the big smile and seven legs. I'd punch in his dumb spider face if I could. I guess that makes me like an anti-semite, but with arachnids.

Emily C said...

Hmmm, from what I recollect (and that's not much as I seem to have repressed the memory), there were no live spiders in the webs (thank God!). I think when he saw them, he would try to peel them off the wall (or whatever they were attached to), and store them in a cigar box, or something of the sort. It really wasn't well organized. And, yeah, he was a jerk when he was young- he was grounded basically every day, but he seems to have grown out of it luckily.... unless he has some kind of secret stash he is saving up for a special occasion.

The Mike said...

I like to think the spiders are behind everything. Like, we're scared of our sharks or our needles or our rabbits, but behind the scenes the spiders are in control. I blame Charlotte and her web for this fear, naturally.

Regardless, great list!

WGON Helicopter said...

Them! had me at a very young age. I can actually remember being wary of sandy areas after I saw the movie as a kid because I thought - in kid logic, of course - giant ants lived in stretches of sandy areas.

Except beaches. I seemed to be OK with beaches.

I can still remember seeing a trailer on TV when I was little for a sci-fi movie called "Phase IV" where ants show intelligence. That was all my young mind needed: ants creating elaborate plans in order to bite me.

Andre said...

The Mike- This list was merely a hand on your shoulder as I encourage you to compile a list of needle trauma. You can do it!

Mikey Sarago said...

Spiders are such evil little bastards, aren't they? I frickin hate them. I think they gross me out more than they scare me, though, and I honestly don't get the whole tarantula thing. It's the smaller spiders that freak me out the most with their creepy little legs. Tarantulas are so big, they kinda just look like furry little animals and that's not very gross or scary to me.

Soiled Sinema said...

This is my favorite.


http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1939103

Christine Hadden said...

Spiders are pretty cringe-inducing indeed. I was even affected by the nest of marching daddy-long-legs in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre...they made so much noise, it wigged me out!

Great list, as usual!

james1511 said...

As an avowed arachnophobe, this post resonates with me on many levels and has introduced me a few films I didn't know I had to avoid. I'd further recommend you avoid a certain scene in the second Coffin Joe film, too, if you've not seen it before. And Horrors of Spider Island,though that's more because of the horrors of bad filmmaking (there's one spider and it doesn't resemble any spider I've ever seen). I also take it you've not seen Eight Legged Freaks...

—James R.

Chris Regan said...

I just watched Something Wicked This Way Comes last week - (blogged about it here http://whatwritesatmidnight.blogspot.com/2010/09/by-pricking-of-my-thumbs-something.html). I'd forgotten how terrifing that spider scene is! I even wonder whether my problem with spiders in real life came as a result of seeing that scene as a kid.

Andre said...

Wow Mikey we are at total opposites of the spider spectrum. While I really don't appreciate any spiders, the one that I really get cringe worthy at, especially more so on film are the big ones. I have a friend who feels the same way as you do though.


Thanks Chris. I thought for a few minutes on adding the Texas Chainsaw Massacre scene but I guess I was trying to concentrate on tarantulas. Maybe I should amend the title. That scene though is really gross. Made Kindertrauma's a few other peoples willies list (yours maybe?)


Thank you James I will stay far away from those! I have seen parts of Eight Legged Freaks but the spiders were just a little too fake and silly to be taken seriously in my cannon of fear....!

Chris it is indeed terrifying. The first time I ever watched it which was actually a few months ago, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was like watching a car crash I just couldn't look away but I really, really should have.

Dorian Gray said...

Wow, I had a hard time even reading your list because I too am a staunch arachnaphobe! I absolutely, positively HATE spiders--knowing that tarantulas even exist grosses me out! I have never seen Arachnaphobia for this very reason, which is kind of funny because I have seen Kingdom of the Spiders and Tarantulas: the Deadly Cargo as a youngster although I blocked out most of what happened in those movies. Have you seen The Giant Spider Invasion? It was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 so I was able to handle it because it's pretty campy and the "giant" spider looks freakin' ridiculous. But yeah, as far as spiders go I can definetely relate to your hatred of them. Oh and thanks for being considerate and not including any photos because I probably would've freaked out :)

Fred [The Wolf] said...

I actually suffer from a fear of spiders. And this list doesn't make me feel all that comfortable. Great list. And I agree that KINGDOM OF SPIDERS should have been on the list. That whole film gives me chills.

Andre said...

I have not seen the Giant Spider Invasion but now I am intrigued..! You're welcome on not including pics, I thought about it, but then I would have had to go looking for them and I'm not sure I have the strength.

Fred- I'm sure when I see Kingdom of the Spiders this list will be amended, no worries!

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention Kiss of the Tarantula where a demented girl keeps many of the venomous critters as pets and uses them as weapons. She lives in s funeral home/mortuary and there is a buried alive scene where the girl puts her sleazy uncle inside an airtight coffin and lets him suffocate to death. Suffocation and claustrophobia. Its horrific beyond imagining. Kiss of the Tarantula touches on two of the greatest fears- the horror of being bitten by venomous spiders and the horror of premature burial. HORRIBLE.

Anonymous said...

Kiss of the Tarantula is about a girl who lives in a funeral home/mortuary who has pet Tarantulas who she uses as weapons to kill. She kills her lecherous uncle by burying him alive inside an airtight coffin. This movie touches upon two primal fears- venomous biting spiders and premature burial. Horrible.

Nick Render said...

Hello. Yeah spiders are horrible little things. But have you seen the giant centipede? Go on youtube. You can find footage of these horrible bloody things eating mice and bats. Thats extra creepy when an insect eats a full mammal. Something is very wrong when nature allows an invertebrate to eat a vertabrate. Apparently these detestable creatures are popular pets in the U.S. I would run screaming from the room if someone had a pet giant centipede!!! Great list by the way!!! I'd forgotten all about the film spiderbaby...

Nick Render said...

Yeah...Spiders are horrible. But have you seen a giant centipede? Those things are truly awful!!! They're on youtube eating bats and mice. Ugghh!!! There is something wrong with nature when an invertabrate can catch and eat a full blown mammal. Plus they are rumored to be a popular pet in the U.S. Jesus!!! I would run screaming from the room if I saw someone with one of those things!!! Great list by the way!!! Had forgotten all about spider baby the film. Now i'm going to get the bug spray and hide in my room...Cheers...