Earth vs. the Spider (2001)
The Spider and the Fly
It would be easy to call "Earth vs. the Spider" a "Spider-Man" rip off but it isn't, it came a year before the first of the Tobey Maguire movies and basically shares ideas common with many a comic book movie which sees a human mutate into a half creature. You could also call it a poor remake of the 1958 b movie of the same name but in truth it's not a remake and really a different movie which shares a couple of names. What you can call it is a movie which had potential but failed to capitalize on it because that is exactly what it is a, creature feature which starts off entertaining but quickly goes down hill to become uninteresting.
Quentin Kemmer (Devon Gummersall) is a comic book geek who during the day works as a security guard at a research laboratory and each day makes sure he bumps into his neighbour Stephanie (Amelia Heinle) who he fancies. When there is trouble at the laboratory Quentin ends up injecting himself with spider mojo and soon discovers he has gained some super hero abilities. But as the days pass the changes don't stop and he starts to mutate into a half human half spider creature with Det. Insp. Jack Grillo (Dan Aykroyd) on his trail after he has encountered strange spider webs at a series of crime scenes.
The best part of "Earth vs. the Spider" is in truth when it is being the least imaginative with a familiar setup of geeky guy who is shy and fancies his neighbour. That set up continues through the incident at the research laboratory and Quentin injecting himself with spider mojo bringing on strange powers. Yes you could say that there is plenty to this which is similar to "Spider-Man" but then in truth it is just as similar to many comic book movies which sees some geeky guy gaining super powers.
Now the special effects to all of this are not brilliant but are amusing especially when Quentin discovers he fires web liquid from the strangest of places. But then this is as good as it gets because once we have Quentin mutated it is a case of him hiding from the world and being hunted down by Det. Grillo which is really dull. That is the big trouble with "Earth vs. the Spider" because after an entertaining yet familiar setup it fails to build on things in an original or interesting way.
And to be honest that is about it; Devon Gummersall is entertaining enough as Quentin whilst Amelia Heinle as Stephanie constantly reminded me of Denise Richards. The most disappointing performance, which admittedly isn't terrible, comes from Dan Aykroyd who is there in body but by no means spirit.
What this all boils down to is that "Earth vs. the Spider" is a modern b-movie and is sort of entertaining to start with although struggles the longer it goes on. In a way whilst not by any means a bad movie is perfect for a night when you want to watch bad movies.
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