Film (1955). Universal. Directed by Jack Arnold. Written by Martin Berkeley, Robert M Fresco (1930-2014), based on an episode of Science Fiction Theatre titled No Food for Thought (14 May 1955) by Fresco. Cast includes John Agar, Leo G Carroll and Mara Corday. 80 minutes. Black and white.
This better-than-average Monster Movie belongs to the Luddite Technology-out-of-control genre. Three idealistic biochemists experiment with nutrients that cause gigantism in animals (which would help feed the world) but unexpected acromegaly in humans, a horrible deformity that destroys two scientists and then, rather later, the third (an affecting performance by Carroll). A tarantula injected with the nutrient escapes into the desert and grows to a vast size. It preys on cattle and people before being incinerated by the USAF using napalm. Arnold makes strong use of the desert setting, creating a kind of watchful stillness, where the giant spider seems natural rather than alien. [PN/JB]
see also: Mutants.
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