Wednesday, October 16, 2013

SyFy vs. The Mynd: In the Spider's Web (2007)

Because bullet points are the best thing ever, even better than Power Point presentations, I'll bullet all the points (I'm doing this right, right?) that make this SyFy movie about people walking back and forth through the jungle until the plot progresses to them going back and forth through a cave (oh, and spiders) an entertaining thing to watch. There will be spoilers concerning the fate of some characters, so if you like to complain about that sort of thing, don't read on, please.

  • India is beautiful! It also looks a lot like Thailand, and like a sound stage.
  • Consequently, India is also filled with Thai people dressed in pretend-Indian garb. I blame the confusing influence of elephants on the producers' brains.
  • There are also elephants in the movie.
  • One of two Indians actually played by an Indian actors is a pudgy, semi-comic relief cop played by Sohrab Ardeshir. In a rather surprising turn, he also shows a degree of competence and survives the movie.
  • Speaking of unexpected survivals: the film's black character (as played by Lisa Livingstone) survives too! And that despite not being the heroine (that job goes to Emma Catherwood).
  • It's also rather surprising (after this, I'm all out of thing I was surprised by in the film, though) that one of the characters you wouldn't expect to find that sort of end does suffer a rather 70s horror downer kind of fate that seems rather incongruous with the tone of general good-natured idiocy the film demonstrates elsewhere.
  • Lance Henriksen eats spiders. Lance Henriksen has an unexplained claw hand. Lance Henriksen is called "Dr. Lecorpus". Plus, Lance Henriksen.
  • There are three kinds of spiders in this world: real ones, those made of rubber, and those made via digital magic by people who don't know how spiders look. All three of them are in the movie.
  • This is not a film satisfied just featuring a particularly unconvincing spider cult led by Lance Henriksen doing its work in the jungles of India. So this is also a film featuring a particularly unconvincing illegal organ harvesting operation led by Lance Henriksen.
  • Said organ harvesting operation uses spider venom and spider webs and what looks a lot like old heating equipment.
  • Speaking of spider webs, spider webs can also be used to dampen one's fall, or as bridges. They are also the vines of the cave world.
  • Lance Henriksen's disfigured brother (for some reason, wee CGI spiders seem to live in the hole where one of his eyes should be) wears a sack made out of spider web over his head. Because why not, right?
  • In the Spider's Web contains one of the most embarrassing evil cult rituals I've ever seen. Seriously, I can't help but imagine director Terry Winsor directing some bored Thai bit players to "go nuts, kinda" and then just filming the result, while Henriksen uses all his enormous powers of professionalism not to laugh.
  • The ritual is then followed by one of the most embarrassing daring escapes I've ever seen. It is very inspiring for us couch potatoes, because we too could escape daringly if that's all the effort it takes.

Ladies and gentlemen, bullet points!

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