When an abandoned Soviet space station crashes in New York it releases a new species of alien spiders in the sewers of the metropolis. Quickly these poisonous arachnids mutate and start growing to gigantic proportions and it’s down to a group of intrepid scientists and soldiers to stop their reign of destruction and annihilation
Any horror hound should recognize the name ‘Tibor Takács’ as he was the director of the much loved 80’s horror film ‘The Gate’ so obviously this was a hook for me right away. The fact that involved GIANT SPIDERS from OUTER SPACE running around New York City (well Bulgaria dressed up as New York City) was just the icing on top as I’ve been quite the B movie monster fan for as early as I can remember so it ticked all the relevant boxes for me. It starts off pretty well and sets up what’s expected to be some B movie fun. Space spiders from a desolate Russian space station that have crashed to earth in debris that start gathering and nesting in the NYC subway system and laying eggs in human hosts gets the ball rolling. Add a sprinkling of US Government involvement during the second half that details the ideology that involves alien DNA from a crash spaceship being mixed with spider DNA to create a bullet proof stealth type of webbing and we’ve got something to keep us entertained whilst the finale (gratefully teased on the front cover and Blu-ray menus) is building up. Unfortunately the third act of the film manages to fall flat on its face resulting in nothing more than a giant cartoony CGI spider running amok and our lead stars running aimlessly from set to set and before long you start checking the time and waiting for it to end. Deeply disappointing despite a pretty good start to the film.
Spiders 3D is presented on a BD50 disc with a 1080/24p MPEG4-MVC codec that preserves the film’s original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Shot natively in 3D, the film takes advantage of the format from the opening minutes with a very playful title sequence set onboard the desolate space station orbiting earth displays a lot of depth. When the plot lands of earth, again the 3D transfer does display some good layering and depth throughout. Highlights include the NYC subway tunnels with shows some limited but noticeable depth and topside streets with good layering observed with elements like cars, crowds, streetlights and letterboxes etc. The scenic shots of the NYC landscape are pretty impressive in 3D as well. The only downside to the 3D transfer is that i found a distracting kind of shimmering present on reflective surfaces like windows and strongly lit surfaces. It’s pretty frequent throughout the movie but I presume that this is due to source material.
Looking at the 2D version of the film (which is housed on the same disc and is selectable from the main menu screen), Spiders was shot digitally and displays a razor sharp transfer that is virtually grain free and full of detail. It does sort of resemble a TV production since it has that same kind of gloss to it. Colour wise, it’s a very cold looking film and is quite muted. Colours are not so vivid throughout and the whole film does have a grey tint to it. Black levels are dialed quite high as well as the darker scenes are brighter than expected. This is presumably to compensate for the 3D transfer.
Spiders 3D is presented on Blu-ray with an English DTS-MA 5.1 audio track. It’s a decent audio mix that manages to add some decent surround effects but it won’t give your home cinema system a workout. Rear speakers do spring to life with some activity such as the scuttling around of the Spider’s nest and adds some effect to the bigger action scenes. LFE also comes to life when needed but not with any aggression. The score is a winner though which does contain quite a bit of bass and does create a nice atmosphere throughout. Dialogue is mixed perfectly within the centre speaker as well and isn’t overpowered by the surround speakers.
Web or terror : the making of Spiders 3D (05:39) – A very brief look behind the scenes of Spiders 3D. On set footage footage intercut with clips from the films and interviews. Presented in 1080/50i with DTS-MA 2.0 audio
Cast and Crew interviews (12:24) – A bit more in depth (but only just) talking heads interview with key cast and crew. Divided into snippets instead of one continuous interview. Presented in 1080/50i with DTS-MA 2.0 audio
A fairly decent and fun movie that sadly stumbles at the last hurdle. The disc’s playful 3D transfer and audio are pretty good but very light on the bonus features. Horror fans should have a bit of fun with this though. The UK Blu-ray does come with a pretty cool lenticular slipcase.