Things We Like: “The Giant Spider Invasion,” Suntory Time, and Mannequins
Bill Rebane made movies in Wisconsin through the 1970s and 1980s that relied on primitive effects, absurd plots, and over-the-hill actors to create part of the last wave of drive-in-friendly, regionally-distributed psychotronica, and this is one of his most notorious productions. Spiders from another dimension (encased in diamond-lined meteors) land on Earth via a black hole. Initially normal in size, and looking just like normal Earth tarantulas, the space spiders go on to terrorize a family of hicks. They crawl around on the daughter — naturally attired in Daisy Dukes — and the patriarch accidentally drinks a spider shake. Gross.
Scientists Steven Brodie and Barbara Hale find romance with each other while trying to stop the alien invasion. In one hilarious scene, they get chased by a giant spider and Brodie steamrolls Hale as they roll down a hill. Rounding out the cast is Alan Hale Jr. as the town’s sheriff, who spends most of the film’s running time trying to leave his office. At one point, Hale Jr. even drops his “Gilligan’s Island” catch-phrase (“Hey, little buddy”) on one of his deputies. Two of the spiders do become gigantic and “invade” a little league game. Using parade-float techniques, the giant spiders are actually Volkswagen Bugs adorned with spider-shaped bodies made of chicken wire. Funny stuff. – Spenser Hoyt
Monkey Goggles Klassics: “All This and Mannequins, Too” by Kobi Shaw
From August 13, 2009: “For a while my mother believed my husband had a collection of frogs. He didn’t … but he does now. Every year, wooden frogs on lilypads, furry googly-eyed tadpoles and rubber amphibian hats would grace my husband’s stocking on Christmas morning… These choice Christmas gifts, by the way, arrived wrapped and ready to go – in July. We’d have to store them for six months, not an easy task with kids around.” Read the rest here!
This is a very old page and I apologize if you’ve already seen it, but it’s new to me: Here is a translation of the “Suntory Time” scene from Sofia Coppola’s exquisite 2003 film “Lost in Translation.” The scene is easily understood without knowing Japanese: Actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray, never better) can’t begin to understand what a manic commercial director (Yutaka Tadokoro) wants him to do, and a prim and proper Japanese-to-English interpreter is no help at all. But when we learn exactly what that director is shouting at Murray’s character, the scene becomes all the more comic; we learn that the entire Suntory commercial probably could have been shot in under a minute, if only. – Geoff Carter