Spiders II - Breeding Ground

Starring: Stephanie Niznik, Greg Cromer
Director: Sam Firstenberg

Format: PAL



The first Spiders (2000) was a case of lively idiocy which was fun to watch in an ironic sort of way. Its 2001 sequel, Spiders II: Breeding Ground is a case of dreary idiocy which is a slog to watch. It is a sequel in name only and unrelated in any other way to the first film except in that it also features gigantic overgrown spider monsters.

Alexandra (Stephanie Niznik) and Jason (Greg Cromer) are a young generically good-looking American yuppie couple (don't you hate them already?). On their way to Hawaii in their private sail boat, the boat capsizes and sinks during a bad storm. They are rescued by a huge cargo ship that happened to passing by. However, all is not kosher on-board.

The cargo ship appears to be going in circles and the ship's radio, said to be broken by the Captain (Daniel Quinn), actually seems to be working. The crew is obviously hiding something ? but what?

And then there is the mysterious Dr. Gabec (played by Richard Moll whom, if he seems familiar to you, it is because he memorably played court guard Bull Shannon on the long-running TV sitcom Night Court). Later on it is revealed that Gabec is your typical over-the-top movie mad scientist type, performing experiments involving giant-sized spiders.

Gabec wants to use Jason in his devious experiments and it is up to Alexandra to rescue him. Strangely enough the life cycle of the spider monsters in the movie resemble more those of the alien in the Alien movies than any spiders we might know from nature documentaries. The Aliens rip-off aspect becomes more apparent when we see the pods in which Gabec stores his unfortunate victims/subjects ? I am sure the prop master from the movie bought the ones from James Cameron's 1986 Aliens on e-Bay!

The climax is taken straight from Aliens as well as Stephanie Niznik pulls a Ripley on us. Not only does she beat up several full-grown sailors (in one memorable scene she attacks a sailor with the toothpick he was nonchalantly chewing on!), she also outwits and fries several spider beasties.

Spiders 2 illustrates what happens when film-makers with a severely limited budget get too ambitious for their own good. When coping with a low, low budget then keeping special effects and prop requirements to a minimum is a good idea.

Where the movie really falls on its face is towards the end when said cargo ship is being overrun by giant spiders ranging from Volkswagen Beetle-sized ones to Alien face hugger types. Here you can practically see the inert rubber beasties being dragged along by pieces of string!

THE DISC: Like its predecessor this is a region-free PAL disc distributed by UK-based Hollywood Ltd. Full screen transfer isn't too bad though and the sound is clear enough. There's a trailer.


RECOMMENDATION: Stay away unless you're feeling masochistic.



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