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An Early Knockbuster: Earth Vs. the Spider

Earth vs The Spider.gifMonstrous spiders. They’ve had supporting roles in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. They’ve been the star attraction of overlooked gems like Horrors of Spider Island and 1975’s Giant Spider Invasion. Like some of the best B-movies of the ’50s, Earth Vs. the Spider offers a simple premise, in this case: A giant spider is awakened by teenagers’ rock music. At this point you are either on-board or you stopped reading already.

Released in 1958, the film was an early knockbuster — the “giant spider” plot was inspired by 1955’s Tarantula. It was produced under the title The Spider; but shortly before its release, the big box-office movie was Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers. So producer Samuel Z. Arkoff changed the title to Earth vs. the Spider, which isn’t entirely accurate, but likely sold more tickets.

Earth Vs. The Spider airs on Saturday, March 29 at 3AM | 2C. For more on eight-legged freaks at the movies, watch The Sci Fi Department’s Celebration of Spider Cinema.

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