Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ice Spiders (2007)

The terrible score often distracts viewers from the stupid script and the atrocious acting.

Ice Spiders (2007) begins with the two worst hunters of all time. They're hunting elk with bows, when along comes a spider - a giant ice spider. The hunter with the bow can't seem to hit this rather large target. What the two guys do is run away, splitting up. The spiders kill Rocky, and wrap Bob up for later.

Next the viewer is introduced to a school bus full of skiers who are training for the Olympics. It's established early on that there is no cell phone reception at Lost Mountain Resort, where they're going to be training. Chad, one of the young skiers, has an attitude.

By the way, there is no training. The only times the viewer sees any of these guys skiing, their coach is not with them. In fact, the one bit of coaching that this guy does is from the chair lift, when he yells down to two of the guys that it's quitting time.

Vanessa Williams As Doctor Sommers

Besides a ski resort, there is also a secret government lab on the mountain, where they are raising giant lethal spiders in order to save the world. (That's what they say. Really.) Doctor Sommers, played by the incredibly awful Vanessa Williams (Candyman), is the main lab person, but she goes to get her mail at the ski resort so that Dash Dashiell (Patrick Muldoon, Starship Troopers) can flirt with her. Dash used to be a professional skier, but now teaches skiing.

Chad, the young skier with attitude, is suddenly going to race Dash down the mountain. So the movie stops for a while so that this can take place. But it doesn't matter who wins, because it has absolutely no bearing on anything that occurs later. But a few of the shots of them skiing are actually pretty good.

Ranger Rick

A character named Ranger Rick (yes, seriously, and yes, they make jokes about it - for a writer to name a character that just so that he can call attention to the fact that he named the character that is so lame) asks Dash for help in finding two missing hunters. So off they go, and of course they find the bodies, and then Ranger Rick is killed by an ice spider.

Meanwhile Dr. Sommers returns to the lab and finds her co-workers dead. Except, Joseph, who is still alive and wrapped up in a web. He says the spiders got hungry and broke loose. "She took my legs," he laments. And then he actually has the line about being cold before he dies.

Dr. Sommers pulls a fire alarm, which sends a group of armed men in. Apparently they work as guards for the facility. Why they're not actually at the facility is something of a mystery, but whatever. (And what if there had actually been a fire?) Apart from the leader of this group of armed men, they're all terrible actors. Their facial expressions and reactions are so over-the-top and unbelievable. But the leader, played by Thomas Calabro, is actually pretty good.

Anyway, it's finally revealed that there are six spiders. Well, five, because Dash is able to kill one by hitting it with a snowmobile. He has a chance to run another over with a truck, but for some reason drives around it.

Spiders Don't Like The Cold

Characters in this film keep mentioning how cold it is, and how the spiders shouldn't be able to deal with these very low temperatures. But no one seems cold. The armed guys are all in short sleeves. Dr. Sommers wears just a pink sweater. No one has gloves on.

Well, the spiders begin attacking the skiers. Everyone runs inside the lodge, and Dash takes charge. When one character (played by possibly the worst actor ever to appear in a film - or a possibly a play, including school plays) challenges him, Dash says that he was a Marine for twelve years. So of course he should take charge.

Another Screenwriter With Math Troubles
Okay, let's stop and do a bit of math. Dash was a professional skier for a long time. He then shattered his leg. He said that it was two and a half years before he could even put on skis again. So then he had to learn how to ski again, and get good enough to be able to train others how to ski. And he's been working at this resort for several years. So when was he a Marine? Before he became a professional skier? Or after he shattered his leg and couldn't ski anymore, but before he took this job training others?

If he became a Marine right after high school, then he wouldn't have gotten out of the service until he was thirty. A bit old to take up skiing, and turn pro. But let's just say that's what happened. Then after he was a professional skier long enough to be famous (as all of the young skiers on the bus have heard of him), he shattered his leg. So, let's just say ten years. Then two and half years passed while he mended. That brings him up to age 43. Then he had to learn to ski again, get good enough to be able to train others, get this job and keep it for several years. So is he 50? Or 55?

Spiders On Steroids

Anyway, it's finally revealed how the spiders got so large. The folks at the lab forced the spiders to take hormones and steroids, because they wanted more webbing in order to make bullet-proof vests, and they figured the larger the spiders were, the more webbing they'd produce. And with the bullet-proof vests they planned to save the world. They say the web is stronger than steel, but multiple times in the film, characters simply brush it aside.

Terrible Score

In a film full of problems, by far the worst element is the score. There are moments in this film that could be really suspenseful, but the score interferes.

Ice Spiders was written by Eric Miller and directed by Tibor Takacs.

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