Need help adding that spider webbing to your property to decorate for Halloween? Then, you need our title monster – as a small desert town seems like Halloween every day, with deformed mutants, mutilated cattle, and the giant -sized hairy horror of the -“Tarantula”!
In the small Arizona town of Desert Rock ( no, that’s not a radio music format) local medical man Dr. Matt Hastings is called in to the morgue to view a dead body found in the desert. Usually just a sad- but not that unusual occurrence- this unfortunate fellow is strange disfigured! Matt surmises that he was suffering from acromegaly ( the very real syndrome- that famed wrestler Andre the Giant suffered from). The victim is identified as an assistant to esteemed local scientist Dr. Deemer- but it’s hard to believe, since acromegaly develops slowly, and this assistant was fine literally days ago! Matt heads out to Deemer’s laboratory home out in the desert, and is treated to a tour of Deemer’s place and current research project – a super nutrient, fueled by an atomic isotope, that will make animals grow to larger size, thus creating more food for the world’s expanding population. We see over-sized versions of several animals that have been treated with the nutrient. It’ s assumed that the dead assistant injected himself with the serum as a test, in spite of the fact that it was not yet fully perfected. Deemer’s thoughts on the matter are that the rapid advancement of the acromegaly was a singular freak occurrence. Matt bids Deemer farewell, and heads back to his practice in town.
Shortly after his departure-the serum is the cause of more turmoil, with destruction and disastrous results- including the escape of an oversized tarantula! Matt , still seeking answers, wants to head back to the lab the next day, and just happens to run into a lovely young woman, bearing the nickname “Steve”- on her way to the laboratory to be a NEW assistant to Deemer ! She takes up residence at Deemer’s place, to be close to her work.
More mysteries surface- including the bones of formerly living cattle, strange puddles of some odd liquid, and missing ranchers- and Steve notices some odd changes in Deemer. And then, there’s that big fuzzy thing sneaking across the desert… before long, it’s up to Matt to try to save the townspeople from an ever-growing menace that can’t seem to be stopped!
Jack Arnold wrote and directed this 1955 chiller, yet another example of the 1950s obsession with giant radiation- spawned creatures. We’ll introduce you to the cast, including Leo G. Carroll, leading man John Agar, stunning 50s Playboy Playmate Mara Corday, and a few cameos, including a facially-obscured Clint Eastwood, as well as talking about certain techniques used in this film. We’ll have a traditional song about the title creature, plus other Sven fun- including a new visit with an old friend, actor William Forsythe!
“Tarantula” crawls onto your screen on Me-TV tonight at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 pm central, and, if you are unsure of what time or station we run on in your area, check your local listings , or at www.metv.com . Don’t forget, MeTV invites you to live-Tweet along with the show on Twitter- use the hashtag #svengoolie . Chicago viewers can again experience the chuckles and chills of “Ghost and Mr. Chicken” this morning at 11 on WCIU.
The Sven Halloween tour continues tonight, with our annual appearance at the huge “Nightmare on Chicago Street” event in Elgin, IL. You’ll find all the information under the “appearances” tab here on our site. A few more media appearances are coming up- watch for them to be added soon! Also, if you want to be part of the Roe Conn Halloween live broadcast at which I’ll be appearing next Friday, at Rosemont’s Hofbrauhaus- go to www.wgnradio.com to see how you can be part of the audience!
Thanks to all the folks who made our visit to Fantasy Costumes and the C2E2 Monster Bash a big success last weekend- and we hope more of you join us for next weekend’s appearances in Volo and the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines!
But, tonight- be ready to get caught in a web of big-time terror!