DECEMBER 5, 2007
Had I known that Ice Spiders was a goddamned Sci-Fi original movie, I wouldn’t have rented it. Granted, at some point I will run out of horror movies to watch if I keep this up, so I can’t exactly be choosy, but for the love of God, 99% of all Sci-Fi movies are the exact same goddamn thing anyway. And all the clues were there: rated R for “Creature violence” and nothing else (even a few damns and hells will get you a language note), a team of military guys figuring into the plot, and a running time that is just shy of 90 minutes. So I have only myself to blame, as it's only when they break out of this mold that they occasionally make something that is worth my while (like Headless Horseman, a film that I actually thought WASN'T a Sci-Fi original, since it was actually a lot of fun, but then I was (pretty rudely) corrected by my old pal Anonymous).
Still, I can’t help but be a little curious about a film that has not one, not two, but THREE Melrose Place alums in it. Patrick Muldoon (some guy that fucked Jane, if memory serves), Vanessa Williams (Rhonda: the first cast member to leave, if memory serves), and Thomas Calabro (Michael: the only cast member to remain with the show from pilot to finale, if memory serves) are all here, though Calabro and Muldoon don’t share any scenes together. Any one episode of Melrose was vastly more entertaining than this (except for maybe the ones when it first started, when everyone liked each other. Show got way more awesome once they all started fucking and/or killing one another), so it’s a shame they couldn’t bring some of its charm along. Nor can Muldoon, who was probably cast for the Starship Troopers connection more than anything else (his attempts at playing a burnout ski bum are atrocious and distracting), can’t be bothered to do anything as awesome as he did in that film (namely, getting his fucking brain sucked out).
The CG is occasionally decent; which leads me to believe that perhaps a few different FX houses worked on it, some clearly more concerned with the quality of their work than others. Here’s a few examples:
And once again, we have a shitty horror movie set at a ski resort. It is simply amazing how no one can manage to wring one iota of suspense when combining something as usually upsetting as a monster or a killer, in this case giant spiders (especially giant spiders that are still sort of tiny – it’s not like they are big enough to knock over skyscrapers), with skiing (one of the most dangerous sports ever when you think about it), but Ice Spiders joins Shredder and Iced in the bottom of the barrel. There’s an occasional moment of fun, such as when one moron skier plows directly into a spider that’s just finished eating a guy, but it’s nowhere near enough to save it from the tedium, horrible acting, laughable CG, annoying characters, etc.
Plus, they don’t even take advantage of something that I would think would be an obvious set piece. Skiers, shockingly enough, wear ski boots. Anyone who has ever skied knows what walking is like with these goddamn things on. So do they have a scene where a guy tries to run but is forced to do that weird stilted thing you call walking when you have the damn boots on? Nope. In fact, everyone seems to be wearing regular footwear, as they run constantly without any sort of problem. Dumbasses.
In all fairness, I would like to point out that this scene almost elevated the movie out of “Crap”. I must admit, I have never before seen someone wield a trophy in order to attack a badly composited spider. They don’t call them Sci-Fi “originals” for nothing I guess!
Also, the DVD is in 5.1 but all the sound is compressed into the front left and right. The surrounds don’t do shit. There’s a scene with a lot of machine gun fire and it sounds like it’s coming out of headphones. Fuck you movie, if you can’t even deliver that much.
What say you?