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Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo
Tarantulas The Deadly Cargo
Actors: Claude Akins, Charles Frank, Deborah Winters, Bert Remsen, Sandy McPeak
Director: Stuart Hagmann
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2006     1hr 40min


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Movie Details

Actors: Claude Akins, Charles Frank, Deborah Winters, Bert Remsen, Sandy McPeak
Director: Stuart Hagmann
Creators: Robert L. Morrison, Corky Ehlers, Alan Landsburg, Paul Freeman, Guerdon Trueblood, John Groves
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Direct Source Label
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 07/11/2006
Original Release Date: 12/28/1977
Theatrical Release Date: 12/28/1977
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Best Tarantula Movie Ever!! Deborah Winters rule!!
Robert P. Beveridge | 04/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In this movie starring the breatakingly beautiful Deborah Winters is about a plane from South America loaded with coffee and unknowingly a deadly hoard of tarantulas that crashes near a small California town with the tarantulas escaping and victimizing that unfortunate town.It's a must see movie!!!"
Sure it's a cheap T.V. movie, but at 10 years old it sacred
John D. Page | usa | 04/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is yet another of those late night movies that I watched growing up(with every light that I could turned on and feet firmly on the couch) and when I found this one for a dollar I grabed it up. I must say that it's not as good as I thought it was, but I had fun watching it again and yes I kept my feet on the couch."
A Multitude Of Tiny Fangs To Invenomate You...
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 05/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Our story opens w/ two guys in Ecuador trying to get a cargo-plane full of coffee back to the states. These two would-be coffee bean barons are played by Howard Hesseman (Dr. Johnny Fever from WKRP) and Tom Atkins (The Fog, Halloween 3, Maniac Cop, Night Of The Creeps). They end up smuggling 3 men out of the country in exchange for cash to pay off the Ecuadorian military. What the pair doesn't know is that they've also taken on a host of other tiny, deadly stow-aways! This leads to death and destruction when the venomous beasties bite everyone on board. The plane crashes in the vicinity of a small american town. The "deadly cargo" is unleashed, and panic ensues when the local yay-hoos start biting the dust. Claude Akins (The Curse, "The Night Stalker", Monster In The Closet) is in charge of the fire dept. and Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon from Tim Burton's Batman movies) is the town doctor. Together, they must find a way to stop the onslaught of thousands of fuzzy feet! TARANTULAS: THE DEADLY CARGO is another 70s made-for-tv-movie that remains watchable to me, but then I'm a sucker for killer bug movies! While not as good as say, ARACHNOPHOBIA, KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS, CREEPY CRAWLERS, or PHASE 4 (the original 70s version), it is far superior to doglogs like THE SWARM any day! So, if you enjoy bugs that kill and the humans who must survive them, then T:TDC will certainly satisfy..."
Tarantulas: Are Deadly Silly.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 03/10/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo (Stuart Hagmann, 1977)

It says pretty much everything you need to know about American television in the seventies that this turkey was nominated for two Emmys. (Thankfully, none of them were for acting, writing, or directing.) Not only that, but like many disaster movies, no matter how bad, it attracted a surprising wealth of talent.

The plot, which you probably guessed form the title if you've seen any Irwin Allen movie: a bunch of deadly spiders hitch a ride on a plane from South America (because all small killer animals must come from South America). When the plane crashes (for the spiders have attacked the pilot, who's played by Tom Atkins), the spiders get out and lurk around attacking the inhabitants of the nearby town, which happens to contain a fruit-packing plant. Coincidentally, these spiders are big fruit fans, despite having been all over coffee beans for the first half of the flick, so they make a beeline for the oranges-- which are, of course, the town's livelihood, and since the town's in a drought, this shipment of oranges is critical to the town's survival.

Watching this now, thirty years after I first saw it, makes me wonder whether those actors I so revered back then are actually all that good. Tom Atkins, who graduated to big-screen fame a few years later, turns in a decent performance, but he gets killed off very quickly. Claude Akins, as the town's fire chief, gets top billing, but has all the personality of a wooden post here. Pat Hingle does a great job as the retired town doctor who must cope with the crisis (the regular doctor is out of town, naturally), but others I would have expected to turn in great performances are just awful; Howard Hesseman is so unmemorable I'd forgotten he was in the movie between seeing his name in the opening credits yesterday and going to the IMDB page to look stuff up this morning. Deborah Winters should have been nominated for an overacting Emmy. Bert Remsen should have been arrested for Impersonating a Hal Holbrook. And it only gets worse from there.

The acting is, of course, not the only travesty to be found here. Guerdon Trueblood's script, probably cranked out in the same weekend that spawned the other four killer-bug movies he wrote (including, to my knowledge, the only killer-bug sequel from the glut of killer-bug movies, Terror Out of the Sky), is so bad it makes The Swarm look like Oscar material. (Oh, wait. The Swarm WAS Oscar material, which should tell you everything you need to know about American film in the seventies.) Hagmann's direction is lackluster at best; it may not be coincidence he never worked in Hollywood (or anywhere else that we know of) again.

All that said, you don't go searching out killer-bug movies from the seventies unless you're on a nostalgia trip, I don't think. Anyone seeing this now for the first time is going to think it's absolutely awful, and I'm not going to argue with that assessment. If you caught it for the first time before puberty, however, this is pure nostalgic gold. So what if it's dumber than a box of hammers? **