Love Triangle Interrupted by Superhero
Earth vs. The Spider (2001): 3 out of 10: Earth vs. the Spider is a very slow-paced movie. How slow you ask? It makes Larry Cohen (It’s Alive, Q) look like a music video director on methamphetamine. It makes Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies) look like Michael Bay (Armageddon).
Director Scott Ziehl has a pretty good story idea to work with (What would happen if Spider-Man took on the other spider attributes after his radioactive bite. You know extra legs, a thirst for human blood) and seems afraid to get to the obvious. Instead, we have endless tangents about a cop that lost his nerve (Dan Aykroyd) and his alcoholic cheating wife (Theresa Russell).
Not just is this like skipping the shark attacks in Jaws to show an affair between the marine biologist and Mrs. Brody. But both Ackroyd and Russell are simply awful in their respective roles.
Add in a surprising amount of community theater-level supporting work and a boring love interest. And Earth vs. The Spider gives us nothing to hold our interest. (In true comic book geek tradition, our hero gets nothing but a chaste kiss. Needless to say, there is no nudity, gratuitous or otherwise. Kind of a surprise from a made for Cinemax horror film.)
The movie has nothing to do with the pretty good monster movie from the fifties that share its name. And as a Spider-man parody Spiderbabe, a Misty Mundae soft-core porn film of all things upstages it in both script and even more embarrassingly acting. The monster/superhero appears in the final ten minutes, but I was really too bored to care and director Ziehl was still wrapping up boring love triangles instead of focusing on the good stuff.
If someone ever makes a Dogma 95 superhero movie, I expect it to look like this.