Crazy Spider (2021)

Skewered by a spider monster!
Skewered by a spider monster!

Professor Jiang Zhe (Wang Yi Chun), a genetic researcher, goes on a mission to Spider Island to save his daughter Yifei, who has gone missing with the son of Du Yuan Sheng (Ren Qing An), who is his former boss. Also along for the ride is an armed rescue team, led by captain One Eye, and Fang Qing (Cui Ying Er), a doctor of environmental science.

Poster
Poster
A four-eyed spider freak!
A four-eyed spider freak!
Getting ready to shoot some arachnids
Getting ready to shoot some arachnids!
A spider approaches Yifei
A spider approaches Yifei
Tough dude One Eye has got a fake tan and an eyepatch!
Tough dude One Eye has got a fake tan and an eyepatch!

Once on Spider Island, Jiang Zhe discovers that the spiders he had experimented on several years earlier have been released on the island by Du Yuan Sheng. These arachnids were genetically altered to ingest plastic waste, but they’ve continued to mutate, becoming huge monsters with a taste for human flesh!

Big spiders on the roof!
Big spiders on the roof!
Big spiders running up some steps!
Big spiders running up some steps!
Rescue team versus arachnid!
Rescue team versus spider-critter
Small knife versus big spider: is this a fair fight?
Small knife versus big spider: is this a fair fight?
This beast has got really big teeth!
This beast has got really big teeth!

Jiang Zhe must now kick his drinking problem, find Yifei, prevent Du Yuan Sheng from taking any mutant spider eggs back to the mainland, then make sure his daughter gets off the island.

Jiang Zhe doesn't look much older than his daughter Yifei
Jiang Zhe doesn’t look much older than his daughter Yifei
Female rescue team member dodges a thrusting spider leg!
Female rescue team member dodges a thrusting spider leg!

Scriptwriter Tang Ya Jie, who also co-directed CRAZY SPIDER with Ye Zhao Yi, gives us a simple people-on-a-mission-to-a-monster-island plot, the kind of story I always find fun to watch, so it’s a shame that VFX Supervisor Yang Ying’s CGI is sub-par.

Rescue team captain One Eye attacks a spider with a machete!
Rescue team captain One Eye attacks a spider with a machete!

Creatures encountered during the adventure include a flock of migrating bats, giant arachnids (some can hop like the spiders in EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS) and also smaller spiders that swarm about in one scene.

Bats! (they look pretty rubbish in the movie)
Bats! (they look pretty rubbish in the movie, unfortunately)
A swarm of mini spider creatures
A swarm of mini spider creatures

The big spiders don’t have mandibles… they have mouthfuls of teeth!
Oh, and when they roar, they sound like a mix between an elephant and a lion!

Spike-backed arachnid monster with teeth!
Spike-backed arachnid monster with teeth!
Another spider monster with teeth!
Another spider monster with teeth!

There’s also a giant snake creature briefly seen at the start of the film. This serpent isn’t one of the genetic experiments, so I reckon it was included because many recent Chinese monster movies love to feature giant snakes!

Where did this giant snake come from?!
Where did this giant snake come from?!
Snake versus spider!
Snake versus spider!

One recurring theme in the movie is self-sacrifice, with five different characters blowing themselves up with hand grenades to kill some spiders and save their comrades/relatives. Mmmm… don’t these people know how to use hand grenades? Don’t they know they can throw these at the spiders, blow the critters up, and still stay alive themselves?!

A character prepares to blow herself up
A character prepares to blow herself up
Another character prepares to blow himself up!
Another character, later on, prepares to blow himself up!

There’s an enjoyable sequence in the movie where the team have to enter a cave system, and there’s even a brief moment where the effects actually look okay, because the scene is backlit by the sun. Actually, there are a couple of long shots of the spiders that also look pretty okay.

This backlit shot looks pretty good
This backlit shot looks good
The team enter a cave tunnel...
The team enter a cave tunnel…
...and they reach a cobweb-festooned cavern
…and they reach a cobweb-festooned cavern
A webbed-up captive and a bunch of giant spider eggs
A webbed-up captive and a bunch of giant spider eggs
This particular spider lurks in the cavern
This particular spider lurks in the cavern
An okay-looking long shot
An okay-looking long shot
Female fighter confronts some arachnids…
...and blows one of the spiders up!
…and blows one of the spiders up!

CRAZY SPIDER is a watchable, throwaway Chinese monster action-adventure. Shame the FX let it down.

The villain gets transfixed on the spiked limb of an arachnid
The villain gets transfixed on the spiked limb of an arachnid

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