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