Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)

Directed by: John 'Bud' Cardos

Written by: Richard Robinson & Alan Caillou

Story by: Jeffrey M. Sneller & Stephen Lodge


William Shatner .... Dr. Robert 'Rack' Hansen
Tiffany Bolling .... Diane Ashley
Woody Strode .... Walter Colby
Lieux Dressler .... Emma Washburn
David McLean .... Sheriff Gene Smith
Natasha Ryan .... Linda Hansen
Altovise Davis .... Birch Colby
Joe Ross .... Vern Johnson
Marcy Lafferty .... Terry Hansen

Release Dates: Theatrical: August 24, 1977 (San Francisco Premiere); November, 1977

*Images courtesy at:





A small county of Arizona is experiencing their farm animals perishing in which Dr. Robert Hansen (William Shatner) and Diane Ashley (Tiffany Bolling) discover that it's caused by migrating taranula's as they try to light a spider hill on fire but these critters are clever and finding other routes to escape from being killed in which they start to invade the small county and multiplying as well as feasting on locals.
Robert, Diane and a few survivors are trapped in a hotel try to struggle against these spiders as they find other ways of getting in from vents and other places.


In this flick we spot alot of good scenery on a deserted canyon with the credits appearing as this looked impressive spotting all of what we see outside. Also a nice beginning of the story with a womaniser Dr. Robert 'Rack' Hansen goofing around with a beautiful woman using a rope outside as this all was brought together nicely making this moment seem pretty uplifting.
There's a nice shot on a cow out in a field as well as a camera shot rolling in the grass approaching this cow as well as it looking nervous which seems to be impressive for a start of a terror here.
There's good moments on Robert and the other locals upset by discovering some animals dead as well as a scientist named Diane Ashley telling him that this was a due to a spider attack in which was nicely put into the script as well as Robert himself not believing this as this seemed pretty normal for a horror flick of having something unbelieveable happening out of the ordinary.
A nice scene with a local looking for a spare tire and spotting some spider webs which gives you a creepy impression that some of these spiders are in there along with a great shot on him picking up a tire and you have a sinking feeling that a spider could be inside this tire waiting to crawl onto him. A perfect suspenseful surprise in this scene for sure.
We spot a nice moment with Diane opening her dresser and a tarantula appearing and she acts light headed while speaking to it and putting it outside which is a nice touch before the major terrors happen later on in the flick here.
In the story we spot Walter hitting on Diane and trying to pick her up in which there's some nice discussions between the two of them as this worked in well for the plot while spotting all of this.
Some exciting camera shots on a spider hill that a fellow named Walter Colby shows to Robert and Diane discovering this which looked spooky to watch this crawling with tarantula's.
We spot great close up shots on Diane and Robert doing some tests on a tarantula with it's venom in which looked impressive spotting all of this as well as making a final decision on burning that spider hill which looked powerful to watch their decisions on this adding more suspense to the story.
There's a perfect night shot on them as well as Walter and his wife Birch in their farm about to go to the hill but stop for a sec and suspecting that something is wrong which leaves a chill down your spine for sure. A perfect jumping moment when we spot a bull storming out with tarantula's on this animal as this looked perfectly creepy to watch.
We have some nice peaceful situations with Robert talking to Diane near a field while Robert's niece Linda is playing with her dolls pretending to do some discipline which I was convinced this scene inspired the makers from Amityville Horror to use a similar idea. Plus a nice shot on a camera rolling in a field towards her as this looked chilling to watch as well as a shot on a horse panicking. All of this added some nice tension here.
There's a good moment with Walter in his vehicle driving and then we spot these spiders slowly crawling on him as this looked genuinely spooky and having a deadly feeling on what is going to happen to him too.
A nice shot on a busted vehicle as well as a corpse with this being webbed over in which was a nice horror touch while we look at this.

There's a great close up shot on a big fat tarantula crawling near a farm area while we spot a distance shot on Sheriff Gene Smith breaking the bad news to Birch which showed good timing here.
A great shot on a pilot taking off in his plane and then a spider running along the pathway. There's also many great takes on the pilot driving his plane in which we have an eerie feeling that some spiders are in there with him. It for sure keeps you in suspense watching all of this take by take on what will happen next.
Perfect camera shots looking up on Birch firing a gun at some spiders which was nicely done as well as her struggling against them while some land on her hand. As well as great shots on the spiders on the floor crawling towards her.
There's also a perfect tragic moment when Linda's mother tries to rescue her from spiders on the ground with her Mom having a bunch on her and sacrifices her life for her which makes this moment disturbing to watch a little girl spotting her mother dying as this was well put in for a shocking horror flick indeed.
A great shot on Linda on her bed with spiders approaching her which is a total attention grabber here with Robert trying to rescue her wondering if he will be able to. Alot of the moments here looked perfectly tricky for sure.
A great shot on one of the character's Emma Washburn cooking someone and we spot something from a vent as this was well done along with spiders dropping from there which looked terrifying.
There's also a great moment when Robert opens a door and a bunch are clinging on and falling in as this looked incredibly freaky to watch with the tension happening here and everyone inside trying to struggle from this.
Plus more great shots on Gene driving along in his car in the small town flooded with screaming people while the invasion of the spiders are occuring with great shots on dead bodies being webbed up and spiders crawling on them as well as cars crashing into one another. This looked believeably unpleasant, disturbing and hard to watch imagining if you were in this situation.
A good moment when Robert is about to open the vent of the air conditioner to see what's keeping it from being cool as this was an unintelligent move in a horror flick since we all know what's behind it which is a nice jumping moment here when he does open it. This looked well done and strongly suspenseful too.
Also perfect shots on spiders invading the windows with it cracking which adds perfect terror while watching this as well.
Then we spot Robert going into the basement to check the power transmitter which looked gloomy to watch when he tries to drive off the spiders to get the power back on as well as spotting what happens later on as to how they will attack him which looked like a clever situation here. Alot of this looked shocking and scary to watch.
Then there's the crack of dawn when everyone finds out as to what happens while peeking out in a window which seemed very depressing to watch totally opening a door for a sequel which for years was trying to see the light of day.
Bottom line is that it's a horror tragedy and a drive in type of flick which can be alot of fun to watch but not to be taken seriously by any means. The plot was short and simple and not hard to follow at all. An interesting one for it's time. However it seemed a bit pointless when we hope for something good to happpen later on.

The acting was pretty good in which William Shatner (Dr. Robert 'Rack' Hansen) played a perfect womaniser with his charming attitude especially during the beginning of his performance in which he acts wildly happy and going nuts. He also does a nice job by acting serious with the deadly situations and really getting into this big time. He knew on how to act romantic with his uplifting discussions and getting into his conversation strongly here too. He also knew on how to act sane while struggling to rescue others showing great energy here along with hjolding everything together towards others as well which looked good and solid. Plus he does a great job while reacting in pain and falling weakly too which he had good timing on this.
Tiffany Bolling (Diane Ashley) shows a great sharp attitude in her work of the film as you can tell that she studied her role inside out and draws a great seriousness and sane attitude as well. She does a nice job showing her strictness with her words while trying to talk to others about what is happening as she brought this to life big time. Plus she was great with her nice soft speaking towards a spider by letting it outside as she showed a good cute personality here and knowing how to act pleasant in this scene which was memorable in her performance to anyone who watched this flick. She does a great job acting anxious and holding it together while trying to survive against the spiders showing great energy and enthusiasm. She was one of the best cast members in this flick.
Woody Strode (Walter Colby) shows off a perfect seriousness in his behavior along with acting tense by what is happening. He also shows a believeable stubborness too which shines off perfectly onto the camera. He just rolls with the punches big time throughout all of this especially when he gets blunt and aggressive having a nice adrenaline coming through him. He also reacts sharply when he's attacked by spiders really showing a great intense type of behavior here.
Lieux Dressler (Emma Washburn) had the right looks playing the cook of a hotel restaurant as well she does a great job with her scared emotions by screaming or acting scared stiff which looked very believeable. She also shows some great aggressions while trying to stay safe as well as swinging into action big time with her blocking while avoiding spiders which was also brought to life greatly here. She does a nice job with her laughing and losing control as well as showing some perfect sobbing reactions too. She really took the bull by it's horns with this role as it shows here.
David McLean (Sheriff Gene Smith) draws a nice seriousness as his part playing a lawman along with having the right looks for this role too. He does a nice job getting good and serious when he has to tell someone about a tragic moment in which he really comes across having a hard time saying it. Plus he does well by his reactions when the spiders are attacking which he does a good job by being anxious with the intensity surrounding him. He pulls off his role quite nice here.
Natasha Ryan (Linda Hansen) really brought out a dynamic reaction in her supporting role as someone who acts tense and has a real sensitivity in her part of the flick. She shows great emotional expressions and reactions when the terror hits. She was a ball of energy within all of this as well as really freaking out a great deal especially when some spiders land on her just letting it all out of her system. She made this look totally believeable here. She was a nice character actress.
Altovise Davis (Birch Colby) has a great smooth and slick type of personality as she was impressive while doing all of this along with her spooked behavior on what is happening. She says her lines pretty good and gets into her role a good deal here. Also performs nicely with her upsetting emotions. Plus shows great tense expressions and a still posture while pointing a gun at the spiders which looked highly energetic too.
Joe Ross (Vern Johnson) certainly shows off some annoying wit into his part of the cast who is a persistent slob and tobacco chewer just rolling in with all he shows off here. He for sure comes acorss as a redneck in the flick and had the perfect looks for all of this. He also shows a great gruffness to his reactions. He for sure performed his part nicely making it humoress even if he wasn't very funny before the tragedy strikes in the story.

The composing was perfectly done in which we hear great finger tapping piano sounds like rain falling with the spiders creeping up towards something as well as great strong deep trombone playing as well for the real invasions when someone is cornered with these deadly creatures. There's also perfect quiverring violin music along with screechy high pitched sounds too adding perfect suspense which bends in with the scene's this was used for sounding perfect for it's time.

There's a nice listening country music soundtrack performed by Dorsey Burdette but a song that really stands out is the lovely ballad theme song titled "Peaceful Verde Valley" which was used in both the opening and closing credits as it suits the movie with the deep bass vocalising
and a classic tune without a doubt. The singing sounds a bit sad and uplifting at the same time which works in well.