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A thriller/comedy (or "thrillomedy") film released in 1990, Arachnophobia featured Jeff Daniels and John Goodman and was produced by Steven Spielberg. This was the first film directed by Frank Marshall.
The film concerns a hybridized strain of spiders with a hive mentality and super-potent venom that kills in a matter of seconds. The spiders, accidentally transported to a sleepy California town from Venezuela in the coffin of their first victim, terrorize the town for weeks while the newly-arrived city-mouse town doctor (Daniels) struggles to make sense of the mysterious deaths. Aiding him is an eccentric exterminator played by Goodman in one of his most popular roles. The film was a financial and critical success thanks to its mix of horror and humor.
There was also an MS-DOS game released that was vaguely related to the movie, in which the player took control of a pest exterminator who was sent to eliminate the spiders.
This movie has examples of:
- Aerosol Flamethrower: Effective against deadly spiders.
- The Amazon: The killer spiders come from an unexplored jungle in Venezuela.
- Autopsy Snack Time: A mortuary worker munches a sandwich while the crate containing the photographer's body is being opened, then sets it down on a worktable used for preparing bodies.
- Awesome McCoolname: Delbert McClintock.
- Brother Chuck: Chris disappears after trying to pull Ross out of the house near the end.
- Brick Joke: "Not the Chateau!"
- The City vs. the Country: The doctor and his family move into a small town. The townspeople immediately resent him for being from the city.
- Cobweb Jungle: A lot of areas become this after the spiders are released.
- Completely Different Title: In Sweden the movie is known as "Imse vimse spindel" translating as "Itsy Bitsy Spider".
- Corrupt Hick: Doctor Medcalf and Sheriff Parsons.
- Doc Metcalfe wasn't exactly corrupt, just an asshole.
- Epiphany Therapy: "Come to the barn and look at this gigantic web taking up most of it. That'll cure your arachnophobia."
- Fan Service: The shower scene.
- Fan Disservice: The shower scene.
- Giant Spider: Averted. None of the spiders in this film are larger than your hand, but they are deadly venomous.
- Actually the original spider (And "King" of the hive) is the size of a baseball mitt, which is Giant enough.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet: It's repeatedly mentioned that the main character doesn't hear crickets, despite living in the country. That's because the main web is in his barn.
- Kill It with Fire
- Infernal Retaliation: The General proves to be a hardcore little bugger even after being set alight.
- Orifice Evacuation: For no real reason, a spider crawls out of one of the victims noses when the body is discovered.
- Oh, there was a reason.
- Primal Fear
- Smith Will Suffice
- Why Did It Have To Be Spiders: Doctor Jennings is deathly afraid of spiders because of an encounter with one in his infancy.