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Earth vs. the Spider (also known as The Spider and Earth vs. the Giant Spider) is a 1958 American black and white science fiction horror film produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon, who also wrote the story which the screenplay by George Worthing Yates and Laszlo Gorog is based upon. It starred Ed Kemmer, Eugene Persson and June Kenney.
The film is about a giant Spider terrorizing a town as well as teenagers and other 1950s things.
The name is also shared by a 2001 horror movie, made as a tribute to the original, though this version can be seen more as a Darker and Edgier Deconstruction of Spider-Man. This movie revolves around a comic book-loving security guard at a lab doing genetic modification research on spiders. When his partner is killed, he deliberately infuses himself with spider DNA in hopes of becoming like his favorite super-hero. Instead, he is warped into a grotesque hybrid of human and spider traits and is consumed by an insatiable appetite for human flesh, voraciously eating person after person until a police officer manages to shoot him before he can snack on the girl he had a crush on.
Earth Vs The Spider contains the following tropes:
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: What do you think?
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: See title.
- Chekhov's Gun: The teacher's lecture on electrons and poles.
- Disconnected by Death: A victim at the start of the spider's rampage.
- Follow the Leader: 1950s and big bugs and giant arachnids kind of go together once Them came out. And on all the ads the film became "The Spider" once The Fly saw success.
- Hollywood Darkness: The cave.
- Product Placement: For two other films by Bert. I Gordon: Attack of the Puppet People and The Amazing Colossal Man. The former is even worked into the dialogue.
- Versus Title