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We Spiders: Spider as the Monster of Modernity in the Big Gug and Nature-on-a-Rampage Film Genres
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages. (Linnaeus University Research Center for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0115-4995
2015 (English)In: Animal Horror Cinema: Genre, History and Criticism / [ed] Katarina Gregersdotter, Johan Höglund, Nicklas Hållén, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 1, 146-167 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In popular imagination, arachnids are generally associated with negative qualities. They are cunning, evil, dextrous, ruthless, poisonous, ugly creatures, something to avoid and fear. The low-budget film The Giant Spider Invasion (1975) does nothing to contradict the image of the evil spider. The sheriff in the film even compares the giant spider to another popular cinematic nemesis: ‘Did you ever see that movie Jaws? Well, [the spider] makes that shark look like a goldfish!’ In fact, its maliciousness is at the centre of the film’s premise: a meteor crash in Wisconsin opens up a gate between earth and hell, and unleashes pure ‘purgatory’ evil in the shape of a giant spider. The biblical and apocalyptic scope of this event is further established through a brief parallel story of an agitated preacher citing Book of Revelation. A fundamentalist revival meeting is inserted as a flash montage throughout the film, clearly providing the audience with a key to the film’s morality and a link between the cinematic antagonist, the spider, and the lack of pure Christian faith. The inhabitants of Wisconsin appear to live a rather immoral life before the spider arrives, engaged in boozing, adultery, incest and paedophilia. The first half of the movie is no more than sexploitation, with a staggering and zooming camera willing to explore every inch of semi-nude and under-aged femininity; it is a familiar structure of sin and purging.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 1. 146-167 p.
Keyword [en]
Animal Studies, Modernism, Modernity, Film Studies, Anthropocene, Spiders, Horror
National Category
Studies on Film
Research subject
Humanities, Film Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-46923DOI: 10.1057/9781137496393_9Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84968725241ISBN: 9781137496386 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-46923DiVA: diva2:865157
Available from: 2015-10-27 Created: 2015-10-27 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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Output format
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