When I started writing this particular column, I had a completely different introduction. But I decided that I should tell you about the nightmare I had last night instead.
In it, I had, unwittingly, created a monster. It was so terrifying to me in the dream that I whimpered in my sleep and my husband woke me. In my half-awake state, I was grateful that he had awakened me and stopped me from having a heart attack.
This is a bit loopy, of course, but I had trouble sleeping the rest of the night from being scared. Even now, my chest hurts from how the muscles must have clenched in my state of fear.
What’s really dumb is that the monster wasn’t big and it was just funny looking. Yet, somehow, it was completely horrifying to me. Could it be that I have finally watched too many monster movies?
Nah. That’s just crazy talk.
I will be watching Syfy’s "Arachnoquake."
If you are severely arachnophobic, you might need to get your security blanket ready to cuddle up with while you watch this movie. According to director Griff Furst, there are a bazillion spiders. He says he’s never seen so many spiders. As he’s a big horror and science-fiction fan, that’s saying something.
As I live with many spiders because, after all, this is Florida and we are used to insects and arachnids, I don’t have a spider problem. All will be well at my house.
The basic premise of "Arachnoquake" is that an earthquake in New Orleans has set loose giant, albino spiders that had been trapped underground for thousands of years. They are mad as hell and they are not taking it anymore. Well, not since the earthquake freed them, anyway. Not only are they huge, but they can also breathe fire.
Does this sound funny to you? Yeah, I’m betting it does and that’s all to the good. While many of the Syfy movies are funny mostly because of their schlockiness, this one is intentionally comedic and they tried to put as many laughs in it as possible.
As a person with albinism, I'm not exactly thrilled with the way humans with albinism are most often portrayed in films, mainly because nobody seems to know some basic biology concerning albinism. So, I posed a science question to Furst, with the caveat that I was not taking the movie more seriously than was intended. I wanted to know about these albino spiders. Were they really giant albino spiders or were they just large white spiders?
It was gratifying to find that Furst has been to the clue store. These spiders have pink or reddish eyes, which albino animals other than humans do have, and they see poorly, which is also true for animals with this condition. Humans with albinism do not have pink or red eyes but do see poorly. Furst's spiders also do not feel comfy in the sun — true for humans with albinism as well. Sadly, we humans with albinism can’t breathe fire like the spiders, however, when asked by Furst if I can do this, I said why yes, yes, I can. I also mentioned being a sharpshooter and having mad ninja skills.
While most of the film was shot in Baton Rouge, there were forays into New Orleans to get footage of the real thing, and these often turned into pleasure as well as business trips for the cast and crew. You can’t go to New Orleans and just work. It’s a fun place and you have to party it up at least a little bit. Watch carefully, if you’ve been to New Orleans. You just may see places you recall. I’ve been there too many times to count, so I’ll definitely be looking for familiar landmarks.
Both Furst and star Bug Hall are big time science-fiction and horror fans. Furst grew up on “Twilight Zone” and Stephen King and says he drags his wife to every new horror or science-fiction film. Hall loves playing in these kinds of films since the genres are the ones he’s loved his whole life.
Tracy Gold, who has the female lead in the story, says she isn’t a science-fiction fan by nature but has been indoctrinated by her four sons. She said that this project is the first one of her endeavors that her boys could relate to and get excited about.
Furst, Gold and Hall have not seen the finished film. Gold and Hall have only seen drawings of the spiders and though Furst has seen all the movie’s bits and pieces, he’s not seen them put together as a whole. So, I’m guessing Furst, Gold and Hall may well be watching right along with the rest of us.
Here’s hoping none of us has nightmares but even if we do, that won’t stop us watching, will it?
Next week, our topic will be "Bigfoot."
"Arachnoquake" airs Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.
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