Sunday, October 1, 2017
Blu-ray Review: SPIDER (1991)
Directed by Vasili Mass
Distributed by Mondo Macabro / CAV Distributing
I love when I come across films that I have never seen and better yet, even heard of! Vasili Mass' SPIDER was this kind of film. The film shows to be the only directing credit to Mass' resume. Being released under the Mondo Macabro label, I knew I was in for a treat. Mondo always puts out such rare and weird films! Here is the basic plot of the film courtesy of the CAV website:
Vita, a beautiful teenage girl, is asked by a controversial artist to pose as the Virgin Mary for a painting. She visits his studio and finds herself swept up into the bizarre world of the artist and his bohemian friends. She seems to see his paintings come to life and is pursued by strange shadowy figures. Later she has nightmarish visions of the artist visiting her at night in the form of a huge spider. The next morning she finds marks on her body that look like the bites of a large insect.
Vita’s mother becomes worried about her and sends the girl off to stay with relatives in the countryside, believing that the change of environment will help her to recover. However, it seems the dark forces that threatened Vita in the city have followed her and an ancient evil is being awakened that feeds off Vita’s burgeoning sexuality.
This Latvian shot, Russian language film was produced in the post Glasnost years of the former Soviet Union, when the barriers were down and previously unacceptable material was being explored for the first time. This is one of the very few sex-horror films to come out of that period and still stands today as a daring and unique production, packed with elaborate and astonishing visual sequences of morbid eroticism.
I really don't know how to describe and/or review SPIDER. I really liked the film, as I love weird cinema. Usually the weirder the better for me. I feel, though, that this is one you must actually see for yourself to come to a conclusion on. I don't think you can take the opinion of a random online reviewer/blogger. I have a felling a lot of people will love this film and a lot will hate it. It seems to me to be one of those films that doesn't fall in the middle with most people. I personally loved this film, but I can definitely understand those that don't care for it.
The plot seems simple enough when reading it, but the film doesn't make it that easy to understand. There are also a couple of sections of the film that move really slow. What I loved about this film was the crazy imagery of it. I was shocked to see it was made in 1991, as this film looks much older than that to me. It looks like a film from the 1970's and reminded me of the works of Jean Rollin. It was very atmospheric and very visual.
If you are a fan of weird films, this is one you don't want to miss! SPIDER is available now on Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro. This is the first time this film has been released in the U.S. The Blu-ray contains the following Special Features:
- Newly created English subtitles
- Interview with director
- Rare on set footage
- Mondo Macabro previews
- Cover art from Gilles Vranckx
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray