"That’s the trouble with you eggheads. You jump to conclusions."
When Carol Flynn’s (June Kennedy) father doesn’t come home the night before her birthday she enlists her boyfriend Mike (Eugene Persson) to help her find him. They borrow a friend’s car and travel the route he would have taken to come home. They find his crashed truck and the bracelet he bought to give her, but they don’t find him. Near by is a cave. Thinking he may have crawled into it for shelter they search the cave. Inside the cave they fall into a giant web. Hearing a screeching noise they are shocked to see a giant spider charging at them. They manage to escape the spider and run to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Cagle (Gene Roth) doesn’t believe them. They manage to convince their science teacher Mr. Kingman (Ed Kemmer) that something is wrong. Together they get the sheriff to go to the cave to check it out. Once there they find Carol’s father’s body. Once again the spider attacks. They spray it with DDT. The spider dies. The science teacher wants the dead spider for research so they haul it out and bring it to the local high school recreation room. The spider hangs there motionless.
Later the kids that are in the local band need to practice so they convince the janitor to let them into the rec room. The kids are playing and dancing when all of a sudden the spider they thought was dead comes back to life and starts tearing apart the rec room. It escapes and heads for town. Now the police and the town elders need to find a way to stop the spider permanently since DDT won’t.
“The Spider” or “Earth vs the Spider” was released in 1958. It was produced and directed by Bert I Gordon. Bert also wrote the story that the screenplay was based on. The screenplay was written by George Worthington Yates and Laszio Gorog. The executive producer was Samuel Z. Arkoff.
I am aware that "Earth vs the Spider" is not a good movie. But... I loved this movie when I was a kid. I still do. Between this and “Tarantula” you were up to your ears in spider. Of course any monster is a good monster to me. Plus I get a dose of Gene Roth who is a favorite of mine. He can make snarky old coot look good. He never has a big part but you can always count on him being annoying and irascible.
If you want every spider movie you can find or you love big monsters you’re going to need this big guy in your collection. I'm talking about the spider, not Gene Roth.
The original title of the movie was "The Spider". Prior to completion, the title was changed to "Earth vs the Spider" which was used for the main title on the film upon release. When "The Fly" (1958) became a blockbuster for 20th Century Fox, American International decided to ride on their success by changing the title back to simply "The Spider" on all advertising material. The main title on the film itself was never changed.