Spiders seem to be the crawly that creeps us out the most. But it appears that they’re also the beasties we love to give us a shiver at the movies!
1. Charlotte’s Web
The character: Charlotte
Charlotte the barn spider is a character in the book of the same name by EB White. Clever Charlotte saves little Wibur the piglet from a sausage-related fate.
2. Eight Legged Freaks
The character: Many!
This 2002 horror-comedy is an everday tale of spiders accidentally exposed to toxic waste, which makes them to grow to a massive size. David Arquette and Scarlett Johansson are two-legged stars, among others.
3. Dr No
Character: Rosie the Bond movie tarantula
Who could forget Sean Connery and scene-stealer Rosie? One of the first Bond Girls (of sorts!), she made a memorable screen debut but met an unfortunate end.
No spiders were harmed in the making of this movie…
This 1990 horror film stars Jeff Daniels, John Goodman and lots of fantastic extras! To be precise, 374 Avondale (or flat huntsman) spiders from the Antipodes. These spiders are very fast-moving – as are most folk who come across them. A mature critter with its legs outstretched can be up to 8in across. The spiders were guided around the movie set by the use of heat and cold – but the largest ‘general’ and ‘queen’ were articulated models.
5. Gulliver Mickey
Character: spider Pete
This black-and-white Mickey Mouse short animation, produced by Walt Disney was released in 1934. The story ends with Mickey saving the town from a giant spider, played by Pete (a catlike dog or doglike cat? above) – the character who often featured as Mickey’s nemesis.
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
This big guy appears in a number of Harry Potter books and films. In the Chamber of Secrets, Ron and Harry have a narrow escape from some of his equally monstrous offspring. Aragog is a one-time pet Acromantula of gamekeeper Hagrid and, while still friendly with him, has a taste for human flesh since fleeing to live in the forest. Able to communicate with humans, in his youth Aragog was the size of a small dog. Fully grown, he has an 18ft leg span and is about the size of a truck. Lovely.
7. Lord of the Rings
There’s an awful lot of cobwebs behind our hero here! And that’s the clue to the next movie star. This giant spider-like creature lives in a lair high in the murky mountains of Mordor. She snaffles up hobbit Frodo for a tasty supper (is that what you call doing your groceries on the web?) but he’s rescued by his trusty pal Sam. The name Shelob is a combo of the creature’s gender and the archaic English word for spider.
8. Son of Godzilla
This 1967 Godzilla movie featured a bad-guy spider monster named Kumonga. In a later Godzilla movie Destroy All Monsters, however, he helped save the world. Worth remembering, next time you have a choice between save or squish!
And two musical arachnids…
Boris the Spider – The Who.
Released in 1966, this was the first song written by John Entwhistle for the band and became a fave at live concerts – plus the song went on to inspire some great artwork and animations from fans!
Lullaby – The Cure. From the album Disintegration, the song reached No 5 in the charts. And the video won the 1990 Best British Video at the 1990 Brit Awards.
And finally the spider ABC…
Arachnophobia – Many people suffer this extreme or irrational fear of spiders. From the Greek word for spider, arachne.
Attercop – Old English word for spider – ator (poison) and coppe (top, head) Used by Tolkien in Lord of the Rings. Apparently still used in North Yorkshire, though considered old fashioned. It can also mean a peevish, ill-natured person.
Cob – archaic word for spider, as in cobweb, and probably linked to the Flemish cobbe or coppe (spider).
Gangwifre – Old English word for spider (literally – a weaver as he goes).
Lob – another extinct word for spider from the Old English lobbe or loppe.
Spigt – Old English word for spider.
Wæfergange – Another Old English word for spider. Those folk must’ve really had a lot of the critters about!
How about you? Love ’em or hate ’em..?