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Tarantula! is a 1955 American black-and-white science fiction giant monster film from Universal Pictures, produced by William Alland, directed by Jack Arnold, the stars John Agar, Mara Corday, and Leo G. Carroll. The screenplay by Robert M. Fresco and Martin Berkeley was based on a story by Arnold, which was in turn inspired by Fresco's teleplay for the 1955 Science Fiction Theater episode, "No Food for Thought", that Aronld also directed.

Plot Edit

Professor Gerald Deemer is a biologist and researcher who goes to the small town of Desert Rock to conduct experiments that will indicate a solution to the problem of human overpopulation in the future. White the help of atomic science he and his helpers create a nutrient that causes growth in animals. The formula is unstable and one of the researchers, testing on himself, develops acromegaly. He gets his hands and face deformed and dies soon after. Prfessor Deemer also becomes contaminated in an attack on the laboratory, which is partially set on fire. The animal guinea pigs die incinerated, except for a huge tarantula that escapes into the desert.

When a new assistant of Professor Deemer arrives, student Stephanie, accompanied by the local doctor, Dr. Matt Hastings, they soon realize that the experience has gone haywire and that a monster is on the loose in the desert.

Cast Edit

  • Leo G. Carroll as Prof. Gerlad Deemer
  • John Agar as Dr. Matt Hastings
  • Mara Corday as Stephanie Clayton
  • Nestor Paiva Sheriff Jack Andrews
  • Ross Elliott as Joe Burch
  • Raymond Bailey as Dr. Townsend
  • Hank Patterson as Josh
  • Bert Holland as Barney Russell
  • Steve Darrell as Andy Anderson

List of Deaths Edit

List of deaths in the film, Tarantula!

Name Cause of Death Killer On-Screen Notes
Jacobs Heart disease N/A Yes
Numerous Horses Eaten Giant Tarantula Partially
Horse-rancher Eaten Giant Tarantula Partially
Lund Eaten Giant Tarantula Partially
Deemer Eaten Giant Tarantula Partially
Jean Destroyed building Giant Tarantula Yes
Giant Tarantula Shot and blown up by napalm Jet pilot Yes

Production Edit

A few years later later the same director would shot The Incredible Shrinking Man, when again it showed a fight between a human and a spider. But in this story the man has had his size changed, becoming diminutive.

External links Edit


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