Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Spider Labyrinth, H.P. Lovecraft gives us Spider Monsters

Slimy, tentacled eel-like creatures is what we are used to when H. P. Lovecraft throws one of his monsters at us. Something about tentacled menaces that horrify, and in some cultures, arouse us. I guess a being that can penetrate many orifices at one time does hold some appeal, especially to Japanese nymphomaniacs or businessmen with fetishes. No allure today, at least from the creature community, as we look at 1988's "The Spider Labyrinth." This H.P. Lovecraft tale has been made into an Italian film set in Budapest. Many of you who loved "Dagon," will be up to speed on this one.
Professor Alan Whitmore (Roland Wybenga) is an American expert on Oriental languages. A weird cabal of business leaders and clergy hire him to go to Budapest to find out what happened to the INTEXTUS Project. Alan is afraid of spiders and this will be an important point as the film progresses.  All starts off well as he meets his guide, Genevieve (Paola Rinaldi). The nubile Euro-babe picks Alan up at the airport clad in a nice leather mini-skirt. Genevieve spends the whole film trying to seduce Alan, and often takes off all her clothes and dances. Enough of this frivolous rabbit trail...Alan decides to visit Professor Roth, who has made great strides on the INTEXTUS Project, but has stopped communicating with the aforementioned cabal. This meeting won't go well, as Roth appears to be a raving lunatic yapping about things invading our bodies and taking over.
Alan does collect some photos from Roth and an ancient tablet. Roth is then found hung, not by a noose, but a spider web. At this point Genevieve dances nude for Alan, who has  no clue.  After a hotel maid, the beautiful Maria (Claudia Muzii) tries to warn Alan, she is stabbed in the head by a spider-woman. Cryptic Hungarians then warn Alan that some monster sect that worships a spider god wants to make him one of their own. Everyone who can clear up Alan's confusion is then murdered by the spider-woman creature. As Genevieve steps it up a bit and gets friskier, Alan is put in more peril by a pursuing spider thing.  Then the final 15 minutes of this film, a wild and horrific ride which I will not spoil for you.
Will the sultry and mysterious Genevieve successfully seduce the cold fish Alan? What is the INTEXTUS Project, and does the cabal know more than they are letting Alan in on? Exactly what does this spider monster want with Alan? Weird, ominous, and cerebral "The Spider Labyrinth" (directed by Gianfranco Giagni) is a terrific Giallo Lovecraft flick. Icky and seductive at the same time, H.P. Lovecraft fans and Japanese businessmen will love this film.


  1. Good review. Interesting film. Probably be a neat late night watch.

  2. Always a treat to read, gives me plot ideas

  3. Great review Christopher for what I consider to be a particularly good Horror, which really combines its Giallo & Lovecraftian elements together very well. Very sadly overlooked/under seen film it seems & the term "Hidden gem" really applies to it. Very glad you liked it & hoping more get to see it, really deserves some blu ray love too.

  4. Sounds like a good one. Will put on watchlist. Thanks!