Director: Salem Kapsaski
Cast: Sophia Disgrace, Rahel Kapsaski, Lee Mark Jones
Production Company: Après Vague Productions
Runtime: 126 minutes
Spidarlings (2016) is a queer, punk rock, horror musical distributed by Troma Entertainment. Every word in that last sentence makes me happy! Defiant and unconventional films like this one have long been a staple of independent cinema.
In the movie, Eden (Sophia Disgrace) and Matilda (Rahel Kapsaski) are poverty-stricken lovers trying to make ends meet. Eden uses stolen money to buy a pet tarantula from Mr. Banner (Lloyd Kaufman), which eventually changes their lives.
Spidarlings opens with The Spider in Love by Two Russian Cowboys, which quickly establishes the film’s punk rock atmosphere. The song is accompanied by a wonderful animated sequence created by Dominik Litwiniak.
The movie is filled with songs from a number of different genres, not just punk rock. The music keeps things lively and entertaining. I especially enjoyed Kerching performed by Sophia Disgrace and Grace Keegan, which is a playful criticism on modern consumerism.
This film is essential viewing for fans of Christiane F. (1981), Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979), and Sid and Nancy (1986). The animated sequences would likely please followers of Heavy Metal (1981) and Fritz the Cat (1972).
Spidarlings also contains a subtle message about animal abuse and veganism. A line in the end credits reads, “no meat was used or catered throughout the production”. In fact, all the meat seen in Eden and Matilda’s fridge is actually made of wheat gluten.
The tarantula does inspire some of the “horror” in the film, but its real role is a little more complicated. There’s also a psycho killer on the loose, which adds to the film’s gore factor. I’m always pleased to see a chainsaw in any independent movie!
Looking for something a little different? Give Spidarlings a go…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…