Kiss of the Tarantula is a 1976 horror film directed by the unknown Chris Munger and stars Suzanna Ling in her only movie credit. Suzanna plays Susan, a troubled girl, whose single friends are spiders, dolls, and her oblivious father who runs a morgue in their home. Her mother is a mean-spirited cheater, who would rather spend time with her brother-in-law, Walter (Ernesto Macias), than raise her child. Susan finds out that her mother is cheating on her father and uses her pet tarantulas to garner revenge and this spirals into a habit on anyone that crosses her path.
Kiss of the Tarantula isn’t the best film around, as it can be rather dull. We have loads of scenes where not much is happening, interspersed with scenes of tarantulas slowly climbing over people. The tarantulas themselves don’t do any of the slayings, of course, as they are entirely harmless arachnids, but you would be hard pressed to find anyone that wouldn’t freak out over a dozen of them climbing all over you when you are just trying to make out in a parked car. These hilarious scenes do offer the most enjoyment you’ll get out of this film. The only other place you may get a tickle with is the ending, which admittedly is drawn out way too long, but offers much-needed justice against an incestuous dickhole.
VCI offers Kiss of the Tarantula on Blu-ray (DVD also included), with a new 2K scan of the 35mm Original Negative, and the results are pretty darn excellent. There is a bit of dirt and debris present, but given the age and quality of the film, VCI has done a splendid job restoring it. Audio is presented in English PCM (English, SDH+ subtitles are included), and I didn’t notice any issues that would distract you from your viewing pleasure. Extra features include a new 2018 commentary with David Del Valle and David DeCocteau. They mention they had no involvement in this film, so VCI tasked them with the job to talk about it, and talk they do. They offer all sorts of fun tidbits of other spider films and background information on the people that worked on Kiss of the Tarantula. They bring up the point that Kiss of the Tarantula is very similar to Willard, but of course, Willard ends up being the better film. It’s an enjoyable commentary. Rounding everything out is the theatrical trailer.
If Kiss of the Tarantula’s primary goal was to strike fear in the heart of arachnophobes, then job well done. However, if spiders don’t scare you the least bit, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything enjoyable in this flick. There are just way too many longs stretches of not much happening. We needed more spider mayhem to sell this movie. Nevertheless, if you like the movie, VCI has done a great job releasing a rather solid Blu-ray.