ARACHNID (2001) Directed by Jack Sholder. Stars Chris Potter, Alex Reid, Jose Sancho. Producer Brian Yuzna’s (RE-ANIMATOR) Spanish company Fantastic Factory lensed this killer-spider movie in Mexico. As these things go, it isn’t too bad. A mixed group of scientists and soldiers crash their plane on a South Pacific island filled with giant spiders, which have been mutated through contact with a dying alien race. Or something like that. The opening, with a U.S. Air Force pilot crashing there and apparently contacting a flying saucer, is confusing and hardly seems worth the effort. It’s a deserted island populated by giant killer spiders; why stir the pot? The low-budget effects are quite good—a combination of CGI and life-size animatronics. The actors (many of whom are dubbed) are capable, led by former TV star Potter (KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES), and Mark Sevi’s screenplay doesn’t contain the leaps of logic and the unlikable characters that often populate the genre. Also give credit to director Sholder, a capable action director clearly slumming for Fantastic Factory.