Spider horror!

There’s a visual inspiration for what happens to Colonel Madder in the end, and also for much of what happens to Cleo Mount over her interesting Gnosis days, and that’s a strange little movie often called Horrors of Spider Island, or sometimes by its original German title Ein Toter hing im Netz, or sometimes by Yog-Sothoth-alone-knows what title under its shifty distributors attempted to market it over the years.

We are talking very simple plot here:  a cast of young women (and one man) are lost on a Pacific island when their plane to Singapore goes down, leaving only them as survivors.  Their situation doesn’t seem so bad, as they have supplies and fresh water, except that there’s some sort of creepy spider-critter who has the ability to turn people into were-spiders (the first example of such a thing I know of).

Not that I can really recommend the experience unless you’re very much into the were-spider thing, but the film is in the public domain, and you can watch it at the Internet Archive.  It probably counts as a good bad movie.  Nothing too explicit that I can remember — there is one unconvincing girl fight and what looks like some skinny-dipping in ill-focused long shot.

The were-spider thing is supposed to be horrible, although as it will turn out, Cleo has something of a different interpretation of her fate.

Bonus Dr. Faustus bleg: Many years ago I came across a volume at (I think) Forbidden Planet NYC which consisted of various adult cartoonists doing work showing how they were inspired by cheesy sci-fi. There was at least one section that I’m sure was inspired by Horrors of Spider Island that contained some illustrations that were rather more explicit on the concept of woman/were-spider interaction than anything that shows up in the actual movie.  But at the time I was living on a very meager graduate-student stipend so I reluctantly put the book back on the shelf.  I didn’t regret it as much as walking away from The Adventures of Phoebe Zeit-Geist, but I still feel sorry not to at least remember the book’s title.  If anyone remembers this volume and can give me some information about it, I’d be grateful if you could let me know, either in correspondence or in comments.

Spider girl triumphant

In celebration of the victory Cleo Mount achieves over national security thuggery using her curious emerging powers, a picture of a body-paint spider girl.

Appears (and, sadly, often disappears) in various places but this one is from here.

Comix footnote: I had been vaguely aware that Marvel Comics had created a slinky and appealing Spider Girl character, but in researching the Spider Girl meme I discovered somewhat to my surprise that there was also a DC universe Spider Girl who appeared briefly in the 1960s.  Her primary super power was…super-strong prehensile hair.

By Cthulhu, that sounds like something out of the Tick‘s fictional universe…

In her web

We might feel some pity for Dolly and her fate, but we might feel perhaps less so for Buck.  It would that Cleo Mount came back from her rainforest adventure with both some unusual appetites and some unusual abilities, and Buck is about to find out that sometimes your partner has some unusual plans for your relationship.

That the spiderweb — a complex structure of lines designed to catch and hold living things fast — should show up as a fantasy bondage prop is perhaps unsurprising.  Here is an example:

If you visit the source for this image, you’ll find it’s actually a Harry Potter fanfiction scenario.  It’s a big Internet; I’m sure it’s not the strangest.

Spiders themselves work in quite nicely, playing into a sexual archetype of creatures who lure men to their doom…

…but perhaps do make them happy before the end, as Cleo promises to do to Buck.

The previous two images from the “Spider and other bug girls” board up at Monster Girl Unlimited.  You wantz monstergirls?  They gotz monstergirls. [Update on May 9, 2018: Well, they don’t gots them anymore, as the board has been taken offline for some nebulous ToS violation. What’s here might be all that’s left of it.]

Like I wrote: big, big Internet.  Or should I say, big big web? 🙂

Spider encounter

Well, Cleo Mount, little heard from in the last three Gnosis scripts, is about to re-appear in a big way in Where Am I? It might be worthwhile to reflect that way back in Study Abroad Cleo had a rather…intimate encounter with a rather…gigantic spider.  For a good cause, of course.

All good fun.  And I swear at the time I wrote that scene I was not aware of the following image, which appears to be circulating various places around the web.

As I read the caption in the lower-right of the photo (you can click through to get a larger version), this picture is also in a good cause — AIDS awareness, if I read it right.

Who says mad science isn’t good for something? Even if the the spider, while ginormous, does look a little fake. Perhaps a better looking spider could be found in the image to the left, which illustrates a story called “Spider” by Donna George Storey at The Erotic Woman.  If it appeals, you might want to check out this post at ErosBlog.

Pretty pretty spider

P.Z. Myers over at Pharyngula and Jerry Coyne at Whyevolutionistrue both have fine weekend traditions of coming up with pictures of exotic fauna to brighten up everyone’s weekends, and I couldn’t be happier than to follow in such illustrious footsteps, at least occasionally.

So for those of you who care about such things (which I am sure is all of you), the little spider that jumps on Cleo and so terrifies her is a member of a real species, Telamonia dimidiata, and she certainly is a pretty one (the spider, I mean, though certainly Cleo is too):

I picked this species in part precisely because the female is so pretty, but also because it was the subject of an enteratining e-mail hoax a while back about its crawling out from under public restrooms in Florida and fatally biting people.  Status of the myth:  false, as this discussion at snopes.com show.  Still, good as the sort of thing out of which fiction can be made.