MST3K Wiki

Earth vs the Spider

1,207pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Talk0
313 - Earth vs the Spider
Air Date September 14, 1991
MST3K Director Jim Mallon
AKA Earth vs the Giant Spider
Movie Director Bert I. Gordon
Year 1958
Cast Ed Kemmer
June Kenney
Eugene Persson
Gene Roth
Jack Kosslyn
Preceded by 312 - Gamera vs Guiron
Followed by 314 - Mighty Jack

Joel, I hate to break it to you: KISS were NEVER cool!
  — Crow

The Short



In Speech: Using Your Voice, Professor E.C. Buehler tells us how to be effective speakers. He has a nifty wire rack to display his points on, and places an emphasis on being heard, understood, and especially "pleasing".


The Movie



"Rose Kennedy!"

When a man doesn’t come home one night, his daughter and her boyfriend go out searching and encounter a giant spider in a cave near the man’s wrecked car. When the kids come back with the sheriff, the spider is seemingly killed by DDT spraying, and its body is then hauled for storage in the high school gymnasium. However, loud rock music by a teenage garage band revives the arachnid and sends it rampaging through the town. [1] Meanwhile, the girl and her boyfriend have gone back to the cave to look for a bracelet that she dropped (the birthday present from her father). The over-sized arachnid then returns to its lair and the sheriff dynamites the cave entrance, unwittingly trapping the two teens inside with the spider. Rescuers open a small hole above the cave and send down a device that the teens use to electrocute the spider.



  • Parts of the movie were filmed on location at Carlsbad Caverns. Parts of the movie were also filmed on a sound stage with matte effects to make it look like Carlsbad Caverns using a variety of scenic shots (of a quality on par with postcards sold in the gift shop at Carlsbad).
  • Laszlo Gorog also wrote The Mole People.
  • The last of Bert I. Gordon's "giant special effects" features from the 1950s. He would not do another until 1965's Village of the Giants.
  • Paul Blaisdell had created a small makeup appliance ("about the size and weight of a postage stamp") meant to go on the live tarantula's back to make it look like it had "eerie, catlike" eyes, but this was never used.
  • In one scene, one of the teenagers is seen with issue #1 of "Famous Monsters of Filmland".

The Episode

Host Segments



Prologue: It's "Inside the Robot Mind" with host Crow T. Robot and special guest Tom Servo! They don't get past the introduction.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): TV's Frank steals the cheese phone from Joel. Joel presents the CD Blow Dryer to replace the In-Salon 8-Track and the Portable Dryer Cassette models.

Segment Two: Crow writes a screenplay, Earth vs. Soup. Joel and Servo are not impressed. This doesn't discourage Crow in the least.

Segment Three: The hot new rock group, Spidorr, is interrupted by a visit from the cranky Custodian of the 7th Galaxy.


Segment Four: Joel and the Bots lament the loss of cool, yet dangerous toys of the past, like Creepy Crawlers and Lawn Darts.

Segment Five: Tom and Crow write reports. Tom's report focuses on Bert I. Gordon's common themes. Crow's isn't finished yet. Frank has repercussions from consuming the entire cheese phone.

Stinger: A poor speaker from the short rambles on.

Other Notes

Guest Stars


  • When Joel berates the Mads for idea theft and reaching "a new high in stupidity and evil", Dr. Forrester and Frank respond by saying "Thank you!" in the same manner Dr. F and Dr. Erhardt would reply during Season 1 whenever Joel commented on their evilness. The Mads then stare at each other uncomfortably. This wouldn't be the only callback to Larry this episode, either (see below).
  • The Custodian's ship appears to be a model of a high school (complete with flagpole) with the front end and nacelle wings of an AMT/Ertl Klingon D-7 class battlecruiser model.
  • Upon appearing in the Hexfield Viewscreen, the Custodian asks "What the Heck-tor Alonzo's goin' on?". This is apparently a reference to the actor Hector Elizondo, who was best-known at the time for his recurring roles on television and in films such as The Flamingo Kid and Pretty Woman. He would later achieve greater fame as a cast member on the TV hospital drama Chicago Hope and for appearing in many films directed by Garry Marshall. Mike mis-pronounces the name a bit. A similar joke (with the correct pronunciation) would be made by Crow during the last Host Segment of Experiment #814 Riding With Death.
  • The Custodian makes reference to a "pep rally on Tralfamadore". Tralfamadore is a fictional distant planet that is featured or referred to in several novels by the author Kurt Vonnegut. It is home to an advanced alien race.
  • Creepy Crawlers toys actually made a comeback for a few years in the early 90's. In addition to the toys, there was a Saturday morning cartoon based on them.
  • This is the only experiment in which all 3 of the actors Merritt Stone, Gene Roth, and Jack Kosslyn appear, though they do not share any screen time and Stone's character is killed in the first scene without speaking (see Experiment #419 The Rebel Set).
  • During Crow's report on Bert I. Gordon, he mentions some of his other films. One he mentions in particular was Beginning of the End, which became a future experiment not long after Mike took Joel's place on the SOL.
  • This was the beginning of Crow's ambitions as a screen writer with Earth vs. Soup. It would later be "picked up" by Dr. Forrester and his mother in the future experiment The Incredible Melting Man, but tampered with horribly; crushing Crow's dreams. (This ordeal was the MST3K crew's way of "healing" from a similar ordeal with Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.)


Obscure References

  • "It's called Herbalife!"

Herbalife is a brand of personal health products sold via multi-level marketing.

  • "Ven David Dukes (sic) is elected, ve vill take over ze country..."

David Duke is a white supremacist and neo-Nazi who was very nearly elected governor of Louisiana around the time this first aired.

  • "Dr. Erhardt! So that's what happened to him!"

This is a reference to the unexplained disappearance of the MST3K character Dr. Laurence Erhardt. The actor being attacked by the spider in the movie looks a bit like him.

  • “Hey Joe!” – Mike Simpson “Where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?” –Tom Servo

Refers to the song Hey Joe by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

  • MST3K 313 Promo00:30

    MST3K 313 Promo

    Custodian of the Seventh Galaxy.

A likely reference to the seminal 70's jazz-fusion album "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy" by Chick Corea and Return to Forever.

  • Mike Simpson: "My dad just got in a new picture, and I haven't seen it yet.  Something about puppet people.  It sounds pretty wild."
  • Joel: "Oh, shame on you, Bert I. Gordon."

Attack of the Puppet People is another one of Bert I. Gordon's films. It became available as a Rifftrax presentation in 2014. Several posters for other Bert I. Gordon films, such as The Amazing Colossal Man, are also visible throughout this scene. 

Video Release


Also on Fandom

Random Wiki