Back when I was a kid, the local stations would have the creature features with the horror host on Friday and Saturday night, but they’d also show them on Saturday afternoons for the kids. It’s Saturday Afternoon. Are you ready for The Giant Spider Invasion? It stars, sorta, Alan Hale Jr. as the sheriff — he’s better known as the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.
The first lines of dialog:
Young man: “Sheriff!”
Alan Hale Jr: “Hi, little buddy!”
Because of course they are.
Other notable facts: it takes place in northern Wisconsin, but none of the residents seem at all perturbed at finding tarantulas all over the place. Just the usual house spiders, I guess.
The big bad monster is cheesy and fake, but by the standards of low budget horror/skiffy of the day, it’s actually not too bad. They do a good job of framing it with the camera so you can’t see the puppeteers wiggling the legs and moving it along. I want one.
Also by the standards of the genre, they did an OK job imitating the chelicerae of a mygalomorph.
The story ends with an abrupt deus ex machina, but it’s really an excuse to show buckets of multi-colored goo and slime oozing out to an excessive degree from the dead spider puppet. Young me would have appreciated it.