Marleah Camargo

Written by Marleah Camargo

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Tarantula is a classic science fiction movie that has captivated audiences since its release in 1955. This thrilling film, directed by Jack Arnold, takes viewers on a ride filled with suspense, mystery, and all the creepy crawlies one could imagine. Set in the desert Southwest, Tarantula tells the story of a small town terrorized by a gigantic tarantula that has been exposed to an experimental growth serum.

With its unforgettable plot and groundbreaking special effects for its time, Tarantula has become a beloved cult classic among movie enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into 34 fascinating facts about the movie, from behind-the-scenes trivia to the impact it had on the genre. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and get ready to discover everything you need to know about this timeless cinematic gem.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Tarantula” is a classic 1955 sci-fi horror film featuring a giant tarantula wreaking havoc in a small town. It was a box office success and influenced the popularity of creature feature movies.
  • Despite mixed reviews, “Tarantula” gained a cult following and paved the way for other giant creature films. Its enduring popularity continues through home video releases and streaming platforms.
Table of Contents

The movie Tarantula was released in 1955.

Tarantula, a classic science fiction horror film, made its debut in 1955.

It was directed by Jack Arnold.

Jack Arnold, known for his work in the sci-fi genre, directed Tarantula.

The film features a giant tarantula that wreaks havoc in a small Arizona town.

In Tarantula, a lab experiment gone wrong results in the creation of a massive, rampaging tarantula.

The tarantula in the movie was created using a combination of a live spider and special effects.

The filmmakers used a live tarantula for close-up shots and a giant mock-up for scenes requiring more interaction.

Tarantula was a box office success, grossing over $1 million.

The film was well-received by audiences and became a financial success for the studio.

It was one of several creature feature films released during the 1950s.

Tarantula belongs to a popular subgenre of horror films that featured giant monsters or creatures.

The movie was inspired by the fear of atomic radiation and its potential effects.

During the 1950s, atomic radiation was a prevalent concern, and Tarantula tapped into those fears.

The film’s tagline was “Creeping!…Killing!…Destroying!”

The tagline perfectly captures the sense of terror and destruction portrayed in the movie.

Clint Eastwood makes an uncredited appearance as a jet pilot in Tarantula.

Before his rise to fame, Clint Eastwood had a small role in Tarantula.

Tarantula was filmed in black and white.

The use of black and white photography adds to the atmospheric and moody tone of the film.

The special effects in the movie were considered impressive for its time.

Given the technological limitations of the era, Tarantula’s special effects were highly regarded.

The film marked actress Mara Corday’s first leading role.

Mara Corday played the female lead, and her performance helped launch her career.

Tarantula was released as a double feature with another sci-fi film, “The Mole People.”

The two films made for a thrilling moviegoing experience, showcasing different aspects of the science fiction genre.

The original score for Tarantula was composed by Frank Skinner.

Frank Skinner’s score added to the suspense and drama of the film.

The tarantula’s size was exaggerated for dramatic effect.

In reality, tarantulas are not as massive as depicted in the movie; it was done to heighten the sense of danger.

Tarantula received mixed reviews from critics upon its release.

While some praised its thrills and creature effects, others criticized its plot and character development.

The movie is known for its memorable scenes of the tarantula attacking cars and buildings.

These action-packed sequences became iconic moments in the film.

Tarantula was part of a wave of monster movies produced by Universal Pictures during the 1950s.

Universal Pictures capitalized on the popularity of creature features during that era.

The success of Tarantula influenced the production of other giant creature films.

With its success, studios saw the potential in creating similar movies to captivate audiences.

The film’s climax involves an exciting battle between the tarantula and the military.

These intense moments add to the suspense and action-packed nature of the film.

Tarantula was re-released in theaters several times over the years.

The enduring popularity of the movie led to multiple reissues, allowing new generations to experience the thrill.

Despite it being a B-movie, Tarantula has gained a cult following.

Many fans appreciate the film for its nostalgic charm and contribution to the genre.

Tarantula’s success paved the way for other creature-focused films like “Them!” and “The Deadly Mantis.”

These films further established the popularity of the giant creature subgenre of movies.

The movie’s special effects team used forced perspective to create the illusion of a giant tarantula.

This technique involved clever camera angles and objects of varying sizes to make the creature appear larger than it actually was.

Tarantula features elements of science fiction, horror, and suspense genres.

Its blend of genres adds depth and excitement to the overall viewing experience.

The production team had to handle real tarantulas carefully during filming.

Ensuring the safety of the live tarantula used in close-up shots was a top priority for the crew.

Tarantula’s success led to the creation of several sequels and spin-offs in the creature feature genre.

The film served as a launching pad for a wider universe of monster movies.

Tarantula was known for its impressive miniature sets used for the destruction scenes.

The attention to detail in these sets made the destruction scenes all the more compelling.

The film’s poster art prominently featured the giant tarantula attacking a town.

This eye-catching artwork effectively conveyed the movie’s theme and captured audience attention.

Tarantula’s success helped solidify the popularity of monster movies in the 1950s.

The creature feature trend reached its peak during this decade, with Tarantula playing a significant role.

The movie’s script underwent several revisions before reaching its final form.

The creative team worked hard to refine the story and characters to create the most engaging film possible.

Tarantula is often regarded as one of the best monster movies of its time.

The film’s enduring popularity and critical acclaim have cemented its status in the genre.

The tarantula’s presence in the movie symbolizes humanity’s fear of the unknown and uncontrollable forces of nature.

This underlying theme adds depth and meaning to the film’s narrative.

Tarantula continues to be enjoyed by audiences through home video releases and streaming platforms.

The film’s timeless appeal ensures that new generations can appreciate its thrilling storytelling and impressive creature effects.


In conclusion, Tarantula holds a special place in the history of monster movies. With its captivating storyline, impressive special effects, and talented cast, it left a lasting impact on audiences around the world. The movie showcased the power of nature gone awry and the consequences of scientific experimentation. Its success paved the way for future creature features and established tarantulas as a symbol of fear and fascination.Whether you’re a fan of classic monster movies or just looking for a thrilling cinematic experience, Tarantula is definitely worth watching. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and prepare to be captivated by this iconic film.


1. When was Tarantula released?

Tarantula was released on April 14, 1955.

2. Who directed Tarantula?

Tarantula was directed by Jack Arnold.

3. Who were the main cast members of Tarantula?

The main cast members of Tarantula were John Agar, Mara Corday, and Leo G. Carroll.

4. Is Tarantula a horror movie?

Tarantula is often classified as a sci-fi horror film due to its creature and suspense elements.

5. What is the running time of Tarantula?

The running time of Tarantula is approximately 81 minutes.

6. Was the tarantula in the movie real?

No, the tarantula in the movie was a puppet and special effects were used to create its realistic appearance.

7. Where was Tarantula filmed?

Tarantula was primarily filmed in California, USA.

8. Did Tarantula receive any awards?

No, Tarantula did not receive any major awards, but it became a cult classic over time.

9. Is Tarantula a black and white movie?

Yes, Tarantula was filmed in black and white.

10. Where can I watch Tarantula?

Tarantula is available on various streaming platforms and can be rented or purchased from online retailers.

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