This week Danielle brings us our first Sandra Bullock film with the 1995 cyber-thriller The Net. Angela Bennett is an average cyber-security employee/freelancer/contractor/thing who is a consummate recluse. She does out there things such as chatting in message groups and ordering pizza online, the horror. When a mysterious floppy disk (look it up, kids) is mailed to her house she finds it contains links to a mysterious backdoor that lets her access supposedly secure systems. The colleague who mailed her the disk flies his one-man aircraft out to see her, but dies in a suspicious crash before arriving. Unperturbed by his sudden death, or chaos at the airport due to a seemingly unrelated hacking, Angela jets off on a vacation to Mexico. There she encounters the sexy nerd Jack and they quickly hit it off on his boat, but just when Jack is about to kill her for that floppy disk (which she inexplicably brought) Angela escapes. That’s when Angela discovers her identity has been erased and replaced with a different identity that marks her as a criminal. Now Angela must find out about the shadowy organization behind her identity erasure and how their magic wizard computer powers work. Also, if she could find out what their motivations are, that would be great too, because we can’t figure that out. So dive into what Hollywood thought computers were in 1995, and join Sam and Danielle as they struggle to answer the film’s biggest question: Who is Cyberbob?
Sam concludes this year’s Spook Retorts with the 1990 thrill-omedy film Arachnophobia. When a hitherto unknown species of giant, deadly, Venezuelan hive spider is transported to a small West Coast town things are going to get creepy-crawly. Impressively quickly, the Venezuelan spider breeds with a common house spider which raises for Danielle all sorts of questions about spider reproduction that Sam is ill-equipped to answer. Mismatched spider breeding sizes aside, Dr. Ross Jennings, played by the always delightful Jeff Daniels, is a new transplant to the town looking to set up a medical practice, but finds himself in every doctor’s worst nightmare when all his patients start mysteriously dropping dead. Will Dr. Ross be able to unravel this mystery and protect his family all while overcoming his intense fear of spiders? Maybe, but not until suspiciously after his medical practice competition is eliminated. Luckily, John Goodman, playing a goofy exterminator, is there to be the hero we all want in our lives. As for how the spiders feel about all this, I’ll let renowned spider lover Jimmy Buffett’s end-credits song lyrics speak for them: “I’m fakey, real flaky, eight legs and one pea brain, so don’t bug me.”
Sam closes out Shark Week by sharing Jaws: The Revenge, the fourth installment in the Jaws franchise. Follow the Brody family (except Roy Scheider, the one you care about) as they are assailed by a shark determined to take revenge. Revenge for what we’re not exactly sure, possibly to restore shark honor. What we can say for sure is that this movie contains both a probable shark psychic and Michael Caine, and we are so here for it. Also, the shark is clearly better at making plans than the people. So join us for some fun, and blood, in the sun!