A whodunit about whodunit authors, THE SPIDER AND THE FLY moves fast, as if it doesn't want you to see beyond its convoluted plot.
At a screening of a movie written by rival author Dianna Taylor (Mel Harris), Michael Moore (Ted Shackelford) insults both Dianna and her publisher, Irwin Stroud (Kenneth Welsh). Later, after bonding for a day, the authors challenge each other to design the perfect murder. The next day, a
detective arrests Moore for Stroud's murder. As Moore declares he's been framed, Dianna walks in--along with Stroud, Stroud's wife Helen (Peggy Lipton), and his mistress and co-editor Blair (Cynthia Belliveau)--to let Moore know he's been hoaxed. The phony detective, explains Dianna, is actually
her brother Evan (Colm Feore). Dianna and Moore make love, although Dianna leaves early.
Later that night, Stroud is actually killed; the circumstances of the murder precisely duplicate Dianna's hoax. On the following night, Blair discovers something about Stroud in the computer, and asks Moore to come over and have a look. When he arrives, Blair is dead. Taking matters into his own
hands, Moore sneaks into Stroud's office and goes through his files. He discovers shocking newspaper clips of Dianna's past: she had been accused of murdering her husband. Still, despite police inquires, warnings from her jealous brother, and his own doubts, Moore keeps seeing Dianna. One night
while Moore sleeps, she goes to his office and searches his files. When Moore walks in on her, she leaves hurriedly; Moore opens his disturbed files and finds a news story about Dianna's past, as well as two computer disks that belonged to Stroud. Moore goes to Dianna's house and declares his love
for her. She shoots him and greets the cops with tears on her face. But the game isn't over. Moore appears, showing off his bulletproof vest and a tape recording of her attempted murder.
The screenplay of this made-for-cable film is reasonably clever, but director Michael Katleman fails to flesh out the intrigue. Suspicion never really lingers on anyone but Dianna and her brother, the two most reprehensible characters on screen. Meanwhile, a bland cast of TV regulars can't
inject much life into the arch repartee furnished by screenwriters Alanna Hamill and Robert Pucci. (Violence, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: A whodunit about whodunit authors, THE SPIDER AND THE FLY moves fast, as if it doesn't want you to see beyond its convoluted plot. At a screening of a movie written by rival author Dianna Taylor (Mel Harris), Michael Moore (Ted Shackelford) insults bot… (more)