Way to turn an unlikely love story into a pity fuck, man! *grr*
While Raul Julia as Valentin I could live with, William Hurt as Molina was 1) WAAAAY too Aryan and 2) not nearly enough the stereotypical queen. (Mom: *addressing the latter bone* They didn't do that in movies back then...if it were done now it would be a totally different story.) Methinks that 'twas the role that really got the Oscar, not the actor.
And what was that about the meaning of the title? Molina isn't fantasizing about the spider woman--he IS the spider woman! Not to mention that it was Valentin's image, anyway. *sighs*
In all fairness, though, I suppose I have to give them credit for even doing this novel in the first place. The dialogue-and-nothing-else plus tiny jail cell setting, never mind the homoerotic subject matter, doesn't exactly invite cinematic inspiration, but they made it work well visually. (Though, as I said before, Hurt was too white for that crowd.)
By the way, did you know the film is totally out-of-print? It's never even been released on DVD! They had the VHS at the local Hollywood Video. I lucked out.