The sound of a spider being crushed by John GoodmanJohn Goodman was made by the foley artists crushing a couple of potato chips.
[Family Ties] is playing on the TV when spiders start crawling over the screen.
The small spiders used in the film were Avondale spiders (Delena Cancerides), a harmless species from New Zealand that were provided by Landcare Research in Auckland. Despite their fierce appearance, this spider is docile member of the crab-spider family and are, in fact, harmless to humans. They were not allowed back in New Zealand for quarantine reasons. The giant "spider" used in the film was a species of a bird-eating tarantula, which attains an 8" legspan or more. Those types of tarantula are not easy to handle and can give a nasty bite. The spiders in the film were managed and handled by famed entomologist [?] Steven R. Kutcher.
The first film released under Disney's Hollywood Pictures label, which was also created so the studio could release more adult-oriented fare.