Eight Legged Freaks

"OK"

Eight Legged Freaks Review


A truck carrying radioactive waste, a sleepy driver, a rabbit in the middle of the road and a subsequent crash near a dilapidated roadside attraction called Taft's Exotic Spider Farm are all it takes to make the opening scene of "Eight Legged Freaks" feel packed with comedy-horror promise.

For the most part, this tongue-in-cheek homage to 1950s monster-bug movies lives up to that promise, bringing hordes of giant mutant spiders to the screen to prey on B-list stars like David Arquette ("Scream," etc.) Kari Wuhrer ("Anaconda"), Scarlett Johansson ("Ghost World") and Doug E. Doug ("Operation Dumbo Drop") -- all of whom happily exhibit their best B-movie bombast.

Long on cheese, refreshingly short on gore (spiders don't bleed, they ooze green goop), "Freaks" maintains a balance between creepy scares that startle, silly scares that get a laugh and moments that make you go, "Ewww!" The movie never aspires to anything more than eventually getting the entire (surviving) population of a Southwestern small town into their run-down shopping mall, where they try to beat down enormous arachnids with sporting goods and mannequins.

But director Ellory Elkakyem has a good time getting them there. The first person to see the giant spiders is, of course, a kid nobody believes -- a fact the kid (Scott Terra) realizes all too well before he even tells anyone. The next victims of an "arac attack" are teenagers racing their dirt bikes in the desert, leading to a the movie's funniest scene in which motorcycles come flying over the tops of hills, followed immediately by giant jumping spiders who land on the bikers' back -- chomp chomp!

A maze of abandoned mines that runs underneath the town come into play (they're teeming with methane gas it seems) as Arquette (back in town after 10 years) and Wuhrer (the county's foxy, feisty sheriff) lead the townsfolk to victory while rekindling a high school romance at the most inopportune moments.

"So what happened with you and Brian anyway?" Arquette asks while they're trying to outrun a two-story female orb-weaver, the kind of spider that cocoons its prey to eat it alive.

Elkakyem knows good sight gags (an old man being stalked through a sporting goods store by a spider hiding under a tent) and sound gags too (the spiders make little "Woo-hoo!" and "Yeee!" noises when they attack and when they die). But he also knows enough to temper the flow of camp value with good special effects that make the spiders look real enough to make your skin crawl, which shows he also respects those old movies like 1954's "Them!" (the giant ant flick that spawned a genre) which managed to be so creepy even though they were so corny.

"Eight Legged Freaks" isn't memorable, or well-acted. It's not a great monster movie. But if you've paid a matinee price and bought a big tub of popcorn, there's guilty fun to be had here. Chomp chomp!



Eight Legged Freaks

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 17th July 2002

Box Office USA: $17.2M

Distributed by: Warner Bros.

Production compaines: Warner Brothers, Village Roadshow Pictures, NPV Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Fresh: 69 Rotten: 74

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Chris McCormick, as Sheriff Samantha Parker, as Mike Parker, as Ashley Parker, Doug E. Doug as Harlan Griffith, as Deputy Pete Willis, as Wade, as Bret, as Gladys, as Randy, Jane Edith Wilson as Emma, Jack Moore as Amos, Roy Gaintner as Floyd

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.