Eight Legged Freaks

"Weak"

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

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

With its grindingly low-key tension and unusual perspectives, this Western has a chance to revamp...

Criminal Movie Review

Criminal Movie Review

Almost criminally entertaining, this preposterous thriller mixes buckets of humour and emotion into the violent,...

The Jungle Book Movie Review

The Jungle Book Movie Review

Using remarkably photorealistic animation, this remake of the 1967 Disney classic is warm and enjoyable,...

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Almost forensic in its approach, this smart thriller explores a drone strike from a variety...

Midnight Special Movie Review

Midnight Special Movie Review

Gifted director Jeff Nichols takes on another genre in his fourth film with actor Michael...

Advertisement
Boulevard Movie Review

Boulevard Movie Review

This dark, introspective drama hinges on one of Robin Williams' final film performances before his...

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

Aside from success at the box office, there was nothing about 2012's rather uneven fantasy...

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

It's fairly obvious that the cast and crew began making this film with only the...

Victoria Movie Review

Victoria Movie Review

One of the most breathtaking films of the year, this ambitious story shifts from a...

Eddie the Eagle Movie Review

Eddie the Eagle Movie Review

Based on the true story of an unapologetic underdog who never won anything, this British...

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review

After 2013's beefy Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder goes even bigger and darker with...

Zootopia [aka Zootropolis] Movie Review

Zootopia [aka Zootropolis] Movie Review

The filmmakers behind Tangled and Wreck-it Ralph join forces for this entertaining animated action comedy,...

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.