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Eight Legged Freaks - And you thought Spider-Man was freaky!
Eight Legged Freaks (DVD)
Member Name: shalimar
Eight Legged Freaks (DVD)
Date: 11/08/02, updated on 11/08/02 (92 review reads)
Advantages: Fun and entertaining, Good special effects
Disadvantages: Too predictable, Not enough laughs
If you're paying to see a movie called Eight Legged Freaks then you can forget about a coherent story and Oscar winning performances!
Directed by - Ellory Elkayem
Starring - David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scarlett Johansson, Scott Terra, Doug E. Doug, Rick Overton, Leon Rippy
Length - 99 minutes
Cert - 12
Eight Legged Freaks really is a one-sentence story that you're probably already aware of. Set in small town Arizona, a toxic chemical spillage comes into contact with spiders causing them to grow in grow in size and cocoon anyone they come across. And that's pretty much it. Hey, it made me want to go watch it!
The story for Eight Legged Freaks is a predictable formula given some special effects from the new millennium while sticking with predictable characters. I'm sure you've all met the down on his luck hero Chris (Arquette, who surprisingly gets his name before the title), the know-it-all-kid Mike (Terra), his teen princess sister Ashley (Johansson) and the stingy mayor who has something to hide, Wade (Rippy). Then there's Wuhrer playing as Sam the town sheriff instead of the usual damsel in distress you'd expect in a typical B-movie. Though this is only one of very few different approaches that the movie takes. It does have a 'seen it all before' feeling about it (reminded me of Tremors) so I found myself to be one step ahead of what was going on. Also it doesn't delve into any kind of background story because I don't think the target audience for this are looking for any story at all really. Forget details and logic; just bring on the spiders!
As a comedy I have to admit that I didn't laugh as much as I hoped to. The premise itself is funny but some of the jokes in the movie verge on the thin and lame. There are a few giggles to be had but apart from a shock involving a stun-gun, there weren't any moments where I, or even the audience, were laughi
ng out loud.
The performances aren't anything to shout about. In fact, as a B-movie I can't really tell if they're purposely trying to act badly. Arquette and Wuhrer make a good team as they try to save their town while Overton provides some light comedy as he plays the 'not really sure if he's going to die or not' Deputy Pete. But this isn't a movie you're going to see because of the acting talent; you just want to see some giant mutated spiders because they are the main stars. There are big ones and bigger ones as the special effects are very good and you can't doubt that the spiders do look realistically creepy. Their movements and attacks are believable enough as they jump towards the screen and pull their victims from underground. Action wise it gets a little better as spiders chase bikers, grab onto cars and get shot spectacularly in midair. And for God's sake, it would be almost unholy to miss this opportunity to include some scary jumpy bits, so girls... you better hold on to your popcorn!
There was something rather nice about watching this on the big screen. It does make use of the widescreen format with the cinematography being better then average and some shots are crammed with quite literally hundreds of spiders scrambling all over the screen. Sit closer to the screen and you might enjoy it more because those spiders will look HUGE!
By trying to pay homage to the B-movies of yesteryear, Eight Legged Freaks sticks with something safe, silly, stupid and fun. It could have been better if it decided to offer something a little different. Might have been more interesting if the setting was moved to a city. However, if you're looking for a bit of fun to pass the time then what we have is a pure popcorn movie that'll entertain you for today but you'll forget about it tomorrow. It's not smart and it isn't the brightest blockbuster around but for entertainment value you d
o have a town overrun by giant spiders, and hey, one of them pins Scarlett Johansson against the wall! Compared to the competition, there are very few movies that can offer what Eight Legged Freaks delivers.
Rating - 6 out 10
Points of Interest:
ĚKeeping with the B-movie idea, the film was made on a small budget of $30 million and was shot in 40 days.
ĚThe film performed badly in the US taking only $6.4 million on its opening weekend. The film has so far taken $16 million worldwide.
ĚThe film was originally going to be called Arac Attack but producer Dean Devlin thought that it would remind people of Iraq Attack due to the public's sensitivity to the events of September 11th. Warner Bros. retitled the film to their liking calling it "Attack of the Killer Spiders", which didn't please Devlin. So he called Warner up telling them to "call the movie 'Big Ass Spiders,' 'Eight Legged Freaks' or something out of the picture." They went with "Eight Legged Freaks", a phrase that was actually improvised by David Arquette on the film.