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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.58%
Worth A Look41.98%
Average: 17.28%
Pretty Bad: 20.99%
Total Crap: 6.17%

6 reviews, 45 user ratings

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Eight Legged Freaks
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Collin Souter

"As Chris Knight would say, 'I (Heart) Toxic Waste!'"
4 stars

Have you noticed this strange occurrence with the release dates of certain movies this year and their accidental tie-ins with current events? Last spring, a movie called “Murder By Numbers” about a couple of disillusioned high school kids who plot the perfect murder came out on April 19, three years almost to the day after the massacre at Columbine High School. Then, in June the nuclear war thriller “The Sum of All Fears” came out the same weekend India and Pakistan had missiles pointed at one another, almost ready for annihilation. And now comes “Eight Legged Freaks,” a movie about an accidental toxic waste dumping that spawns a race of giant mutant spiders. Last week didn’t we just decide on a good place to store some of our homeless toxic waste?

And, hey, let’s give it up for toxic waste! We missed you, buddy. Seriously, for the past decade, we’ve been having to put up with DNA-this, DNA-that, blah, blah, blah. You see, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, monsters came about because of radiation leaks. Then in the ‘80s, we had more mutants and monsters come about via toxic waste. Then, “Jurassic Park” came along in 1993 and we haven’t heard the end of the aforementioned DNA. Hey, folks, enough with the DNA. It’s old, I’m tired of it, and I’m done. From now on, I want my monsters coming about through toxic chemicals about which the government doesn’t want me to know. I want science to get wacky again.

Here’s one of the beautiful things about this stupid movie, “Eight Legged Freaks.” Ready? Okay. Guy drives a truck. He almost hits a rodent. One of the canisters on his truck rolls into a lake. The canisters contain toxic chemicals. A spider specialist lives nearby. The toxic chemicals interact with the spiders and the spiders grow big and huge. The hicks in this town (Prosperity, Ariz.) run away while the spiders wreak havoc. Done.

No Jeff Goldblum, no needle injections, no scientific theories. Just a good old- fashioned summertime popcorn monster movie that makes no pretence about being anything else. It has a sense of humor, it has a couple good scares in the first half followed by one of the funniest monster attack sequences I’ve ever seen, which involves giant spiders chasing a gang of motorcyclists. The filmmakers even know that the stupid sub-plot involving David Arquette coming back to his home town to work in his father’s coal mine shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

But it stars David Arquette, you say. Okay, look, I understand more than you know how much bad mojo his name brings to a project. But think back to the days of “Scream 1,” when he played Neve Campbell’s brother, Dewey. We didn’t really know him that well back then and, okay, there he was. Not annoying, just there. Well, the same thing goes here. It doesn’t really matter having him here seeing as how most of these characters exist as mere B-movie stock characters.

The movie also stars Kari Wuhrer as the local sheriff and Scarlet Johanson as her teenage daughter. The third member of this family, Mike (Scott Terra), an 11-year-old loner knows more about the spiders then anyone else in this town. He used to hang out with the local wacko spider expert, before he got attacked by one of his own pets. Conveniently, the spider expert explained to Mike the behavioral habits and preferences of each and every spider. So, all is not lost.

But you only care about the spiders, I know. Well, at first, they give the audience a good jump because the spiders haven’t grown up yet. 12 years ago, “Arachnophobia” garnered the same reaction throughout its running time. People just have a natural fear of small spiders. When the spiders grow huge, they have less impact. Other than the aforementioned chase scene involving motorcycles, the spiders don’t have much personality. Think of the bugs in “Starship Troopers.” They didn’t scare me, but, still, I had a good time anyway.

Most of the human characters do have some personality, especially Doug E. Doug as Harlan, the conspiracy theory-spouting talk show host along the lines of Art Bell. Actually, Doug seems to be playing the same part he played in the woefully underrated “Hangin With The Homeboys,” where he only had one reaction to everything done against him: “You’re doing this ‘cause I’m black, right?” Maybe you had to be there.

I really don’t have much more to say about “Eight Legged Freaks” other than I had a good time. It made me laugh in all the right places and I admired its spirit. It came out at a good time, after “Men in Black II” bored the bejeezus out of me and “Reign of Fire” gave me good action sequences, but without a sense of real fun. It came out on one of Chicago’s hottest summer weekends and it served its purpose as pure, mindless fun escapism. Thanks, guys. Perfect timing.

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originally posted: 07/22/02 14:22:29
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival For more in the 2006 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

11/15/12 Dragoon the great ;) Great fun with a bit of a scare factor. THE POOR CAT! If you seen it you know what I mean 4 stars
11/17/08 Nick Great B-movie fun. Hilarious! 4 stars
10/31/08 Shaun Wallner Laughed my ass off! 4 stars
3/28/08 Renzo Funny, not scary. 3 stars
4/23/07 David Risser Spiders grow to rediculous sizes due to toxic waste, yeah, right. 1 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega B-movie fun. Watchable for both laughs and shocks. 3 stars
1/29/07 Stanley Thai A very enjoyable film with very funny scenes. 4 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist A lame attempt at a popcorn flick; campy,unamusing,& desicration to arachniphobia!! 2 stars
4/22/06 Jack The most comedic horror ever. Like it 4 stars
1/18/06 JM Synth Okay, but not as good as the "Tremors" films. The trailer was great though 3 stars
8/19/05 ES ho-hum movie from the losers that brought us ID4 and Godzilla (no the bad one) 3 stars
7/05/05 Jeff Anderson Everything the godawful GODZILLA & ID4 wasn't, LOTS OF FUN! Kari Wuhrer ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/03/05 Quigley total envy of godzilla! the bullcrap is so high you'd need a footstool to see over it. 1 stars
5/17/05 sbpat21 very, very fun 4 stars
11/18/04 sd you SUCK 1 stars
5/13/04  Shaun Rose decent popcorn flick 3 stars
5/09/04 Charlene Javier Not fun enough. 2 stars
3/14/04 J A funny story of chaos with spiders. 4 stars
1/22/04 American Slasher Goddess Uneven balance of comedy and horror, which makes it extremely bad. 1 stars
12/20/03 Littlepurch Funny, exciting and enjoyable. 5 stars
9/06/03 Charles Tatum Big fun, good looking girls...and I still hate Arquette 4 stars
8/04/03 Kristina Scarlet was great and looks sure wasn't a problem. She looked so good. 5 stars
7/11/03 Eloise i like it, i like it alot, naf...... yet pleasing 5 stars
2/05/03 123 honestly, this is a rather boring movie 3 stars
2/04/03 Turtle I loved this CGI-crazy Tremors with attitude. It's lots of great, hilarious fun. 5 stars
12/30/02 Jim Kind of like "Gremlins" with spiders; Arquette actually turns in a performance. 4 stars
12/23/02 E-Rock David Arquette is a retard, and any movie he's in isn't worth being paid to see... 1 stars
12/18/02 Matthew The sound affects the spiders used were kind of funny but all in all it was pretty cornie. 2 stars
12/17/02 palaboy101 Great fun! Highly recommended! 5 stars
9/29/02 Matthew Smith great fun and it will make you Laugh, squirm and jump out of your seat 4 stars
9/20/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite Collin Souter, a rabbit isn't a rodent, and all mutations involve DNA. Study biology. 4 stars
8/16/02 scott AWSOME 5 stars
7/26/02 Matthew Sanchez A beautifully bad movie. bad can't be done much better. 5 stars
7/25/02 Greg Great! 5 stars
7/24/02 Courtney Tons of mindless fun! 4 stars
7/22/02 ajay a couple laugh-out-loud moments. And I like Doug E. Doug. 4 stars
7/22/02 trevor Get away you EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS! 4 stars
7/22/02 Flick Chick not scary, not hilarious, not interesting 2 stars
7/22/02 Rampage After seeing this, I wanted to squash spiders... 2 stars
7/21/02 Ren Bacon I thought it was toe-tapping fun, esp. Kari Wuhrer. Only Doug E. Doug failed. Un. Talented. 5 stars
7/19/02 Alan Hecker OK so a toxic spill in a *lake* creates crickets that give rise to giant spiders.... 4 stars
7/19/02 Kyle Somebody who's seen the movie. 4 stars
7/18/02 Danielle Ophelia It's a movie about giant mutant killer spiders...what the hell are you bitching about? 3 stars
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  17-Jul-2002 (PG-13)
  DVD: 01-Jun-2004



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