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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
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by EricDSnider

"This B movie rates about a C."
3 stars

"Eight Legged Freaks" is a film without ideas. It is a modern-day B movie, but it does nothing with the genre other than re-create it, and if we needed re-creations of formulaic, predictable movies, that need was not widely publicized.

For there have certainly been other movies about giant things invading towns, and several about giant spiders specifically. Radiation is usually the cause, and it is up to One Man to take the lead and save the town. All of that is present here.

So what is "Eight Legged Freaks"? It's not a parody; not much from the genre is given any particular spin or held up to scrutiny. An homage, maybe? Not quite, for there is little in the film to suggest its makers have a great love for B-grade monster movies. It seems, rather cynically, like they just sort of remember the genre and decided to create a new entry in it -- not out of affection or mockery, but out of simple pragmatism.

Fine, if your movie turns out good, but this one didn't. Director Ellory Elkayem (who co-wrote the screenplay with first-timer Jesse Alexander) unleashes huge mutant spiders on an economically depressed Arizona desert town and then just waits to see what happens. The plot does not twist; it's a straight line from beginning to end, with no surprises in between. Eventually, there is a conclusion, and you know it will be one of three: Either the resourceful townsfolk destroy all the spiders, or else the spiders take over the world, or else the townsfolk THINK they've destroyed all the spiders but we're shown a sac of eggs about to hatch just before the final credits roll.

Our hero, allegedly, is played by David Arquette. I hope you will join me in protesting the idea that David Arquette can carry a film, for surely he cannot, and he does not do it in this case. He is outwitted and outclassed by Kari Wuhrer, who plays sexy sheriff Sam Parker. Her feebly rebellious daughter Ashley (Scarlett Johansson) and spider-knowledgeable nerd son Mike (Scott Terra) are on hand, too, as are various other average townspeople.

The spiders themselves make cute animal noises, which makes them not scary but not quite funny, either. They gush obscene amounts of goo when they are shot, which is funny. In one scene, one of them voraciously attacks its prey only to discover it's a stuffed moose head. That, too, is amusing.

"Amusing" is what this film needs more of. It is not serious, by any means, but humor -- e.g., one-liners, character quirks, situational comedy -- is not a priority, either. What we get are Doug E. Doug as a deeply unfunny conspiracy-theory radio host, and Rick Overton as the fat, incompetent sheriff's deputy. And I think merely the idea of giant spiders killing people at random is meant to be darkly funny, but it didn't do it for me.

"Eight Legged Freaks" is not a bad movie, per se. One can sit through it and find bits of joy here and there, and even a smidgen of satisfaction upon leaving. But it is nowhere near what it could have been, had it lived up to the ideas implied within its boisterous title.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/20/02 02:54:08
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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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