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A.J.'s Rating: 3 Freaky Cheesy Stars
Eight Legged Freaks
Directed By:  Ellory Elkayem
Written By:  Ellory Elkayem, Randy Kornfield  (story) / Jesse Alexander, Ellory Elkayem (screenplay)
Starring:  David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra,  Scarlett Johansson, Doug E. Doug,
Rick Overton, Leon Rippy, Matt Czuchry
Rated:  PG-13 (sci-fi violence, brief sexuality, language)
Running Time:  99 Min.
    Well, I hope you're ready for some more summer movie creepy crawlers, because here come the Eight Legged Freaks!  Thanks to a carelessly discarded drum of toxic waste (isn't it always?), the tiny desert town of Prosperity is about to suffer the wrath of some weird, wild visitors. 
   
    Those visitors include tons of giant, killer spiders and human oddity David Arquette.  Arquette plays Chris McCormack, who has just returned to Prosperity, his home town, after being away for ten years.  McCormack, among other things, has extremely bad timing, and it's not long before he and the other townsolk find themselves fighting for their lives against a stampede of hungry, mutant arachnids. 
   
    About twenty minutes into this film, I was ready to proclaim it the best 'giant spider' movie since The Wild, Wild West.  Believe me, that's not a compliment.  Then I remembered those old mutant insect flicks from the 1950's, like Tarantula, upon which this movie draws most of its inspiration.  In those films, the plots were meaningless, the acting was horrible, and the special effects were even worse.  The guiding rule was that, when presented with any dangerous, life threatening situation, the characters always did the most idiotic thing possible.  So, you say your friend just disappeared into an abandoned mine shaft?  No problem.  Just call their name a couple times, then when they don't answer, go right into that dark, spiderweb-covered tunnel to look for them, alone.  Never mind those strange scratching noises or the foul smell.  Go right ahead!  What's the worst that could happen?  I must say that every aspect of Eight Legged Freaks is true to the spirit of those classic, freaky flicks.  Is that a compliment?  Mmm, could be! 
   
    While it does have its moments, when compared to other, similar 'freak of nature' movies (those not just starring Tom Green, that is), Eight Legged Freaks still falls a bit short of the mark.  It doesn't have the creepy style of Arachnophobia or the campy wit of Tremors, and the digital effects are only a shade better than the superimposed effects of those old B-movies.  However, what it lacks in technical quality, it makes up for in goofy exuberance!  There are many fun moments as hundreds of gigantic spiders ravage the little town, attacking all its extras and stuntpeople. 
          
    For the most part, Eight Legged Freaks is satisfied with playing upon it's own cheesiness, and in this respect it succeeds.  If you're looking to be scared out of your wits, though, that's a different story.  Only those with an intense fear of spiders will be frightened by this movie.  Not many people with a fear of spiders out there, are there?  Nah, I didn't think so.  In fact, I was more frightened by David Arquette.  Have you seen this guy?  He's one freaky dude!  So, if you find yourself thinking, 'freaks of any kind give me the willies!', then Eight Legged Freaks will deliver the goods. 
  
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Review published
July 18, 2002
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