|Eight Legged Freaks
2002 - PG-13 - 99 Mins.
|Director: Ellory Elkayem
|Producer: Bruce Berman, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich
|Written By: Jesse Alexander, Ellory Elkayem, Randy Kornfield
|Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scarlett Johansson, Doug E. Doug, Tom Noonan
|Review by: John Ulmer
"Eight Legged Freaks" was originally titled "Arac Attack" before the film's star, David Arquette, thought of a better title ("Eight Legged Freaks"). The great thing about this title is it sets up the film perfectly--it's a parody, and a surprisingly entertaining and hilarious and fun one, too.
Is that my Courteney Cox in a Cocoon 2?
David Arquette is the film's main character: the local boy who has returned after 10 years and still has a crush on cute Sheriff Sam Parker (Kari Wuhrer). Once he arrives, he tries to spark a relationship with her, but everything is put on hold when mutated spiders (which formed from pollution in the mining caves) start to attack humans and animals, and everything goes haywire. Now David's character must put an end to these eight legged freaks before all legs break loose. (Yeah, that was a pretty bad pun.)
"Eight Legged Freaks" was one of the biggest surprises of last year, mainly because it was so darn funny and such a good spoof. I went into the theater expecting, at the bare minimum, a film with a rating of...say...2, 2.5/5 stars. I'd have to give this a 3.5. It was completely overlooked, probably the most overlooked film of last year (though that is pushing it). The parody is classic.
Do you remember those old films about mining towns in the middle of nowhere, population: 9, where giant grasshoppers, spiders, worms--heck, I saw a film with giant ants once--start attacking? That's what "Eight Legged Freaks" spoofs. It takes the old formulas and twists it around to have fun with.
Towards the end I found myself having such a pleasurable experience that I couldn't believe this film was so underrated. Nothing is more fun than seeing a bunch of people going after giant spiders with shotguns--it's pure fun. The people that went into this film expecting Oscar material were nuts.
The most sad thing about "Eight Legged Freaks" is that the people going into "Men in Black II" were probably expecting something like this: something funny, smart, original, witty, and satirical. I went into "Men in Black II" expecting something as good as "Eight Legged Freaks," and apparently Roger Ebert did, too. I'm on the same level with him, because I thought this film was extremely entertaining.
There are some plot holes and stupid cliches, but most of them are there to be made fun of. People going into deserted malls late at night trying to escape the spiders, people going into the lair of the spiders (which ends in them being chased by a giant Black Widow Spider). Y'know those movies where people do things, and you hear people in the movie theater (maybe it's you) shouting, "Don't go in there! It'll get you!"? That's what "Eight Legged Freaks" plays on.
Basically this film makes fun of every misused B-monster movie cliche, and that's what is so darn funny about this movie. This film delivered everything I go to the movies for.