Residents of a rural mining town discover that an unfortunate chemical spill has caused hundreds of little spiders to mutate overnight to the size of SUVs. Movie tagline: Do you hate spiders? Do you really hate spiders? We... more »ll they don't like you either.« less
Michael G. (mgmirkin) from PORTLAND, OR Reviewed on 4/9/2009...
Ohh, God! I love this movie! It's such a great send-up of the "giant bug" genre of yesteryear. As long as you know the movie doesn't take itself seriously, and you like such un-serious fun, you should enjoy this movie. It's rather "bad" by intention, and quite funny by design...
I mean the parrot is awesome. The cat and the spider always make me laugh... About part way through it does try to take itself a little seriously (y'know having a PLOT), but it still stay pretty light throughout.
Definitely work a rental. I my opinion worth trading for, too (save the fact I already BOUGHT a copy long ago).
11 of 11 member(s) found this review helpful.
Let the Squishing Begin!
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 02/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS was not well received by the critics and it did poorly at the box office--and frankly I'm surprised. Obviously we're not talking about "deep meanings" in reference to this film, but what it does, it does extremely well: part hommage, part spoof, part horror, part comedy, and all of it a tremendous amount of fun! The film is essentially the classic 1950s "big bug" movie brought up to date and given a comic spin. A truck driver skids on the road and accidentally releases toxic chemicals into a pond; unfortunately, an "exotic spider farm" happens to be nearby, and when the spiders are contaminated by the chemicals they explode into creatures of monstrous proportions, nasty dispositions, and insatiable appetites. Cats, dogs, and even the occasional ostrich goes missing--can human victims be far behind?The cast plays expertly, and two deserve special mention: Doug E. Doug, who is hilarious as the independent radio station broadcaster obsessed with UFOs, aliens, and government cover-ups, and Eileen Ryan as the chain-smoking, drop-dead-talking Aunt Gladys. But although every one does well with their often-comic characters, the emphasis isn't on the cast: it's on special effects, sight-gags, and a traditional "big bug" plot played at a breakneck speed. It's all smoothly, slickly done, and the special effects are terrific without going into overkill.Now, the film is rather icky: after all, the spiders jump and bite and slurp, and when the townfolk go after them with everything from guns to pitchforks to chainsaws they also splatter in an appropriately disgusting way. Some viewers will be turned off by the black humor of the piece--particularly as it references the pets that go missing early on in the film. (I admit I winced a bit myself there!) Some viewers may be turned off by the "ick" factor and the violence, of which there is aplenty; others may take issue with the plot itself, which as noted is pretty traditional. But this isn't an Ingmar Bergman or Fellini film we're talking about here, and if you want a modern twist on a classic sci-fi theme, EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS is sure to please. The DVD has several extras, some of which are fun as well. On the whole, I give it four big squishes!"
Larger Than Life
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 03/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Eight-Legged Freaks was inspired by a short film titled Larger Than Life (included on the disk). It is a tale of a spider museum, crickets that have been exposed to toxic waste, and a dying mining town.
Crickets become toxic, crickets get fed to spider collection, spiders grow escape and terrorize. No other movie has down the swarm of giant spiders as well as this one. The effects are superb, the characters clever, and the action builds and runs non-stop.
Add a prodigal son, a paranoid radio personality, a relationship revisited, greed, corruption and more giant spiders than you could ever dream of and you get a fun and wild film. Despite the subject there is little or no gore even though quite a few characters succumb to the ravenous freaks. Currently the king of giant-spider films. An absolute must see for fans of the genre."
In Other Words, Updated "Attack of Giant Spiders"
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 12/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This delightfully entertaining "Eight-Legged Freaks" doesn't use words such as "spiders" or "attack", but the film is about those web-spitting scary creatures that suddenly terrify the local town of "Prosperity" in Arizona. The story is, in short, THEY ATTACK! Period. That's all. But for those fans who love this genre, and know the titles of 1950s films like "Tarantula" (which showed a bit of unknown actor Clint Eastwood), "Eight-Legged Freaks" offers exactly what is necesary to spend some time of life joyfully.The stars, or humans attacked by the big bad spiders, are David Arquatte ("See Spot Run" and "Scream") and Kari Wuhrer ("Anaconda" and TV's "Sliders"). If you think the casting is intentional, you are right. (And among the producers you find Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, both behind the US "Gozzilla".) The cast and crew clearly are enjoying the making of the film, which deliberately makes use of old-fashioned monster-flicks; so, the spiders grow huge because of unidentified "toxic" thing, and a kid suspects there is something weird going on while adults ingore him ... etc., and you will find those familiar rules that are essential to the genre are used knowingly by the moviemakers in tongue-in-cheek fashion. Reflecting today's atomosphere, Ms. Wuhrer's character, a devorced tough local cheriff with a daughter (Scarlett Johansson, "Ghost World"), is no scream queen, but she fights against the giant spiders with a help from Arquette's character, an old friend of her who returned to the town after ten years. There are some sight gags that would make you smile, but because of today's advanced CGI techniques, the visuals are sometimes scary, especially for kids. Even the fans who should have been accustomed to shock might jump in the seat if they are too unprepared.The film, to be honest, lacks originality, and wavers between laugh and scare, never determined to be either of them. But its good CG images and measured pace are attractive enough to remind us of the pleasure of Kevin Bacon's much neglected "Tremors." This one may not be as good, but still is fun to watch."
Damian Gunn | I am everywhere | 03/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fun throwback to the world of monster bug movies...an ode sort-of-speak to the classic movies about giant ants and spiders that eat everyone in sight. Stir in David Arquette and Doug E. Doug for humor, add the sausy Scarlett Johansson for...me...and you have an action spider funny whatchamacallit movie that is worth watching. The humor is high, and the CGI is brilliant despite what some idiot said about "it could have been better" and "there were no shadows"...um...who cares...the spiders looked cool. So, theres toxic crap that mutates the spiders into HUGE monsterous killing machines and they destroy and terrorize this small mining town. Believe me, it's funny. I enjoyed it, if not for the humor and CGI, for the beauty that is Scarlett Johansson! Grrrrrrrr"
R. J Rey | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | 11/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The producers of the smash hit "Independence Day" bring the big bug films into the 21st century with the enjoyable Sci-fi feature "Eight Legged Freaks". In the quiet mining town of Prosperity, Arizona, a toxic spill mutates the arachnids of a local spider farm to gigantic proportions. Soon, the eight legged terrors break out of their cages and invade the town. Now, a mining enginneer (David Arquette) and the local sheriff (Kari Wuhrer) lead a group of eccentric townspeople against the giant spiders. "Eight Legged Freaks" is an amusing Sci-fi romp in tradition of such creature features like "Gremlins" and "Tremors". The campy storyline is predictable with obvious plot holes but it's the eye-popping visual effects and rousing humor that actually drives this comedy/horror tale. "Eight Legged Freaks" contains some effective thrills and decent action sequences. David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer and Scarlett Johansson are amusing in their roles. Doug E. Doug and Rick Overton deliver some fine comic moments.
Though the movie failed in theaters, Warner has definitely given "Eight Legged Freaks" a great DVD presentation. The 2002 creature feature is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen format. The DVD contains an excellent video transfer with bright detailed colors. The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is clear and quite enjoyable. The DVD features a fun audio commentary with filmmakers and cast members David Arquette and Rick Overton, the 13-minute "Larger than Life" short, original theatrical trailer, several deleted scenes and DVD-ROM extras. The animated menus are surprisingly clever and well done. Overall, "Eight Legged Freaks" earns a satisfying "B-"."