Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Scarlett
Johansson, Doug E. Doug, Rick Overton, Leon Rippy and Eileen Ryan
Directed By: Ellory Elkayem
want spiders? You got spiders! About 200 multi-specimen creeping
fellows growing faster than fat multiplies on Rosie O'Donnell
thighs! Okay, if you expect a fancy plot or some of that high
falutin dialog so popular these days with all the 'intelligent'
films out there, you will be saddly disappointed. But hey it's
summer! There's nothing like a good "Drive-In" style
movie complete with the right combo of cheesy shock tactics, schlocky
love scenes, and two hundred brilliantly digitalized attacking
gigantic spiders! Eight Legged Freaks is a plain old funfest
at the movies!
Of course you'll be hard pressed to find a Drive- In location
nowa days, but Eight Legged Freaks has so much camp and
subtle homage to the sci-fi genre that brought us Empire of
the Ants (1977) or say, Giant Leeches (1959) and a
with a billion times the special effects of Giant Spider Invasion
(1975) you may just want to make the effort. If not just hit the
multiplex and remember to keep telling yourself
. they are
. they are fake
. the spiders, not the cast.
story (hehe) goes a large man is plodding along in his utility
truck that's carrying ominous barrels stacked in the back. What's
that? Oh, of course there's bright yellow "hazard" signs
painted on the side with foreboding chemical radioactive style
jargon. Did you expect less? The man swerves off the road to avoid
hitting a fluffy critter resting in the road. He's safe but guess
what? Yep, one of those pesky dangerous mystery liquid filled
barrels got away and plunked right down into the roadside creek
comes a strange man a couple of weeks later. He's the local strange
ranger/ spider farmer down the road. He's gathering some chow
for his bevy of hungry arachnids back at the "spider zoo."
But those crickets he's got aren't too healthy after drinking
up all that radiactive contaminated water
the old mining town the aracnid-phile calls home is being tempted
to sell off their land. A land riddled with used mines
mines filled with methane gas.
thrown into the super obvious plot- along -the -dotted -lines
scenario is the arrival of the town's old favorite, Chris (David
Arquette) . Chris has been gone some ten years but he's come back
to work the mines his departed father left him and find the allusive
mother load daddy claimed to have found just before he blew up
methane gas in the mine.
are about three more instances where Arquette alludes to the methane
gas down there in the mine. If he broke fourth wall and looked
out at the audience and mentioned that methane gas directly to
us I was joining to wet my pants. He didn't thank gawd.
What's this? The town's pets and livestock are disappearing? There
appears to be something hiding in the mines? Bet it has something
to do with the Spider Zoo and that pesky barrel of toxic waste.
Now how are they going to stop all those carnivorous spiders
down there in the old mines no longer filled with gold but.....methane
Doug E. Doug plays the town's resident alien fanatic who also
runs an entertaining radio show about invasions and conspiracies.
He's a funny guy and the banter he bulleted out was hysterical.
funny-guy, Rick Overton, does a guffaw-inducing job as the bumbling
Fife-like town deputy Pete.
Arquette playing hero Chris, acted better in this farce than just
about anything I've ever had the pleasure of seeing him in. Maybe
this style we-know-it's-stupid-and-we're-not-trying-to -apologize-come-play-with-us
movie is his nitch? I think he's ready for more but pay is pay
after all. Dave's a talented man stuck in that area of pigeon
hole actor's dread. Pray for him - he has more in him. Here he
was fun, as always, and his timing was great.
Wuhrer played Sam the town sheriff and, naturally, Arquette's
love interest. She was fun as the straight man, er, woman just
trying to save her town and family from the beasts.
Ryan, real-life mom of Sean, Michael and Chris Penn, was classic
as the ever-smoking, tough chick aunt Gladys. You know that 'meet
ya at the Elks for some belts -o-booze type. A very funny, even
if stereotypical, character.
is oozing good old fashion nonsense filled with hearty laughs,
a billions super creepy moments and some genuine adrenaline pumping
bits.The excitement comes mostly from the graphic spider attacks.
The CGI wizards are merciless with these eight legged villains.
DO NOT SEE THIS if you have a fear of spiders or you will
need shock treatment - honestly. Three of my own party declined
to continue to the theater when they heard the subject matter.
But the rest of you take your sci-fi lovin' kinfolk and friends
and get ready to laugh, shudder, and quiver! It's not a film noir,
but it's not meant to be. Go, laugh, enjoy.
recommendation: Chocolate covered spiders and a diet coke.