Eight Legged Freaks: An Itsy-Bitsy Bit of Fun
- Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Eight Legged Freaks - PG-13
Best for: Mature teens and adults who enjoy a "B" fright flick.
The plot: Sam Parker (Kari Wuhrer), the local sheriff of Prosperity, Ariz., has a hard time looking after her inquisitive, spider-crazed son Mike (Scott Terra) and boy-crazy daughter Ashley (Scarlett Johansson). After barrels of chemical waste fall from a truck and cause spiders to grow to huge sizes, the spiders invade the town and wreak havoc. Sam's old boyfriend, Chris McCormack (David Arquette), has returned home to inherit his late father's (now abandoned) mining operations, but after the spiders take over, the whole town panics and the devastation changes everyone's priorities. Doug E. Doug and Rick Overtone also star.
The good: If you're in the mood for a "B" horror flick with campy violence but which still has some intense moments (dead bodies, spiders eating the characters, etc.), then this movie is for you. Eight Legged Freaks definitely is gross in some scenes, but the story plays mostly for thrills (scary music right before a spider jumps at someone, shots of dead bodies in a cave, etc.) rather than genuine terror, and it has fun with genre clichés. I enjoyed Arquette, who can deliver a simple-minded performance better than any actor in Hollywood, but it's Doug who gets most of the laughs playing a funny, paranoid local radio talk show host who thinks aliens are attacking. This is a movie that will give mature teens a laugh but could scare younger nightmare-prone children and maybe even a few adults who are afraid of spiders.
The bad: Even though this is what I call a "B" movie and the terror is played for fun, it's still scary, and it does contain language and some violence. I guarantee they will "bug" you after seeing this movie!
The dating situations are relatively calm, but when one guy gets a little too friendly with Ashley, she zaps him in the crotch with a stun gun. If you weren't afraid of spiders before this movie
Offensive language and behavior: Lots of language and crude dialogue with sexual references and innuendoes. A woman tells a man that his beard makes his face look like a "stripper's crotch." Lots of religious exclamations.
Sexual situations: Some sexual dialogue and revealing clothing on Ashley and her mom. The above-mentioned scene with Ashley and her boyfriend. Sam and Ashley also discuss Ashley making a decision not to lose her virginity to a boy.
Violence: Many scenes of gigantic mutant spiders wrapping their human prey in cocoons, chasing people through town, hopping after guys on motorcycles and ultimately grabbing and eating men and women. The chase scenes are, of course, the scariest parts. The deaths are shown, but they aren't violent or graphic. A teenager zaps her boyfriend in the crotch with a stun gun when he won't stop his sexual advances. A giant tarantula chases a crowd of people.
Parental guidance: Parents, this is not a movie you want to take impressionable, nightmare-prone children to. Definitely for mature audiences only.
It's a wrap: This is clearly a remake of the old style of horror movie that I enjoyed watching as a kid. The scenes of giant spiders stalking man are funny as well as thrilling to watch and the noise and affects added by CGI make it better than anything you've ever seen. I have to admit I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would but . . . it's still a better video rental compared to other good movies you could spend your money on.
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