In the middle of the summer, sometimes you just want some ridiculous and gooey spine tingling excitement. And then, out of the blue, a movie shows up that satisfies. "Eight Legged Freaks", is a modern day monster movie that knows what it is and excels at it. In the vein of films like Tremors, "Eight Legged Freaks" plays like it's "Arachnophobia" on steroids. It has a B-Movie appeal that gets an A for coming through with the fun.
"Eight Legged Freaks" has all of the elements you could want from one of these. The Spiders look creepy and cool and the scenes of the town being overrun by the truck sized monstrosities makes for great daydream memories while you're stuck in traffic. But beyond the films special effects, "Eight Legged Freaks" has at its core an ensemble cast that carries the we're all in this spidery mess together spirit.
It has Kari Wuher as Sam Parker, the shapely sheriff that tries to keep the peace while all hell breaks loose. Her son Mike, played by Scott Terra as the smart young kid that no one listens to before its too late. And David Arquette as Chris, the towns prodigal son who returns to reclaim his stake in the mines before Wade, the pony tail wearing evil land baron played by Leon Rippy, sells off the dying mining town to turn it into a toxic waste dump. Add in some supporting characters that steal the show like the bumbling deputy Pete and Harlan the conspiracy theory radio DJ, deftly played by Rick Overton and Doug E Doug. , And this amped up Arachnid adventure comes alive.
The movie is tongue in cheek enough to break a smile, but not so much that it turns into parody. The horror and adrenalin stays real until the end and you're left thinking about all of the great creepy crawlies left behind. The young Director and co-writer Ellory Elkayem hails from New Zealand, and we can hope to see more of his mania in the future. Until then I'm grabbing a bag of popcorn and catching "Eight Legged Freaks" again for a top notch Saturday summer movie matinee day.
For Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2002 - Purple - Air Date: 7/17/02
Eight Legged Freaks
USA - 2002