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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let the Squishing Begin!
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...
Published on February 4, 2003 by Gary F. Taylor

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably good horror spoof
This modern take on old-fashioned monster movies succeeds by reveling in its own silliness. Its failings are mainly in the last half hour, which does not sustain the madcap fun of the first hour and tends to drift into a fairly routine horror mode.
The fun begins when a vat of toxic waste falls into a pond outside a small Arizona town. The resulting ecological...
Published on November 3, 2002 by Matthew Horner


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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let the Squishing Begin!, February 4, 2003
This review is from: Eight Legged Freaks (Widescreen Edition) (Snap Case) (DVD)
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!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's fun, March 28, 2006
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
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really funny and suprisingly great movie!, March 31, 2004
This review is from: Eight Legged Freaks (Widescreen Edition) (Snap Case) (DVD)
I for one wasn't necessarily turned away at all by the trailers nor the odd title of this movie so I had almost no chance of seeing it on the big screen due to financial problems and also other movies of that time drew my attention elsewhere. When a friend rented this to watch one night, I decided to watch this movie with them expecting a snoozer of a dud because I had only modest expectations for this movie. What I have to say is that I was DEAD WRONG! This movie is absolutely a fun riot of a movie.
In just about every way, "Eight Legged Freaks" is a homage tribute to the numerous monster alien movies of the 1950s and 1960s. It has all of the odd eccentric styles of the 50s and has a bizarre sense of humor as well. If you miss the witty fun of movies of that classic era, then "Eight Legged Freaks" is the movie for you as it takes the classic monster movie style and gives it a modern update.
The tagline is just funny. It goes like this: You hate spiders? You really hate spiders? Well they don't like you either! In a lot of ways, I can agree on this eighty percent of the time.
In this case, a sleepy town in the desert Southwest goes about it's dull life of existence. The town's Prodigal son is fighting against greedy developers from building a vast shopping center in the town. However, over time, a major toxic chemical spill releases radioactive toxins into the local town river and the little domestic house spiders that came in contact with the contaminated water mutate from small black widow spiders into horrendous giant poisonous spiders over ten feet tall and the giant spiders wreak havoc all over the the town's population, preying on human after human to get revenge on all of the spiders that the humans killed over the years.
With the help of a local town Sheriff and the whole town's population, Liberty, Arizona must band together in order to wage war against the gargantuan spiders before they decimate the town's people and spread from there to the rest of the United States and possibly the world and terrorizing people over there as well.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Larger Than Life, March 3, 2005
By 
Joshua Koppel (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eight Legged Freaks (Widescreen Edition) (Snap Case) (DVD)
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy Crawlers, November 8, 2002
By 
R. J Rey (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eight Legged Freaks (Widescreen Edition) (Snap Case) (DVD)
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 Dolby Digital 5.1 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-".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Talking Spiders., March 2, 2003
By 
tvtv3 "tvtv3" (Sorento, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS isn't a horror movie. It's an action/comedy mingled with a touch of horror. I really don't like spiders much and didn't know if I would like this movie or not. However, I loved it. The film is full of comedy and action with just enough violence and suspense to give a person a few shivers.
The movie is a modern update and homage to the classic killer bug movies of the 1950s and 1960s. Toxic waste cause natural predators to grow to tremendous sizes, which in turn leads to them overrunning the town, which of course leads to the ultimate showdown. Besides the big bug movies, EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS also pays homage to movies such as DAWN OF THE DEAD, TREMORS, and GREMLINS. The acting is pretty good and the cast seemed to enjoy making the movie. The special effects are pretty impressive with the spiders looking exactly like real spiders. There are a lot of great scenes, e.g. the cat and spider fighting in the wall, and I laughed a lot.
Overall, the film will appeal to a lot of different people, but if you really don't like spiders and can't stand the sight of a little blood and guts, then you probably won't like this movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed 'till I cried!, April 12, 2003
By 
I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this film, however after the first ten minutes I knew that I was going to have a great laugh with this combination of action, science fiction, comedy and horror all rolled into one not so neat package.
The plot is simple, take some toxic waste, loads of spiders, a small town in Arizona, a man with an Alien invasion complex, some old mines, a corrupt Mayor, a pretty Sheriff with two wayward kids, a handsome hero with a foul mouthed, hard smoking Aunt and you and you have recipe for a laugh a minute. No one can say that this movie is anything but a tongue in cheek take off, of a variety of well known science fiction movies. There are tons of clichés, heaps of cheesy jokes like the one where someone says, "What the hell is that?" and someone quips, "It's spider...man!" I howled and howled even louder when the handsome hero played well by David Arquette screams down the phone to the 911 operator, "They're coming, they're here!" Now where have we heard those words before? Doug E.Doug plays Harlan, a man who believes in Alien conspiracies and along with the dumb but loveable deputy Sheriff have you giggling away at their awesome stupidity combined with their hilarious bravery. Harlan constantly talks about "anal probes" and how he isn't going to be subjected to one and the Deputy Sheriff has you laughing out loud as he chain saws his way though a mass of Spiders legs and gets covered from head to toe in green spider blood.
The female Sheriff's sassy kids get good innings with her son being the Spider expert and her daughter a walking hormone carrying a stun gun to protect her virtue at her mother insistence of course!
This film is certainly not brain food; it is dumb and dumber with lots of hairy legs. The acting wouldn't win anyone an Oscar but if there was an Oscar for laughs this would surely get it. Look out for the scene with the Barber as he is followed by a tent in the shopping mall, unaware that inside it is a HUGE spider ready to make a meal of him.
For laughs I'd give this ten out of five. It's a hoot!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably good horror spoof, November 3, 2002
This review is from: Eight Legged Freaks (Widescreen Edition) (Snap Case) (DVD)
This modern take on old-fashioned monster movies succeeds by reveling in its own silliness. Its failings are mainly in the last half hour, which does not sustain the madcap fun of the first hour and tends to drift into a fairly routine horror mode.
The fun begins when a vat of toxic waste falls into a pond outside a small Arizona town. The resulting ecological disaster causes a gigantic increase in size of the local spider population. Now the size of the average car, their appetites increase accordingly. People are on their menu! Led by local prodigal son, Chris [David Arquette], and the town sheriff, Sam [Kari Wuhrer], the residents put up a valiant, though not always well thought out, battle against the eight-legged beasts.
The special effects are appropriately cheesy, mirroring those of Grade Z horror flicks of the 50s and 60s. One weakness, in my opinion, is the casting of David Arquette. The result is a bad actor playing a bad actor in a parody of bad movies. It would have been funnier to have had a great actor in the part.
The movie is intended more for laughs than for scares. Still, people deathly afraid of spiders might want to avoid it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Other Words, Updated "Attack of Giant Spiders", December 21, 2002
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
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.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big mistake to eat lunch while watching this, March 26, 2005
This review is from: Eight Legged Freaks (Widescreen Edition) (Snap Case) (DVD)
This is revenge for all those times you've trapped a spider under a coffee mug (and promptly left it there), or flushed it down the plughole, or thrown it out in the cold, far away from your front door (like I do).

I'm not particularly fussed either way about spiders, I like the teeney ones best. They're good for the environment at least. It's when they come out shooting out from under your couch or something, and head straight for you.

This movie terrified me. I was eating my lunch at the time, and thought I'd put it on, to calm me down after getting myself all worked up about booking a holiday. My lunch went cold, and my mouth went dry. This is NOT as it says on the tin, a comedy movie, it's a bloody horror movie! Jeezus! This is enough to send shivers up your spine. What's comedy about this movie? If I'd been standing, my knees would have been knocking. If you suffer from severe arachnophobia, I beg you not to watch this movie. You'll be paranoid for months afterwards.

The only comedic things I found about this movie, were actually the spiders. There were three things I found funny, the first one being when Sam (the sheriff) shouted at one and it turned round and looked at her. I nearly had an accident at that bit, it had this look that just said "what?" Then when one is trying to eat (?) the deer's head on the wall, and it spits it out when it realises it's not real. I nearly choked. And then when the spiders are chasing after the motorbike, and they choke on the dust - that was so sweet!

I'm not keen on David Arquette. He can only show the one expression, and it's fear most of the time. He plays the same character in this, as he does in a couple of others. (Can you say Deputy Dewy?) He wasn't bad in this movie, but not good either.

I wasn't thrilled about getting this movie bought for me - but at least it wasn't Commando - but now I've watched it, it's not bad. Scary as hell, but nonetheless, it's good to watch, and it's over reasonably quickly. I'll be checking under my bed tonight, and in all the nooks & crannies.
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Eight Legged Freaks (Widescreen Edition) (Snap Case)
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