EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS
Chemistry Gone Really Bad
Release Date: July 19, 2002
Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer,
Scott Terra, and Scarlett
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: Ellory Elkayem
Executive Producer: Bruce Berman, William Fay and
Producer: Dean Devlin and Roland
Writer: Ellory Elkayem and Jesse
Address Comments To:
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
(H, Fe, E, B, L, VV, S, N, A, DD, M) Mild secular humanist worldview with little agenda other than “Watch out and run! Spiders are coming!” Mild nods to feminism and environmentalism; some moral elements; five obscenities; scary “man vs. arachnid” violence; mild veiled reference to sex with sheriff’s daughter fighting off sexual advances, then zapping boyfriend in the groin with a tazer gun; one instance of natural partial female nudity with girl clad in towel; some scattered depictions of alcohol, smoking and substance abuse; miscellaneous immorality includes a great deal of disrespect for parents and authority figures.
In EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS, a variety of horrible poisonous spiders get exposed to a noxious chemical, causing them to grow to monumental proportions. With the typical “man against arachnid” violence, language and some sexual content, this movie is a campy flick for only die-hard science fiction fanatics.
EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS is one of those, “toxic-waste-being-transported-when-truck-driver-swerves-to-miss-a-jackrabbit-and-a-barrel-falls-in-a-local-stream, contaminating-a-nearby-exotic-spider-museum-causing-massive-growth-in-arachnids” type of movies. Those who stayed up until 3 a.m. when they were a child to watch Giant Insect Invasion movies will know the plot. EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS goes out of its way to remind the audience that they are not supposed to take it seriously.
In a sense, this movie has a secular worldview since God is never offered as a solution or even mentioned, for that matter. More than anything, it just has a “get out of the way before you get crushed by a giant spider” worldview. There is no point or agenda to this movie other than edge-of-your-seat fun, and this movie is full of that. (If it’s art you want, the foreign film section at Blockbuster is right down the road.) While there is absolutely no mention of God, any glorification of science is minimal, and there is no memorable reference to evolution. There are, however, nods to environmentalism and feminism.
The only scientific type is a young, nerdy boy who studies and collects spiders all day because there’s nothing else to do in Prosperity, Arizona. His mom, the sheriff, uses his knowledge and experience with spiders to figure out what the spider’s weaknesses are. This turns out to be beneficial to him since no one listens to him anyway. The rest of the town is simple suburban mall shopping folk who have no idea they’d end up further down the food chain.
Yes, the whole story line is expected. You can instantly guess how they’ll grow huge and what secret weapon will be used to fight them. Imagine making a giant killer slug movie in a town built around a Morton’s salt factory. One of the most common Hollywood ploys is the typical foreshadowing. Just like a 1950s horror film, the audience knows who’s going to survive – because they are suppose to like them – and who’s going to end up as a spider snack – because they are suppose to dislike them. However, there are a couple of surprises.
There are several very funny sight gags revolving around the woman town sheriff assisted by her male romantic interest. It’s not feminist preachy, but just funny. The movie portrays some disrespect for parents, and there is some pretty general disrespect for authority, as seen in such scenes as rebellious youth on dirt bikes. There is one scene of the sheriff’s daughter fighting off a “groping” boyfriend, and she eventually zaps him with a tazer gun. Generally, evil is rewarded with evil and good with good.
There are some disturbing images of people being killed by spiders because Hollywood always looks for a new way to make audiences go, “Eewwww!” There are a few quick scenes of spiders pulling people off camera, which are more disturbing than gory. All in all, EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS is an action-packed movie done mostly in a ‘50s camp style.
EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS is one of those “toxic-waste-falls-into-a-local-stream-contaminating-a-nearby-exotic-spider-museum-causing-massive-growth-in-spider” type movies. The only scientific type is a young, nerdy boy who studies and collects spiders all day because there’s nothing else to do in Prosperity, Arizona. His mom, the sheriff, uses his knowledge and experience with spiders to figure out what the spider’s weaknesses are. This turns out to be beneficial to him since no one listens to him anyway. The rest of the town is simple suburban mall shopping folk who have no idea they’d end up further down the food chain.
EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS has little agenda to it other than “Watch out and run! Spiders are coming!” There are several very funny sight gags. The movie portrays some disrespect for parents, as well as some disrespect for authority and some sexual references. There are also some nods to environmentalism and feminism. There are gross-out images of people being killed by spiders and a few quick scenes of spiders pulling people off camera that are more disturbing than gory. Evil is rewarded with evil, though, and good with good. Only die-hard science fiction fans will appreciate EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS, however.