EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS
Review by Michael Jacobson
David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Doug E. Doug, Scarlett
Director: Ellory Elkayem
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 99 Minutes
Release Date: October 29, 2002
just something appealing about a B movie with an A movie budget when it’s done
right and in the true spirit of cult films.
Eight Legged Freaks is a creepy, crawly testament to how good such
a film can be, with as many shrieks coming from fright as coming from laughter.
don’t like spiders. I know every
reason there is to appreciate them, but I don’t.
They creep me out. Which is
why, I guess, I like movies about them. Some
people ride roller coasters to indulge their fears for fun, I watch movies about
giant mutated arachnids.
and director Ellory Elkayem knows his cheesy sci-fi inside and out.
He uses the clichés, but not to repeat them…to kid them.
I was already chuckling when the barrel of toxic waste falls out of the
truck and into the lake. What a
tried and true stand-by!
crickets from the newly toxic lake are fed to spiders by the town of
Prosperity’s resident bug man (okay, spiders aren’t bugs, but I don’t want
to call him Spider-Man; there’d probably be a lawsuit), they get real big,
real fast. Soon they’re on the
loose, and the small town is about to get a whole new concept of a World Wide
town’s first hope is the young boy who figures it all out, but as he deduces,
“I’m the kid. No one ever
believes the kid.” The next hope
is his mother, who happens to be the town sheriff (Wuhrer) and her one time
boyfriend just recently returned to town, Chris (Arquette).
With the help of a local conspiracy theorist disc jockey (Doug), they
rally the townfolk together against their new menace. It’s gonna be a squish-fest.
is a fun movie filled with just the right mix of squirm factor and humor.
The special effects are out of this world, too, which adds great
dimension to both. The cast is
mostly there to be spider prey, but they mix joyfully into the mayhem.
But I think the real star is Elkayem…I can’t wait to see what he has
up his sleeve next. If anyone could
revive the William Castle stylings for the new millennium, he has the best
Legged Freaks aims
low but shoots high. It’s bad 50s
sci-fi with a double-naught mentality. It
doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither will the audience, but that
won’t stop them from being creeped out by it. Pleasant dreams.
is a solid anamorphic offering from Warner (and as effective as the scope
photography is with these mutant spiders, avoid the pan & scan version at
all costs). Images are sharp and
clear throughout, with only a few dark scenes looking a little pastier than the
others. Coloring is good and the
blend between real photography and CGI is quite seamless. High marks.
You’ll hear those damned arachnids in every corner of your house with
this 5.1 mix. Dynamic, powerful,
and effectively creepy, you’ll be in the action a little too much for comfort!
favorite extra on this DVD has to be the inclusion of Ellory Elkayem’s short
film Larger Than Life, a 13 minute low budget black and white offering
that proved his talent for creepiness and giant spiders, and actually helped
land him the job to direct this major feature!
is also a commentary track with Elkayem, producer Dean Devlin and co-stars David
Arquette and Rick Overton, plus a pictorial essay on the history of big bugs in
B films, a very funny trailer, talent files, PC ROM extras, and some Easter eggs
(hint: kill the spiders!).
The menu screens are also quite cool.