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The residents of a rural mining town discover that an unfortunate chemical spill has caused hundreds of little spiders to mutate overnight to the size of SUVs. It's then up to mining engineer Chris McCormack and Sheriff Sam Parker to mobilize an eclectic group of townspeople, including the Sheriff's young son, Mike, her daughter, Ashley, and paranoid radio announcer Harlan, into battle against the bloodthirsty eight-legged beasts. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
During the car ride to the mall, Harlan is convinced the spiders are aliens. Chris responds "They are spiders are from Mars." David Bowie came out with 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars' in 1972 and the spiders from Mars are referenced in the song 'Ziggy Stardust.' See more »
When Chris sprays the perfume on the spider we hear him say, "Mike, you saved us!" but his mouth is not moving. See more »
Final Score (average of various classic cinematic qualities- direction, pure fun, creativity, intelligence, originality, ect.):
7.7 (out of 10)
For some reason the mainstream in this country just HATES monster movies. They think they're "too stupid", yet everytime an "Austin Powers" or "Scary Movie" comes out we're all just supposed to bend over and take it ("wallow in it's stupidity"). Go figure. Hopefully that's not going to stop Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich from producing this stuff. God bless them, they seem to understand the can-do campy 50s monster movie spirit more than anyone else today. Eight Legged Freaks (and that IS a perfect title, by the way) is coming out to be one of the best popcorn rollarcoasters of the summer. I'll even say of last summer too. The reason it keeps getting compared to the similarly toned "Tremors", "Gremlins" and "Arachnophobia" is because it's the best movie of it's kind since then- and that was a decade ago.
That's all genera-speak though. While it blows away the likes of "Men in Black 2", Eight Legged Freaks dissapoints in that it refuses to go the extra mile and break some of the templated cliches of the genera - the finale (while satisfying and cool to watch) was way to convenient for me- and it certainly has it's share of eye-rolling stupid lines and moments. Doug E. Doug plays a typical conspiracy theorist who mouthpieces some typical Hollywood liberal lines ("You still think a black man's vote counts in Florida"). Plus, that lengthy cat death scene was unbearably cruel to watch. You'd think Hollywood expelled their hatred of cats with "Cats and Dogs". Make no mistake about it: Hollywood HATES cats.
Nonetheless 7.7 is quite an accomplishment for a movie of this kind. All the credit goes to first time writer/director Elkayhem. The movie is serious only to the point of being true to it's genera, lightly funny without being too stupid, and occasionally even frightening. Some of his plot points are cliche but he sets them up so well we hardly notice. The visuals are incredible from the bright cartoonish color pallette given to the locations to the spiders themselves - easily some of most realistic set of special effects I've seen in a while. To many special effects movies now have this unconvincing animated look to them. These lazy FX people don't understand that a comment like "nice special effects" is not a compliment. A good special effect is one we don't notice and these spiders are completely convincing. One of my favorite little bits is one where two spiders work together- one ripping the door off a pickup, the other pulling out the guy inside. The trap-door spiders rule, but "the jumpers" are the stars. This movie does for "Jumpers" what Jurassic Park did for Velociraptors.
The acting fits the bill. David Arquette is perfectly cast as the lead. He plays it suprisingly straight (a nice change of pace from Deputy Dewey and other movie goofballs) but the mear novelty of his presence helps set the movie's goofy overall effect. Finally, the action scenes are exciting, imaginative and very well paced. This is a movie for anybody who ever looked around inside a mall and imagined what it would look like if the walls were swarming with hundreds of giant spiders. I'm serious, you have to have that level of imagination. You also have to let a movie be what it is and this one is a rock solid entry in the modern monster movie library.
Biggest Positive: It's a blast, with realistic effects to boot.
Biggest Negative: that cat killing scene.
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