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|Index||290 reviews in total|
The only way I gave this a look was that someone loaned it to me for
free. I now own it! This looked like it would be a stupid movie, and it
some scenes it certainly was, but it was so entertaining that I know I
will watch this a number of times.
This is a 1950s-type sci-fi flick with modern-day special effects. In fact, if you liked "Them!" you'll get a big kick of out of this film. The difference is the much- better special-effects but some low-grade attitudes and some profanity. The characters are dumb but they were dumb in the '50s, too.
The story starts off a bit slow but once the overgrown spiders emerge, the film goes full bore and gets extremely entertaining. It's almost too much action. One needs a break! By the end, you're glad it's over. Thus, if they had chopped 5-10 minutes off this, it would have been much better. Nonetheless, it's a fun ride with some genuinely scary parts and some humor, too. Since "entertainment" is the name of the game, this gets 8 stars even though it's lower-grade material.
It flat-out entertains.
"Eight Legged Freaks" was originally titled "Arac Attack" before the film's
star, David Arquette, thought of a better title ("Eight Legged Freaks"). The
great thing about this title is it sets up the film perfectly--it's a
parody, and a surprisingly entertaining and hilarious and fun one,
David Arquette is the film's main character: the local boy who has returned after 10 years and still has a crush on cute Sheriff Sam Parker (Kari Wuhrer).
Once he arrives, he tries to spark a relationship with her, but everything is put on hold when mutated spiders (which formed from pollution in the mining caves) start to attack humans and animals, and everything goes haywire. Now David's character must put an end to these eight legged freaks before all legs break loose. (Yeah, that was a pretty bad pun.)
"Eight Legged Freaks" was one of the biggest surprises of last year, mainly because it was so darn funny and such a good spoof. I went into the theater expecting, at the bare minimum, a film with a rating of...say...2, 2.5/5 stars. I'd have to give this a 3.5. It was completely overlooked, probably the most overlooked film of last year (though that is pushing it). The parody is classic.
Do you remember those old films about mining towns in the middle of nowhere, population: 9, where giant grasshoppers, spiders, worms--heck, I saw a film with giant ants once--start attacking? That's what "Eight Legged Freaks" spoofs. It takes the old formulas and twists it around to have fun with.
Towards the end I found myself having such a pleasurable experience that I couldn't believe this film was so underrated. Nothing is more fun than seeing a bunch of people going after giant spiders with shotguns--it's pure fun. The people that went into this film expecting Oscar material were nuts.
The most sad thing about "Eight Legged Freaks" is that the people going into "Men in Black II" were probably expecting something like this: something funny, smart, original, witty, and satirical. I went into "Men in Black II" expecting something as good as "Eight Legged Freaks," and apparently Roger Ebert did, too. I'm on the same level with him, because I thought this film was extremely entertaining.
There are some plot holes and stupid cliches, but most of them are there to be made fun of. People going into deserted malls late at night trying to escape the spiders, people going into the lair of the spiders (which ends in them being chased by a giant Black Widow Spider). Y'know those movies where people do things, and you hear people in the movie theater (maybe it's you) shouting, "Don't go in there! It'll get you!"? That's what "Eight Legged Freaks" plays on.
Basically this film makes fun of every misused B-monster movie cliche, and that's what is so darn funny about this movie.
This film delivered everything I go to the movies for.
3.5/5 stars -
A good kid actor that's not annoying and you actually kind of like.
A hot mom/daughter combo, neither of which do or say anything annoying during the entire film. Check. (this may be a first) David Arquette remaining likable, which he always kind of is. Check.
Somewhat funny black character who's obsessed with aliens. Check.
Nobody is exempt from being killed or taken by spiders. Check.
The spiders are fast and come in great variety of types. Check.
The soundtrack is totally insane, would have made Frank Zappa proud. Check.
The CG effects are cheesy in areas and there are a few tiny holes in the plot, but overall this movie is ENTERTAINING. That's what I look for - was I entertained or was I checking my watch every 15-20 minutes. It's actually somewhat unpredictable in spots - the town villain who causes the disaster doesn't meet the demise you would expect...
This movie is a classic example of a "town overrun" style film, similar to Gremlins - you watch the slow progression at the outset unfold into complete chaos as the characters (in most cases) are too slow to realize what is happening, refuse to believe, think it's a big joke, etc. Well, anyone who does that for too long in this movie is immediately killed. Good riddance. You'll like this movie. It's fun, gross and all of the characters are kind of funny or at least are not annoying. It's rare that I would ever say that about any movie. I tend to only review movies that I think get an unfair reputation and this is one of them. It deserves at least a 7.0, not a 5.6.
Final Score (average of various classic cinematic qualities- direction,
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.
If the movie "Arachnophobia" made you jump, gave you nightmares, or disturbed you enough that you are afraid to feel for a lightswitch in a dark,don't see "Eight Legged Freaks". This one has the feel of late 50's -early 60's horror/sci-fi movies without the phony looking monsters. These spiders looked REAL and their movements were orchestrated in such a way that you felt like you were really watching giant spiders on the screen. I can't say any of the human actors had really stand-out performances, because the spiders were the stars of this one. I will say that this movie and "Spider-Man" have the potential to interest young budding arachnophiles to take a serious look at the scientific side of spiders. Each of these movies gives the scientific names and characteristics of the different spiders involved(before the radiation takes effect),and does a super job of presenting their habits and idiosyncrasies. The only thing that might be questioned in either movie is the aggressiveness of the arachnids portrayed(perhaps this is the fault of the radiation as well). I give this movie "eight digits up" for sheer entertainment value.
The dialogue was great. Rick Overton as the deputy is truly a modern day Barney Fife. The spiders steal the show. Though the plot does drag a bit in a few places the film generally moves quickly and has you jumping in your seats as spiders big and small pop out of everywhere. The film appears to be done in the same style as "Tremors" and definitely captures the light heartedness of that film. Good Entertainment. Enjoy the popcorn.
this has all the makings of a future classic paying beautiful and perfect
homage to all the classic B-Movies that we all know and love, from the
classic references and brilliant in jokes, the fantastic corny dialogue, the
perfect cast acting there socks off to bring back all the memories that
everyone knows and loves of the golden age of B-Movies.
the story is simple and ludicrous,
toxic waste spill crossed with exotic spider farm = giant killer spiders attacking a town.
FANTASTIC has everything you need from a movie, the conspiracy theorist nut job on the radio played greatly by the fantastic Doug E. Doug, the town boy who has just returned to be the hero played by the ever excellent David Arquette who is the most perfectly cast B-Movie actor EVER! and the really hot sherriff who is in love with the hero and vice versa, a great film, some ropey effects on occasion but it only adds to the brilliant and fantastic B-Movie feel of a truly great and memorable movie i hope more movies like this come along and quickly!
I watched this movie on DVD based soley on the reviews that said it was funny and a return to the B-movie genre. It was that and more. I don't usually enjoy David Arquette but he was loveable in this movie. This movie made me both laugh and jump. It knew how to poke fun at itself without seeming pathetic. If you're looking for a campy movie with things jumping out at you this is a good pick.
This is a great flick, it's old fashion monster making magic at it's finest. The story, the characters, the effects are all great. It's the kind of fun movie they use to make in the fifties. That watch out for mutation monster movies. The kind that Roger Cormen and Burt I. Gordon use to make. But this movie took longer then the weekend to make. The creature effects were realistic and cool. The spiders had personality. The human cast does a great job, the radio guy and his alien talk got annoying. He totally believes in aliens but can't fathom mutations. A conspiracy nut like him should believe that radiation causes mutations, and if the Government covers aliens up they sure hell would cover mutants up. Anyway, one minor thing during the grand scheme of things. I give EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS...9 STARS
Giant spiders attack a sleepy Arizona mining town. Zany hijinks ensue.
This movie is a nod--or a series of nods, really--to the classic B-movie "giant insect run amok" genre in the spirit of "Them!", "The Praying Mantis", and especially "Tarantula". A mixture of weird science gone wrong and shady double-dealing turns a local exotic spider collection into rampaging, man-eating monsters.
Is it scientifically accurate? Hell, no. Is it great drama? Afraid not. Is it Academy Award material? I don't think so. Is it *fun*? You bet! Part of the fun of this movie is that it *isn't* trying to educate anybody about the environment, the ozone layer, global warming, or terrorist attacks. It's beautifully brainless entertainment and if you like to laugh--a *lot*--you'll love this movie. Rent it! Now!
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