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Eight Legged Freaks (2002) Review

Eight Legged Freaks is a 2002 American science fiction horror comedy film directed by Ellory Elkayem and starring David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, and Scott Terra. The film follows the residents of a small town who are beset by a swarm of large, venomous spiders that have been mutated by toxic waste.

What’s at the root of the problem here? Toxic waste. Ye got it, that old glow in the dark green stuff left over from scientific jiggery pokery that spills, gets into our hairy arachnids, and causes rather vigorous growth. And the excellent Tom Noonan albeit briefly. He’s one tall dude who looks like something got into his food and caused vigorous growth as well. His little spidery collecting habit, along with toxic waste, is going to get the ball rolling for ample arachnid antics.

Feck taking this seriously. It’s a parody, it’s plays upon all those cheesy cliches of sci-fi / creature features on every angle. Dialog is delightfully corny, the characters pun many horror stereotypes you’ll have come across in countless films. Many scenes, cheesy as they are, are deliciously OTT complete with comical music. I like spiders, but I don’t like cats, so I was cracking up when the cat got its comeuppance. Pets get a really raw deal all round in this really, perhaps the people would be better off keeping goldfish.

The movie takes a little while to get down to spidery shenanigans proper, but once it does we have a hectic hullabaloo of hopping, jumping, hungry spiders leaping everywhere and doing their best to make dinner of anything on 2 or 4 legs. As a rule I don’t like CGI, but here it works, suits the parody element to the max. Computer generated spiders leaping around are enjoyable, the musical score contributing greatly to the fun.

It’s over the top, which it is supposed to be, it’s really enjoyable, and there’s plenty of comical touches along the way. No way is it going to sicken you, but then it isn’t meant to. It may creep you out big time if spiders set your nerves on edge, but else it is going to be 100 minutes of fine looking, web spinning fun.

The film is a fun, if not particularly original, take on the classic B-movie creature feature. The acting is campy and over-the-top, but it’s all in good fun. The special effects are impressively done, and the spiders are suitably creepy. The film’s biggest flaw is its pacing; it feels like it’s dragging in the middle. Overall, though, it’s an enjoyable guilty pleasure.


The small town of Prosperity, Arizona is home to the mining company “Miner’s Choice”. The company’s latest mining project is a top secret operation that involves drilling into a radioactive lake that is home to a species of mutated spiders.

The spiders are released when the drilling disturbs their home, and they quickly begin to grow to gigantic size. The spiders begin to feed on the town’s residents, and soon the town is overrun by the giant spiders.

The town’s sheriff, Dan (David Arquette) and his ex-girlfriend, news reporter Ashley (Kari Wuhrer), team up to try and stop the spiders. They are joined by a group of townspeople, including the owner of the local pet store, Mike (Scott Terra), and his teenage daughter, Jess (Scarlett Johansson).

Together, they must find a way to stop the spiders before they destroy the town and everyone in it.

Movie Details

Director: Ellory Elkayem
Writer: Ellory Elkayem, Randy Kornfield
Actors: David Arquette, Scott Terra, Kari Wuhrer
Release Year: 2002