The film is directed by Ellory Elkayem and starring David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, and Scarlett Johansson.
Let’s check out my honest review for Last Night in Soho and tell you if it’s worth a watch on Halloween.
Eight Legged Freaks Review
Tonight, we’re talking about a very important film in cinema history, one that I’m assuming you probably never thought I’d discuss on this website called Eight Legged Freaks.
I still have my ticket for this movie. I remember seeing it in theater. I remember exactly where I was sitting. It was a very fun experience. And over the years, my affinity for the film has only increased.
2002 was an interesting time in film history. Apparently, you could go to Warner Brothers, and they could say, What’s your pitch? Dazzle us.
Spiders, eat the toxic chemicals and get really big, and attack everybody. Sold for $30 million Congratulations you’ve got yourself a feature film.
Jokes aside, the director of this film actually made a short film called Larger Than Life that did pretty well and was shown at Telluride Film Festival.
It was a black and white short film that was extremely old-fashioned, and that landed him the job because Roland Eimrick and Dean Devlin were looking to make a Spider movie like the old-fashioned 1950s creature features.
Eight Legged Freaks is very much of a different time. Creature features rarely get made anymore. And if they do get made, they’re very serious, totally straight-laced.
The most recent one that my friends and I could think about tonight when we were trying to figure this out was Crawl.
There’s no humor in that film. It’s not a horror-comedy, but there were a lot of what I would call creature features that were supposed to be fun, very tongue in cheek in the 90s and 2000s movies like Bats, Blue Diamond Phillips, and A Bunch of Bats. That’s all I need.
The working title for Eight Legged Freaks. And in fact, the title it has been released under in other countries outside of America was a rack attack.
This film came out in 2002. Need I say anymore? I think you get it. Why they changed it.
This film takes place in a small town where David Arquette, Doug E. Doug, and Scarlett Johansson are going up against a bunch of venomous spiders that have been made gigantic because of a toxic waste spill.
It’s very easy to call a film like this bad just because it’s trying to be bad. It’s extremely hard to do camp. It’s very difficult to get it right.
And there’s a lot of folks who just really aren’t on its wavelength, and that’s fine. But the film is called Eight Legged Freaks.
And it’s a bit of a cliche for someone to say this in a video or in a review to say, what do you expect? It’s called this, but Jesus Christ, man.
Within the first few minutes, the movie introduces a bird that quotes the 6th sense. You know what you’re getting into early on.
Once the spiders get really big, it gets inside the walls and attacks a cat. And we get these CGI. Looney tunes imprints of the cat, and it even makes fighting noises.
I think the time has come and gone where movies like Eight Legged Freaks could even be made. And if they are made now, it’s usually a movie like Sharknado on the Scifi Channel or it’s a giant octopus versus a giant squid.
And you see these movies on VOD or randomly on DVD at the bottom of a Walmart bin. And that’s kind of where these movies went.
But there was a time period where Hollywood actually spent a lot of money on these movies.
But the audience was never really there for the amount of money they were spending on films like Eight Legged Freaks.
And it’s one of the reasons why horror comedies are really hard to come by nowadays. It’s not like you don’t get any of them, but you don’t get too many big-budget horror comedies.
If you do get some, it’s usually through IFC Midnight or it’s under a million-dollar production, or they just squeezed every Penny out of the movie they possibly could to get it made.
But in general, it’s really hard nowadays to convince a studio with a lot of money to make a horror-comedy.
And in some ways, it’s because films like Eight Legged Freaks or Bats didn’t really do that well.
Even a great film like Cabin in the Woods, which I really like wasn’t as successful, I think as the studio would have preferred it to be. And so horror comedies can get a bit of a bad rap.
Eight Legged Freaks does everything it’s supposed to do fairly well. It’s insanely really cheesy.
There are giant spiders killing ostriches like the Raptors in the Lost World, Scarlett Johansson tases a guy in the balls, and then that guy is later in a motorcycle chase with a group of spiders and does this incredible stunt.
That shot alone is why I’m talking about smoothies. I understand the film is incredibly cheesy, but I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing. When the movie is setting out to be a specific thing.
I remember watching movies like them as a kid and being very entertained. Even though I recognized that they were fake. I recognized that it was very cheesy and it wasn’t realistic.
But there was a time period where movies were allowed to be like that. We somehow lost that. We lost the ability to just detach and enjoy a film without having to psychoanalyze everything.
Even movies that are pure escapism, like, say, a quiet place or a quiet place to are very serious movies with real drama.
It’s extremely hard to come by a big-budget movie that completely has fun with itself and doesn’t take itself seriously.
It’s like a bygone era. I wish more movies like that existed. I think if movies like eight-legged Freaks had been slightly better and also really successful financially, we’d have more films like this and not everybody wants them.
But I do miss the time where you could just go to a theater and watch David Arquette run from Giant Spiders.
I mean, a Spider rapidly punches someone to death in this film, and Scarlett Johansson faced off against a Spider before she was ever Black Widow.
I’m not here to say Eight Legged Freaks is a masterpiece. It’s not even trying to be. If you have the Shout Factory Bluray, they have a really good making-of featurette where they interview Dean Devlin and Roland Eimric and the director of the film, and they talk very candidly about how they set out to make a film that was like the 1950s B movies very cheesy on purpose.
And I think they succeeded. It’s a very entertaining movie that could have been made a little better, sure.
But for a first-time filmmaker who was given $30 million to make a movie about giant spiders, I could see it being a lot worse than Eight Legged Freaks.
And I’m mostly talking about it because not only does it hold a bit of a nostalgic place in my heart, but I wish that we got more creature features that were self-aware that were fun.
Like what happened to fun horror? It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to the theaters and just had a blast with a fun horror movie. I miss them.
I want more of them, guys, if you’re interested in watching a bunch of spiders, attack David Arquette, Scarlett Johansson and Doug E. Doug watch Eight Legged Freaks this Halloween. It’s big, dumb fun. It’s exactly what it should be.
So I am going to give Eight Legged Freaks a C-Minus.
Guys thank you so much as always for reading the review of Eight Legged Freaks. See you next time.
Eight Legged Freaks Trailer
Check out the trailer of Action, Adventure, Comedy film, Eight Legged Freaks 2002. The film follows a colony of spiders that are exposed to toxic waste, causing them to mutate into gigantic, monstrous creatures and attack a small American mining town.