Eight Legged Freaks... DAMMIT!

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Remo D
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Eight Legged Freaks... DAMMIT!

Post by Remo D » Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:24 pm

Of all the movies I wanted to LOVE!

THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION was funnier and juicier (and more than scary enough for an eleven-year-old when it came out, I can assure you personally). KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS and even ARACHNOPHOBIA were more frightening. SPIDERS was just plain better.

I could not BELIEVE how awful this thing was. It gets off to a typical, hope-giving start when a clumsy accident dumps a barrel of toxic waste into a pond... but then we meet the so-called "characters."

Oh, Lord, the "characters" that populate this hick mining town (that might be sold to a greedy mining developer). Especially the damned KID! The bespectacled Poindexter that knows everything about spiders, etc. but complains out loud that nobody's going to believe him because he's a kid and nobody listens to the kid... get it? His rebellious older sister... and their (now) single mom, the sheriff, who's being shyly courted by David Arquette (look, he was in RAVENOUS and isn't a completely terrible actor, but his choice of projects lately?). Andlet's not forget the villain who conveniently spells everything out over the phone ("How would they like it if they found out we were dumping toxic waste without their knowledge?")--or the fact that they mention that the mine tunnels are filled with methane gas repeatedly in the first half of the film (gee, think it'll mean something later?).

The dialogue is excruciating enough to make your ears bleed... and then come the effects. Ladies and gentlemen, Hicktown, USA is being invaded by a bunch of identical CARTOONS.

They're kind of fun at first, until you realize that everything they're going to DO they've actually DONE in their first ten minutes on screen. Then it goes on... and on... and on...

I'm not complaining that it's CGI (still love those REIGN OF FIRE dragons), just that it's unspecial, rammed down your throat CGI.

But that's okay, because it's a COMEDY, right? Oh, Lord, the laughs just keep on coming! The cat's face makes a perfect "cat face" impression in the drywall when the spider keeps ramming its head into it! A spider takes a bite out of a stuffed moose head, gets mad and spits it out audibly! (Yeah, they roar and scream, too.) When the townspeople arm themselves, one of them grabs a chainsaw and a hockey mask! Oh, stop! Stop the insanity! You're KILLING me!

If you're ten years old and you've never (I repeat NEVER) seen another giant spider movie, you might have some fun with this. For me, EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS is BATS stupid and MOTHMAN boring.


P.S. No points for guessing who gave the damn thing three stars... forgot to mention Doug E. Doug as the "consipiracy theory" radio show host (how many times can you say "anal probe?"), the Tom Noonan cameo (he IS good, I'll admit) and the sea of product placement in which the viewer is left to drown...
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Post by T.Luster » Fri Jul 19, 2002 3:24 am

Roger Ebert gave it three stars...it's hard to avoid his reviews, when he writes for the local paper here.

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Post by shawn » Fri Jul 19, 2002 5:33 am

But what about Kari Wuhrer? She is fine as all fuck. And she is the ONLY reason I'll go and see it. Yea, I know its PG-13, but I have a good imagination...
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Post by Remo D » Fri Jul 19, 2002 6:59 am

Terry--say hi to my sister (if Chicago's local for you).

Shawn--not even a HINT of what Kari Wuhrer is capable of. The "brief sexuality" in the ratings guide? A dirt biker boyfriend is trying to cop a feel from Kari's daughter in the front seat of a truck... and she zaps him in the balls with a stun gun (you see, the stun gun is important, too). He wets his pants, allowing for some more excellent dialogue just before the spiders show up.

Did I mention that the music is just as excruciating as the rest of this? It tries to fit several different movies at once--and even does an attempt at a RAIDERS riff here and there. Ever WISH for a John Williams score?
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Post by Nocturnaloner » Fri Jul 19, 2002 7:35 pm

I didn't hate it as much as you did, but it is a disappointment. What bothered me most was the blandness of the protagonists. There's simply no one to give a damn about. Even Kari Wuhrer, who wears a distressing amount of clothing throughout. There's no particular reason why she kicks more ass than everyone else, she just does, and the result is not convincing, kinda like a WB show.

In defense of ELF though, I was highly entertained by the scenes of the spiders overrunning the town. Those were worth the price of a rental. Still, I like my B-movies to be a little more exploitative. Gratuitous gore (not just some green CG spider blood) and nudity would've made it worthwhile, and that's the first time I've ever said that about a film. Honest.

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Post by bruce h » Sun Jul 21, 2002 12:47 pm


I gotta agree with Remo D on this one, as I have NEVER in my life seen a more ridiculously cliche-filled motion picture. How about the big "climax" where they JUMP out of the mine on a dirtbike in slo-mo with a big explosion erupting behind them? Give me TICKS anyday.
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Post by Darth Tanner » Tue Jul 23, 2002 8:26 am

Caught this one while I was on vacation at a drive-in, where it shared a double-bill with INSOMNIA. While I enjoyed it somewhat, I have to agree that I was also a little disappointed. I think it would have worked better if the comedy element had been toned down. The action was also a little lacking, but the special effects were fairly decent. When all is said and done, it was nice to see a giant spider movie on the big screen (particularly in a drive-in setting). Not a total disappointment in my book...just a missed opportunity.
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