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Eight Legged Freaks  (2002)

Cast: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Scarlett Johansson, Doug E. Doug, Rick Overton
Director: Ellory Elkayem
U.S. Distribution: Warner Bros.
U.S. Release Date: 7/17/02
Running Time: 1:40
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Graduating from television horror (They Nest) to directing a big-studio $30M blockbuster wannabe just two summers later, Ellory Elkayem gets buggy with it in this Giant Spider Invasion for the 2000s. Eight Legged Freaks is an all-out SFX show with arachnids overrunning a rural Arizona town.

The feeding frenzy sends townsfolk to their local mall (perhaps an ode to Dawn of the Dead) which just happens to connect to the local mine where the spiders have been nesting, growing to enormous size and into many different species following a toxic waste accident.

David Arquette is perfectly cast (and I never thought I would hear myself say that) for this kind of horror / comedy hybrid. The leaping, biting, web-spinning title charachnids more than make up for the strange turn by rapper / actor / playing a paranoid deejay for comedic relief Doug E. Doug, who is sort of a poor man's Chris Tucker; no make that Orlando Jones (the 7UP guy).

Having watched this arach attack a couple of times now, I have to say that I enjoyed it more the second time around.

 "It has all the critical elements: Toxic waste (it used to be radiation) to cause the disaster; scary animals (killer spiders collected by a weird desert dweller, a whiz kid to explain their behavior, a greedy mayor/developer, a brave sheriff and a prodigal son returned to help save his town." [Margaret A. McGurk, The Cincinnati Enquirer]

© 2002, Delton Perrodin

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