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[personal profile] innocent_man
Eight-Legged Freaks is a monster movie about giant spiders, starring David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer and a very young Scarlett Johansson.

Basic plot: Spiders eat crickets infused with toxic waste, get stupidly big, eat people. This takes place in Prosperity, AZ, which houses a gold mine owned by the late Mr. McCormick, whose son, Chris (Arquette) has returned to town after leaving abruptly because of an awkward scene with his old flame (Wuhrer). Meanwhile, the mayor of the town (Leon Rippy) is trying to get everyone to sell and piss off, while the local radio jockey and conspiracy theorist (Doug E. Doug) warns everyone of impending alien invasion.

And then the spiders show up and start eating people. The movie escalates from "there are big-ish spiders in the walls" to "HOLY BALLS LOOK AT THAT HUGE THING" in very short order, and there are some scenes that got cut that probably shouldn't have, but eh. That's not the main problem.

The main problem is that the scary scenes are just effective enough for this movie to want to be a horror movie, and the comedic scenes are just funny enough for the movie to want to be a spoof. The movie does two genres half-assed, instead of doing one (or both) well. Of particular groanability: the spiders may Abu-the-monkey noises as the amble down the street. Why? Spiders don't make noises. They don't bite and shake like dogs, even if they bite a moose head.

Lots of minor characters here and there, but they still make use of a guy they don't even name to be a kind of secondary hero in the third act. Lots of people die. I mean, lots. And while horror movies are kind of notorious for killing of swaths of people and having the heroes never really deal with it, I kind of felt it was interesting that the mayor's son (Matt Mzurchry) who's dating the sheriff's (Wuhrer) daughter (Johansson), gets a little too aggressive with the makeouts, gets tazed, pisses himself, apologizes, and then watches all of his friends get eaten by spiders. That's gotta fuck with you.

But really, this is one of those movies that doesn't deserve analysis so much as amusement. It's fun to watch, it's just a kind of terrible movie with one or two clever moments.

My grade: D
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: The Emperor's New Groove

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January 2013

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