Eight Legged Freaks on DVD
In the grand tradition of atomic-age monster movies and horror
films that refuse to take themselves seriously comes Eight Legged Freaks.
The movies blend of horror and comedy reminds us of
Lake Placid, Army of Darkness, or Tremors,
and were confident that fans of any of these other horror/comic classics
will enjoy Eight Legged Freaks just as much.
The movie, not surprisingly, is about gigantic mutated spiders
terrorizing the small Arizona town of Prosperity. Despite the towns name,
its really on its last legs; the gold mine appears to be a bust and the
towns proudest civic project, a big enclosed shopping mall, appears on
its last legs as well. In fact, the mayor (Leon Rippy) is advising the
residents to sell out and move when all hell breaks loose.
The spiders come courtesy of an exotic spider farm just outside of
town where the critters have been fed industrial waste-laden food and start
growing to many times their normal size. The only one who really knows
whats going on is a kid (Scott Terra), but of course no one will believe
The stars, ostensibly in this ensemble cast, are David Arquette as
a Prosperity native who returns home after ten years determined to reopen the
gold mine and Kari Wuhrer as the local sheriff (whose son Mike is the kid who
knows the real dirt). They play the parts mostly straight, though there are
some great throwaway lines throughout the movie that force you to chuckle even
as your skin crawls from all the creepy crawlies on the screen with them.
Just about every horror movie stereotype you can think of is here,
lampooned beautifully. We have the horny teenagers, the conspiracy theorist,
corrupt politician, you name it.
The spiders, for the most part, are very well done (a few shots
dont stand up to even casual scrutiny, but somehow it doesnt
matter) and there are so many of them theyre guaranteed to freak out
those with a spider phobia.
The movie itself delivers everything you'd want from this type of
flick. Though theres really nothing original about the story, that
actually works in the films favor as it lampoons itself and its genre.
The DVD really does this creature feature justice, too. We
received the anamorphic widescreen version, fortunately, (a Pan&Scan
version, alas, is sold separately) and the picture quality is outstanding.
Colors are bright and the images are sharp and clean and free of foreign
Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and its also very good,
with nice surround use just when you need it most.
The extras arent quite up to snuff, though one of them is
the short film Larger Than Life, director Ellory Elkayems
original version of the concept, one that got seen by the people with the clout
to pull off this expanded and enhanced version. The shorts pretty good,
You also get a running commentary by the director, producer, and
co-stars, some extremely limited cast/crew info (Arquette is the only actor
with a filmography), some deleted/changed scenes (one per freaks
leg), a short text essay on other giant thingy movies, and the trailer.
Theres also some DVD ROM material.
This is definitely a classic guilty pleasure!
Eight Legged Freaks, from Warner Home Video
99 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 TV compatible/Pan&Scan
(sold separately), Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Doug. E. Doug, Scarlett
Produced by Dean Devlin and Bruce Berman
Written by Jesse Alexander & Ellory Elkayem, Directed by Ellory Elkayem
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