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Eight Legged Freaks

Eight Legged Freaks

3.2 4
Director: Ellory Elkayem

Cast: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra


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In this throwback monster movie from producer Dean Devlin (Independence Day, Godzilla), David Arquette plays the son of a deceased mine owner, returning home to the economically depressed hamlet of Prosperity, AZ, after a long absence. His arrival coincides with a toxic waste accident in the local water supply, the result of a barrel jostled loose from


In this throwback monster movie from producer Dean Devlin (Independence Day, Godzilla), David Arquette plays the son of a deceased mine owner, returning home to the economically depressed hamlet of Prosperity, AZ, after a long absence. His arrival coincides with a toxic waste accident in the local water supply, the result of a barrel jostled loose from the back of a passing truck. Unfortunately, said water source abuts the region's least-popular attraction: an exotic spider farm. The farm's owner (Tom Noonan) becomes the first victim when the spiders, already possessed of keen predatory abilities, grow to the size of small automobiles. Laying in wait underground, they begin picking off the town's pet and ostrich population, and soon it's all the local sheriff (Kari Wuhrer) can do to raise the alarm before the siege begins. Eight Legged Freaks was produced under the working title "Arac Attack," but the politically conscious producers, concerned the title sounded too much like "Iraq Attack," went with Arquette's brainstorm as a safer alternative. ~ Derek Armstrong

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A campy throwback to the "giant bug" movies of the '50s, Eight Legged Freaks employs top-flight special effects and tongue-in-cheek humor to bring this sci-fi subgenre up to date. And while director (and co-writer) Ellory Elkayem employs the self-referential dialogue and corny sight gags modern moviegoers have come to expect, he doesn't permit the buffoonery to take center stage. Eight Legged Freaks actually provides more scares and thrills than the drive-in-era "classics" it satirizes. The story unfolds in the sleepy desert town of Prosperity, Arizona, which is menaced by giant arachnids that have mutated through exposure to toxic waste. The local sheriff (Kari Wuhrer) and her teenage daughter (Scarlett Johansson) work to prevent a complete takeover by the bloodthirsty spiders, getting valuable help from Prosperity's prodigal son (David Arquette), who's just returned to his embattled hometown. Producer Dean Devlin, whose previous blockbusters include Independence Day, brings to this film considerable technical expertise, love for old-fashioned sci-fi flicks, and affection for the genre. The script follows a tried-and-true path but occasionally takes unexpected, hilarious detours. Elkayem walks the tightrope between humor and horror with perfect balance, and his actors go through their paces without condescending to the material, trusting the neophyte director to inject laughs where they'll be most effective. He succeeds admirably, making this medium-budget monster movie a rollicking romp you'll enjoy over and over again. The DVD edition sports a feature-length commentary by Elkayem, Devlin, Arquette, and supporting player Rick Overton; it also includes eight spider scenes deleted from the final cut, Elkayem's award-winning short film "Larger Than Life," and a featurette titled "Creepy Crawly Giants."
Washington Post - Stephen Hunter
Classic '50s monster stuff.
Boston Globe
As green-guts monster movies go, it's a beaut.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
David Arquette Chris McCormack
Kari Wuhrer Sheriff Sam Parker
Scott Terra Mike
Scarlett Johansson Ashley
Doug E. Doug Harlan Griffith
Rick Overton Deputy Pete Willis
Leon Rippy Wade
Matt Czuchry Bret
Jay Arlen Jones Leon
Eileen Ryan Gladys
Riley Smith Randy
Matt Holwick Larry
Jane Edith Wilson Emma
Don Champlin Leroy
Jack Moore Amos, The Truck Driver
Roy Gaintner Floyd
John Christopher Storey Mark
David Waterman Norman
Randi Klein Waitress
Terey Summers Waitress
John Ennis Cop
Ryan C. Benson Cop
Bruiser Himself
Damon Intrabartolo Conductor

Technical Credits
Ellory Elkayem Director,Original Story,Screenwriter
Peter Afterman Musical Direction/Supervision
John Alden Stunts
Jesse Alexander Screenwriter
Karen Baker Consultant/advisor
Pat Banta Stunts
John S. Bartley Cinematographer
Matthew G. Bekoff Set Decoration/Design
Brian Bennett Stunts
Bruce Berman Producer
Charles Breen Production Designer
Adley Brewer Stunts
Heather Broccoli Stunts
Kelly Brown Stunts
Charles Butcher Art Director
Michelle Ann Butler Stunts
Marcia Calosio Set Decoration/Design
Dave Castillo Stunts
CFX/Das Werk Special Effects
James M. Churchman Stunts
Kim Collea Makeup
Ron Colucci Special Effects
Steve Cummings Animator
Kawena Cushingham Stunts
Thomas Dadras Special Effects Supervisor
Matt Davies Animator
Dean Devlin Producer
Beverli Eagan Set Decoration/Design
Roland Emmerich Executive Producer
William Fay Executive Producer
Louie Franco Stunts
Mark Franco Executive Producer
Phil Fravel Special Effects
Alix Friedberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Geoco Sound/Sound Designer
Andy Gill Stunts
Phil Gorrell Special Effects
Karen E. Goulekas Special Effects Supervisor
Michael Green Camera Operator
Per Hallberg Consultant/advisor
Sherry Ham Stunts
John Hateley Stunts
Eddie Hice Stunts
Jim Holley Stunts
"Mad" Mike Jones Stunts
Thomas Kittle Special Effects
Randy Kornfield Original Story
Ken Kurras Animator
Patty Larkin Stunts
Mark Lasoff Animator
Patrick Miller Stunts
Rick Miller Stunts
Gail Monian Stunts
John Ottman Score Composer
Dave Rand Animator
Robert "Lucky" Rieker Special Effects
Paula Rosenberg Casting
David J. Siegel Editor
Julie Simpson Stunts
Vicki Sims Stunts
Leonard Suppes Stunts
Russell Tyrrell Special Effects,Stunts
Nicholas Vachon Stunts
Kelly Van Horn Co-producer
Mark Varner Stunts
Shelly Ward Stunts
April Webster Casting
Mark Williams Special Effects
Peter Winther Executive Producer
Lars P. Winther Asst. Director
Scott Wolf Sound/Sound Designer


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simple story with great special effects, good cast, and budget. The plot is the basic Creature Feature story. A man illegally importing a variety of spiders feeds them insects contaminated with toxic material. The result is a growth spurt in all of them. Eventually they bust out of their cages and kill him. Then they head down into the town's mine. Where they grow to Gigantic Proportions. David Arquette, Kari Whuther, Scarlet Johanson, and Leon Rippy make up a great cast. This movie is filled with Giant Spider Kills and Battle Scenes. It has a nice blend of comedy and action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic creature feature, it reminds me of the B creature movies from the late 50's and 60's. In fact, that's what this film was modeled after. Tons of fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago