Eight Legged Freaks

Eight Legged Freaks (2002) movie poster

(2002) dir. Ellory Elkayem
viewed: 11/06/02

Semi-fun homage to the giant insect/arachnid subgenre of horror films. What it lacks in invention it makes up for (as much as it can) in its embrace of silliness and action. The film moves along at a fair clip, telling the story deftly and succinctly (of course in a myriad of cliches), never sitting still long enough for one to dwell on its short-comings.

While it is moderate fun, particularly in its dumber qualities (a guy on a motorbike popping up in the air and kicking a leaping spider at the same time, for example), it lacks the earnest seriousness of the films to which it offers homage, but rather thrives on its lack of seriousness. While films like Them! (1954), Tarantula (1955), & The Deadly Mantis (1957) have more camp value now for their earnestness, Eight Legged Freaks embraces the camp (with all eight legs) yet almost makes fun of its the silly (perfunctory – a genre staple) environmental theme (the toxic waste placed in the Arizona desert caves that leads to the growth of the giant spiders). I suppose a more clever film would manage to somehow embrace this aspect of the genre as well.

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