August 23, 2002 
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Eight Legged Freaks
The webbed attack
Eight Legged Freaks is an ode to cheap thrills

Sukanya Verma

Do you have spiders as pets? If yes, be scared. Be very scared. For a freak accident can turn these creatures into mankind's worst nightmare. Ellory Elkayem's morbid chiller Eight Legged Freaks implies this and more.

Set in a remote mining town of Arizona, an unfortunate spill of lethal chemicals in a pond causes several hundred spiders to mutate into gigantic spiders. These arachnids begin to hit the town.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Sam Parker (Kari Wuhrer) and her ex-flame Chris (David Arquette) pay no heed to her son Mike (Scott Terra), who harbors extensive knowledge on spiders. Slowly, weird incidents start happening around town.

Cats and dogs mysteriously disappear and ostriches find themselves beheaded. It takes mining engineer Chris' aunt and Sheriff's daughter to become targets to one of the spiders' webs, to convince the town that a catastrophe has occurred. Then begins a dirty fight to the finish between the unarmed locals and the menacing spiders, ranging from jumpers, hairy tarantulas and orb weavers.

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Produced by the makers of Independence Day and Godzilla, Eight Legged Freaks has a comic book appeal to it. The special effects are decent but are nowhere in the same league as Jurassic Park or Godzilla.

Director Ellory Elkayem does not give much prominence to his cast. A half-baked romance between Sam and Chris, vague references to Chris' past are mere obligations to drag the story ahead.

A still from Eight Legged Freaks Films like Eight Legged Freaks hardly offer any scope for an actor to brush his histrionic skills. Here too, the giant spiders hog maximum space (literally) and succeed in freaking the viewer out. Yet, David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer perform their respective roles sincerely.

Eight Legged Freaks is no classic. Spiders oozing dirty green slimy fluid, spitting out thick webs, clawing on men like psychos can hardly be termed entertaining. Although, one must admit, it does serves its purpose --- it manages to scare the hell out of you.

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