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Encyclopedia > Eight Legged Freaks
Eight Legged Freaks
Directed by Ellory Elkayem
Produced by Bruce Berman
Dean Devlin
Written by Jesse Alexander
Ellory Elkayem
Starring David Arquette
Kari Wuhrer
Scarlett Johansson
Doug E. Doug
Music by John Ottman
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) July 17, 2002
Running time 99 min.
Language English
Budget $30,000,000 (estimated)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Eight Legged Freaks is a 2002 horror/comedy film directed by Ellory Elkayem and starring David Arquette and Kari Wührer. The plot concerns a collection of spiders who are exposed to a chemical that makes them grow to a humungous size. It has been called "a B-Movie with A-Movie special effects." Image File history File links Eightleggedfreaks. ... Ellory Elkayem (born 12 August 1970, Christchurch) is a New Zealand film director. ... Bruce Berman is the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement at the Community College of Baltimore County Categories: Stub ... Dean Devlin is a former actor and current screenwriter and producer. ... Jesse Alexander is an American television writer and producer. ... Ellory Elkayem (born 12 August 1970, Christchurch) is a New Zealand film director. ... David James Arquette (born September 8, 1971) is an American actor. ... Kari Samantha Wührer, born April 28, 1967 in Brookfield, Connecticut, USA. She is an actress and a singer. ... Scarlett Johansson (born November 22, 1984) is an American actress. ... Doug. ... John Ottman is an American film editor, composer and director born July 6, 1964 in San Diego, California. ... Warner Bros. ... July 17 is the 198th day (199th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 167 days remaining. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ... Ellory Elkayem (born 12 August 1970, Christchurch) is a New Zealand film director. ... David James Arquette (born September 8, 1971) is an American actor. ... Kari Samantha Wührer (born April 28, 1967 in Brookfield, Connecticut) is an American actress and singer of Cherokee and German descent, sometimes credited as Kari Salin. ...


Taglines:

  • Poster: Let the squashing begin!
  • Poster: From the producers of Independence Day and Godzilla
  • Poster: The biggest... nastiest... mutant spider movie of all time!!!!
  • Trailer: Do you hate spiders? Do you really hate spiders? Well, they don't like you either!

Contents

Plot

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

In the quiet mining town of Prosperity, Arizona, an exhausted trucker carrying a cargo of toxic waste swerves to avoid killing a rabbit in the middle of road, loosening one of the barrels, which rolls off the road into a pond, where a small population of crickets live. The trucker does not notice this, and the toxins begin polluting the pond and the surrounding area. The next day, an exotic spider collector named Joshua goes down to the pond to collect food for his spiders, the crickets. Unfortunately, the crickets have ingested the toxins, but the man doesn't notice since the crickets seem unaffected. Official language(s) English Capital Phoenix Largest city Phoenix Area  Ranked 6th  - Total 113,998 sq mi (295,254 km²)  - Width 310 miles (500 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 0. ...


Sometime later, a young boy named Mike Parker is riding on his bicycle down to the man's spider collection to visit Joshua. Joshua is excited to show him how much larger his spiders have grown, and even shows him his newest spider, from Brazil: An enormous female Orb Weaver he named "Consuela". The males bring live food to Consuela to earn the right to mate. After Mike leaves, Joshua is bitten by one of his spiders that escaped, and ends up freeing all the spiders in his pain. He is soon eaten, and the spiders make their home in his house, growing larger and larger. Genera Araneus Argiope (St Andrews Cross spider) Dicrostichus Gasteracantha (Spiny orb-weavers) Larinia Mastophora Metepiera Micrathena Neoscona The orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are the familiar builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. ...


Mike returns later, but is stopped when he spots his mother, Sheriff Sam Parker (Kari Wuhrer) and Deputy Pete Willis pulling the toxic barrel out of the pond. Sam scolds Mike, telling him that the spiders are dangerous and he doesn't need to be seeing them. Sam forces Mike to get in the car, as she is going to take him home. However, on their way home, a group of motorcyclers are speeding, forcing her to give them a ticket. Sam's daughter Ashley Parker(Scarlett Johansson) was riding on the back seat of her boyfriend Bret's motorcycle, and Bret, who is also the stepson of the mayor, is given a ticket with Ashley also driven home by Sam.


The Mayor of Prosperity, Wade, is holding a town meeting in the mall (which is ironically placed, seeing as few people live in the town) about whether they should sell the mines and relocate. Chris McCormick, whose father owned the mines before he died, shows up after being gone for several years to the meeting, and stands against it. Chris also sparks a romance with Sam.


Mike sneaks out and finds Joshua and the spiders missing, and tells Chris that the spiders have grown to enormous sizes, based on a giant spider leg he found in the mine entrance. Chris is skeptical. The mines, meanwhile, have reopened with the miners searching for gold. However, they are all eaten by the spiders, who have made the mines their home. Seeing as the entire town is connected in some way to the mines, Spiders also show up in different places. Pete's cat is eaten by a small specimen, some ostriches from the local ostrich farm are eaten by a large trapdoor spider, and Chris' skepticism is overcome when his Aunt Gladys is abducted by the Male Orb Weavers, and he finds an even bigger leg. Ashley breaks up with Bret, who soon after witnesses his entire motorcycle gang eaten by jumping spiders, with himself surviving by fleeing into the mines. Sheriff Sam Parker is skeptical, and is convinced Chris has gone crazy. However, her skepticism fades when she witnesses a giant spider attempt to abduct Ashley in her room; the spider is shot, but the threat is revealed as Mike concludes that the spiders come out at night to feed, and the whole town is in danger. Binomial name Struthio camelus Carolus Linnaeus, 1758 The present-day distribution of Ostriches. ... Diversity 9 genera, 120 species Genera Bothriocyrtum Cyclocosmia Ummidia Cteniza several others, see text Trapdoor spiders (superfamily Ctenizoidea, family Ctenizidae) are medium-sized mygalomorph spiders that construct burrows with a cork-like trapdoor made of soil, vegetation and silk. ... Diversity 553 genera, 5025 species Genera See List of Salticidae genera The jumping spiders (family Salticidae) contains more than 500 described genera and over 5,000 species, making it the largest family of spiders with about 13% of all species. ...


Sam contacts Pete and tells him to bring guns; after a scuffle with some jumping spiders, they travel to the trailer of an eccentric UFO enthusiast Harlan Griffiths (Doug E. Doug), knowing he has a radio station that he operates from within the trailer. As Sam broadcasts the threat over the radio as Harlan stands by in skepticism, a giant tarantula assaults the trailer, eliminating his skepticism. As the town listens to the broadcast, they at first scoff because of Harlan's reputation, but soon hear the screams of the people within the trailer as the tarantula pummels it. They escape as the tarantula pummels to hard and trips over the trailer, just as the town is assaulted by vicious spiders. Sam tells everybody to get to the mall (No Windows, Steel Doors), but half the town is eaten by spiders. The mayor at first seems happy that everyone is coming to his mall, but this happiness is replaced with fear once he learns the reason. The main characters make it in safely, and the women and children are told to go down to the basement as the able-bodied townsfolk hold off the spiders. Wade sneaks into the mines and encounters Bret before being abducted by Orb Weavers. Harlan and Chris go up to try and get a signal to call the police, but are believed to be pranksters and are forced to fend themselves off from spiders. Harlan meets up with Pete, and the two run from spiders as Chris meets up with Sam Parker and goes down to the basement with the remaining townspeople. Ashley is reunited with Bret, who finds Wade and frees him. The townspeople make it out of the mines, but Chris stays behind to look for his Aunt Gladys after expressing his love for Sam. He finds Gladys, and the gold his father was searching for, but is confronted by the massive Consuela; he uses Brad's motorcycle to escape, and blows up the spiders and the mines utilizing Gladys' smoking addiction and the high concentrations of methane gas. Ironically, the police, found by Pete and Harlan arrive after the danger has abided, and everyone is reunited.


Later, Harlan is heard making a radio report in which he is concluding the story about the spiders in the mine in the aftermath. Apparently, the town has decided to cover up the whole incident, but decided to let Harlan continue broadcasting it, as they know nobody would believe him. He also mentions the mayor reopening the gold mine, but simply says "that's a story for another time", and laughs, as the camera pans in on his mouth, showing he now has gold teeth. The screen then fades to black and the credits roll.


Spiders Featured

Genera Araneus Argiope (St Andrews Cross spider) Dicrostichus Gasteracantha (Spiny orb-weavers) Larinia Mastophora Metepiera Micrathena Neoscona The orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are the familiar builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. ... Diversity 553 genera, 5025 species Genera See List of Salticidae genera The jumping spiders (family Salticidae) contains more than 500 described genera and over 5,000 species, making it the largest family of spiders with about 13% of all species. ... Diversity 113 genera, 897 species Genera Subfamily Acanthopelminae    Acanthopelma Subfamily Aviculariinae    Avicularia    Ephobopus    Pachistopelma    Tapinauchenius Subfamily Eumenophorinae    Anoploscelus    Batesiella    Citharischius    Encyocrates    Eumenophorus    Hysterocrates    Loxomphalia    Loxoptygus    Monocentropus    Myostola    Phoneyusa    Polyspina Subfamily Harpactirinae    Ceratogyrus    Coelogenium    Eucratoscelus    Harpactira    Pterinochilus Subfamily Ischnocolinae    Chaetopelma    Cratorrhagus    Heterothele    Ischnocolus    Nesiergus    Plesiophrictus/Neoplesiophrictus Subfamily Ornithoctoninae    Citharognathus    Cyriopagopus    Haplopelma... Diversity 9 genera, 120 species Genera Bothriocyrtum Cyclocosmia Ummidia Cteniza several others, see text Trapdoor spiders (superfamily Ctenizoidea, family Ctenizidae) are medium-sized mygalomorph spiders that construct burrows with a cork-like trapdoor made of soil, vegetation and silk. ... black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans), a poisonous spider that is infamous for the females habit of eating the male after sexual intercourse. ... Diversity 104 genera, 2304 species Genera Adelocosa Alopecosa Arctosa Geolycosa Hogna Lycosa Pardosa Pirata Sosippus Trochosa many more The wolf spiders are members of the family Lycosidae, so named because their method of hunting is to run down their prey. ... Funnel-web spiders can refer to: Araneomorph funnel-web spiders - Modern funnel-web spiders (suborder Araneomorph) Includes: grass spiders, hobo spider Venomous funnel-web tarantulas - Primitive funnel-web spiders (suborder Mygalomorphae) Includes: tarantulas, sydney funnel-web spider Category: ...

Title

The film was originally to be titled Arach Attack, but the similarity to "Iraq Attack" made the title seem inappropriate near the start of the Iraq War. In contrast, a joke in a commercial for 1990 spider movie Arachnophobia, which premiered during the buildup to the first Gulf War, showed a gentleman at a screening mispronouncing the name of the movie as "Iraqiphobia". Combatants Coalition Forces: United States United Kingdom South Korea Australia Poland Romania others. ... MCMXC redirects here; for the Enigma album, see MCMXC a. ... Arachnophobia was an American horror film released in 1990 directed by Frank Marshall and starring John Goodman and Jeff Daniels. ... Combatants UN Coalition Republic of Iraq Commanders Norman Schwarzkopf, Michel Roquejeoffre , Peter de la Billière, Khalid bin Sultan, Saleh Al-Muhaya, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Saddam Hussein Strength 883,863 360,000 Casualties 378 dead, 1,000 wounded see section below The Gulf War or the Persian Gulf War (2...


The title "Eight Legged Freaks" is from a line that Arquette ad-libbed in the movie.


Inspiration

The film's director, Ellory Elkayem, got the idea for the film following his 1997 short film, "Larger than Life", which also dealt with a spider-fighting storyline. However, it is not based on H.G. Wells's short story "The Valley of Spiders" or used as an initial inspiration. Ellory Elkayem (born 12 August 1970, Christchurch) is a New Zealand film director. ... H. G. Wells at the door of his house at Sandgate Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 - August 13, 1946) was an English writer best known for his science fiction novels such as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. ...


Trivia

  • There is a "cameo" of Jason Voorhees in the film. One of the town survivors in the mall dresses up like Jason; the mask, jacket, and a weapon he found which happened to be a melee weapon (something Jason is known for using throughout his films): a chain saw (even though Jason has never used a chain saw). He was slaughtered by the jumping spiders while trying to escape the mall.

Jason Voorhees is the main fictional character from the Friday the 13th series of slasher films. ...

Location

  • The town of Prosperity does not really exist in Arizona, however the county that the story takes place in does. The scenes inside of Prosperity Mall were actually shot in a real mall in Glendale, Arizona. The location was formerly Valley West Mall and also known as Manistee Mall. This movie would be the last operation that took place in the mall, it was demolished soon after shooting was completed.

Key scenes in the movie were recognized by local residents: Location in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona Coordinates: Country United States State Arizona Counties Maricopa Government  - Mayor Elaine Scruggs Area  - City  55. ...

  • The scene where Wade is eating an Ostrich Burger was shot in a cafe known as TK's.
  • The general store appeared in the movie very similar to how it was in real life, even the marquee was the same.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Eight Legged Freaks (1148 words)
"Eight Legged Freaks" is the ideal kind of film to escape the heat on a hot summer's night when you don't want to give a great deal of your mind to the screen.
David Arquette is ostensibly the star of "Eight Legged Freaks" with his billing over the title, but this is really an ensemble film with lots of small roles and goofy dialogue.
"Eight Legged Freaks" won't join the pantheon of great monster/science fiction flicks that we have come to love, but it will provide 99 minutes of summer fun for those of us that want to vacate at the movies.
EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS (607 words)
Freaks, which was originally titled Arac Attack but changed for fear moviegoers might think it's “Iraq Attack,” takes place in Prosperity, Arizona, and the whole zany spider situation begins when a barrel of toxic waste is accidentally jettisoned off a truck and into a small pond near Taft's Exotic Spider Farm.
Freaks' two big "stars" (David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer) don't have any more screen time than any of the film's other characters, which are about as developed as a 10-year-old girl.
Freaks plays more like a cross between Starship Troopers, Wild Wild West and Dawn of the Dead than the '50s flicks it's supposed to be parodying.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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