The mall. A commercial utopia of fixed, over-priced wholesale chains of mass consumption dedicated to the sole purpose of economic gain under the guise of the wholesome family machine. Enter: Hollywood. When Hollywood makes a movie about a small town invaded by a local entrepreneur who builds an eyesore of a mall in the middle of the desert amid an attack of radioactive CGI spiders, it makes for an interesting viewing. You gotta hand it to Warner Bros. for taking on recent monster flicks and nicely packaged DVD’s. Most low-budget monster movies lack the cash required to pull off some stunts and effects. Viewers may (or may not) enjoy the low-budget heart in this movie—obviously bad writing and a contrived plot structure. 8LF stands in the long line of bad movies, but how many monster flicks can be called good, anyway? So, by monster movie default, this is excellent entertainment. And what should be mentioned (because no one else will) is that David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer do particularly good jobs of playing their roles. Neither plays what you’d expect. Kari is a decent and respectable small town sheriff and mother, and David plays a convincing straight man.
The DVD offers a cool DVD-ROM downloadable shoot-‘em-up game allowing the player the choice between controlling the character Kari Wuhrer or David Arquette, to maneuver them through various settings and slaughter spiders. There is a catalogue of other spider flicks in this DVD’s Creepy Crawly Giants section. The additional movie scenes are fairly decent, and were mostly cut for the sake of flow. David Arquette, Devlin, Elkayhem and Rick Overton also give a totally hilarious, self-deprecating and yet informative commentary on the film. Additionally, the DVD-ROM stuff will take you to the 8LF web site where you can download goofy screensavers, pictures and some other useless crap, including the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” tune from www.joeydeluxe.com.
And finally, Larger Than Life, a short film by Ellory Elkayhem completes the DVD. A well-crafted, retro 50’s spider flick done in black and white and not to be missed.
Eight Legged Freaks (3 out of Four)
PG-13, 2002, 99 min., Warner Bros. Home Video.
David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scarlett Johansson, Doug E. Doug, Music by John Ottman , Written by Jesse Alexander & Ellory Elkayhem, Produced by Dean Devlin & Bruce Berman and Directed by Ellory Elkayhem.
The Theatrical Trailer, Cast & Crew Stuff, Creepy Crawly Giants, Additional Scenes, Commentary by Ellory Elkayhem, David Arquette, Dean Devlin and Rick Overton, a short film my Ellory Elkayhem that inspired the film, 8LF. DVD-ROM game.
Other Small Town Vs. Mad Monster Flicks:
Lake Placid, Frogs, Arachnophobia, Them!, Bats, In the Mouth of Madness, Of Unknown Origin, Rats, The Swarm, Empire of the Ants, Food of the Gods, The Return of the Living Dead, Jaws, Slugs, The Nest, Grizzly, Piranha, Gremlins, Tremors, Critters, Ghoulies, Troll, The Ghost and the Darkness, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Silver Bullet, Fright Night, The Blob, Night of the Living Dead, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-rama, Child’s Play, Rabid Grannies, Evil Toons, Poltergeist, The Blair Witch Project, Meet the Feebles, The Frighteners…