A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that despite the smart-alecky title, this movie is not a comedy. It's a straight-out scarefest, and right up to the farthest edges of the PG-13 rating, with very explicit and gross violence and a lot of jump-out-at-you surprises. Characters are killed and eaten. In addition, a character chain-smokes, and there's some alcohol and some strong language. There's a reference to a teen pregnancy and to adultery. A teen girl is extremely clear about not being ready to have sex, despite pressure from a boy she likes very much, but parents may be concerned about her use of a stun gun to make her point. The female characters are tough and brave. One of the main characters is black, and although he's portrayed as a little paranoid and crazy, he's also brave and loyal.
What's the story?
In EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS, a small Arizona town is on the verge of going under, about to vote to sell the entire place for what the mayor says is a highway. But he has bad teeth and icky hair and is mean to his stepson, so don't believe him. Chris (David Arquette), the son of the man who owned the now-abandoned mine, has come back after 10 years, hoping to realize his father's dream of tapping into a gold vein and his own dream of finally telling the girl he loves (Kari Wuhrer), now the town sheriff, how he feels. A chemical spill and some undisclosed toxic waste transform an entire zoo of 200 exotic spiders into huge, hungry monsters the size of an SUV. The giant spiders chase the people, catching and eating many of them. At first, no one believes it, then they run away, try to hide, and then fight back.
Is it any good?
Eight Legged Freaks is essentially a cheesy 1950's sci-fi drive-in movie with un-cheesy special effects. There's no sense of irony and not much of a sense of humor. Instead, it has a rather sweet sense of pleasure in its own conventions, a sure sense of pacing, and some very impressive huge spiders. The plot is very simple, more computer game than story, but really a classic re-creation of movies like The Blob and World Without End.
And I guess we found out where that surprising hyphen came from in "Spider-Man." It's missing from the title of this movie, which makes it appear to be about eight creatures with legs.
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