Eight Legged Freaks
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|Eight Legged Freaks|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ellory Elkayem|
|Produced by||Dean Devlin|
|Screenplay by||Ellory Elkayem
|Story by||Ellory Elkayem
Doug E. Doug
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Cinematography||John S. Bartley|
|Edited by||David Siegel|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|July 17, 2002|
Eight Legged Freaks is a 2002 German-Australian-American horror-comedy film directed by Ellory Elkayem and stars David Arquette, Kari Wührer, Scott Terra, and Scarlett Johansson. The plot concerns a collection of spiders that are exposed to toxic waste, causing them to grow to gigantic proportions and begin killing and harvesting.
The film was dedicated to the memory of several people: One was Lewis Arquette, father of the star of the film David Arquette, who had died in 2001 from heart failure, and the other two were Don Devlin and Pilar Seurat, the parents of producer Dean Devlin, who both died of lung cancer in 2000 and 2001, respectively.
The quiet Arizona mining town, Prosperity's problem with giant spiders started with a simple accident where a truck carrying barrels of toxic waste swerved trying not to hit a rabbit, throwing a barrel into the reservoir. Thus, begins the food chain reaction. An exotic spider farmer named Joshua Taft (Tom Noonan) feeds his collection of spiders, which include Jumping spiders, Tarantulas, Trapdoor spiders, male orb-weaver spiders, and a female orb-weaver named Consuela, with crickets caught from the reservoir. As a result, they grow to enormous size with ever increasing appetite. They start terrorizing the town, attacking, killing, abducting, and devouring people there. So, begins the battle between the giant spiders and the people of Prosperity.
- David Arquette as Chris McCormick
- Kari Wührer as Sheriff Samantha Parker
- Scott Terra as Mike Parker
- Scarlett Johansson as Ashley Parker
- Doug E. Doug as Harlan Griffiths
- Rick Overton as Deputy Pete Willis
- Leon Rippy as Wade
- Matt Czuchry as Bret
- Eileen Ryan as Gladys
- Jay Arlen Jones as Leon
- Riley Smith as Randy
- Matt Holwick as Larry
- Jane Edith Wilson as Emma Willis
- Roy Gaintner as Floyd
- Jack Moore as Amos
- Don Champlin as Leory
- John Storey as Mark
- David Earl Waterman as Norman
- Randi J. Klein as Waitress #1
- Terey Summers as Waitress #2
- Frank Welker as Consuela the queen spider and other spider effects (voice)
- Tom Noonan as Joshua Taft (Uncredited)
Director Ellory Elkayem got the idea from his 1997 short film, Larger Than Life, which also handled a spider-fighting storyline.
The film was originally titled Arac Attack (under which it was released in some parts of Europe and other countries around the world) but the similarity to 'Iraq Attack' made the title seem inappropriate near the start of the Iraq War.
The title, "Eight Legged Freaks", is a line that Arquette ad-libbed in the movie: "Get back, you eight-legged freaks!"
- Filming locations
- The town of Prosperity does not exist in Arizona. The scenes inside Prosperity Mall were actually shot in an abandoned mall in Glendale, Arizona. The location was formerly Valley West Mall and also known as Manistee town center. This movie would be the last operation that took place in the mall, as it was demolished soon after shooting was completed. The Mall land was redeveloped into a retail strip afterwards.
- The scenes in Aunt Gladys's house in the kitchen and in Gladys' basement were filmed at the Manistee Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, directly adjacent to the Mall itself.
- Some of the town scenes were shot in the old copper mining town of Superior, Arizona.
- Spiders used in the film
- Orb-weaver spider
- Jumping spider
- Tarantula (several species are featured, including the Mexican redknee tarantula, the Pink Foot Goliath, and the Goliath birdeater)
- Trapdoor spider
- Australian funnel-web spider
- Spitting spider
- Alternate credits
- The alternate beginning is an extended version in which Harlan does a broadcast promoting the mall, after which a worker at the mall sees Wade having the toxic waste put in the basement.
- In the alternate ending, after the mines are blown up, the townsfolk walk down a road to get help. They meet up with Pete and Harlan who were walking through the desert, Pete trying to convince Harlan the spiders were not aliens. Afterward, Sam and Chris kiss as the scene ends.
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Eight Legged Freaks was met with mixed reviews. It currently holds an approval rating of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes stating: "This homage to the B-movies of the '50s has a promising first half, but runs out of ideas in the second".
On January 5, 2003, the news-website Moviehole reported that Eight Legged Freaks 2 was in development saying "Oh the Horror! Despite the first film only being a modest success, Producer Dean Devlin is in talks for an "Eight Legged Freaks 2", a sequel to the David Arquette starring Spidey piece of 2002. According to the Producer, a sequel was always a possibility, hence the ‘open for a sequel’ ending of the first film. David Arquette will return and the originals lenser New Zealand Director Ellory Elkayem is in talks to direct the follow-up."
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