At the center
of Eight Legged Freaks is an enormous female spider named
Consuela. The male spiders try to win her heart by giving her still-living
people bound in their sticky webbing. Consuela likes to drink them
dry while they're still fresh and tender. It reminds me of a girl
I once knew, Melissa. She also liked to suck the life right out
of you, then toss you on the scrap heap. She was so beautiful, so
self-confident, and so bounteous of boobs, that no man could resist
trying to please her with expensive dinners, jewelry and even vacations
in hopes of breaking her spirit the way an Indian would break a
horse's; by riding her bareback for hour after hour after hour.
Every man who could, dated her, even though it meant getting kicked
in the head and wishing he were dead afterward. She was the greatest
ballbuster who ever lived.
Or so I was
told. Personally, I wouldn't know because little Miss Hot Shit wouldn't
give me the time of day. She wouldn't even deign to give old Dirtyballs
a chance to be kicked in the noggin. Apparently there were too many
better looking, richer and less violent fellows whose nuts she could
pop like water balloons. Fuck, I would have been so good at having
my heart broken. Her devastating me would have been so satisfying
to her because I'd sink into the depths of suicidal despair for
weeks or months. I would have left hundreds of sappy messages on
her answering machine, and written her 2000-line e-mails that rhymed
"love" and " heaven above". I would have gotten
so drunk that I couldn't find my mouth, and then have a friend drive
me over to her house where I could piss around the perimeter to
mark my territory. I would have badmouthed her worse than any other
guy ever had, thereby increasing her legend.
to be heartbroken than to have a heart not worth breaking. All I
wanted was for a beautiful girl to care enough about me to ruin
my life. But this review isn't about that. It would be petty and
pointless of me to waste your time complaining about something that
happened long ago.
I'd rather tell
you how messed up and miserable Melissa is today. What a great story,
the way she devolved from sought-after man-eater to Hot-Pockets-eating
single-and-looking with an expired real estate license, Hyundai
Excel, six cats, an arm withered by frostbite, gout and subscriptions
to four soap opera magazines. She lives in dirty little Gallup,
New Mexico in a one-bedroom apartment. It's even greater that this
is the news she chose to share in her Yahoo! Profile because it
makes you wonder what she didn't say. Man, it makes me so fucking
happy to see her miserable. I mean, really, that's the kind of shit
that makes you want to get up in the morning; discovering how unhappy
your enemies are.
Freaks Consuela isn't an enemy. She doesn't have enough personality
to be. Nobody does in this movie. To her credit, though, if it weren't
for the hundreds of male spiders trying to please her, the movie
would be a total drag.
In dusty, dying
Prosperity, Arizona, radioactive waste has been dumped into a pond
adjacent to an exotic spider farm. As we all know from watching
old movies, this leads to giant, mutated spiders on a rampage. Radioactive
waste never makes animals nicer or smaller. Pretty quickly, hundreds
of males attack the town, trying to bring back its residents as
meals for Consuela. David Arquette is town sheriff Kari Wuhrer's
love interest, returning after ten years to find a rumored motherlode
of gold in his father's mines under the town, and save it from a
new-agey land developer. Of course, all this subplot is about as
extraneous as Candy Bottoms's journey to find the Golden Dildo in
the The Pornyssey. You paid to see the action, not the acting.
To its credit, Eight Legged Freaks understands that, and
it gets down to business pretty quick and pretty relentlessly.
I don't know
whether Eight Legged Freaks is an homage to old movies like
Them and Tarantula, or whether those con artists in
Hollywood just used the word "homage" because it sounds
better than "rip-off." The only big difference is that
this movie is occasionally funny and you'd be fucking nuts to root
for the people over the spiders. Hell, they may not speak, but they've
got more personality and they're a buttload more fun to watch. In
the old movies, you were supposed to be terrified, but here, the
movie is most entertaining when the spiders are going nutso. Scenes
like the one where a band of jumping spiders attack snotty teen
dirt-bikers are much funnier than scary. And when spiders attack
a tanker truck, it's what the movies were made to do.
writer Ellory Elkayam recognizes that the plot is just a syringe
for injecting us with the spider-attack heroin that we crave. He
treats it and the characters as completely disposable, and kills
off hundreds. And he gets credit for making amovie where botht he
spiders and people are really stupid. I guess, what else can you
do when David Arquette is the biggest star? You sure as hell don't
want to give him much more to do than scream from radio towers "You
eight legged freaks!" while firing a shotgun. Still, the story
drags whenever we're subjected to the whiz-bang boy scientist or
the tedious Arquette-Wuhrer love pairing. Sure the movie has to
have a plot, but why is it just as fucking lame as the ones from
the 50s? Homage? More like lazy-ass writers. And by the end, we've
had about 20 minutes too much spider attack. We're just sticking
around to see the end because we paid full price, not because we
care about the people. Why the hell can't the spiders win?
Wuhrer are movie actors the way the people in Wal-Mart circulars
are models. They're just the least expensive warm bodies willing
to wear the polyester outfits. Neither really needs to act, and
so they do just fine. Scarlett Johannsson doesn't exactly add class
to the movie as Wuhrer's teen daughter, but we know she can at least
act. And I know many perverts who want to jump her underage bones.
Unfortunately, just like everyone but the spiders, she doesn't have
anything to do but be boring until she's attacked. Good for her,
though, for slumming it.
Consuela dies, and it's sad. No more giant spiders, no more insane
rampaging, just a lot of boring people in the middle of the desert,
waiting to die. Just like Melissa. Oh, man, that'll be a great day.
Three Fingers for Eight Legged Freaks.
to tell Filthy Something?