Eight Legged Freaks: Wikis


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Eight Legged Freaks
Directed by Ellory Elkayem
Produced by Bruce Berman
Dean Devlin
Written by Jesse Alexander
Ellory Elkayem
Starring David Arquette
Kari Wührer
Scarlett Johansson
Doug E. Doug
Music by John Ottman
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) July 17, 2002 (2002-07-17)
Running time 100 minutes
Language English
Budget $30 million

Eight Legged Freaks is a 2002 horror-comedy film directed by Ellory Elkayem and stars David Arquette, Kari Wührer, Scarlett Johansson and Doug E. Doug. 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.



In the quiet mining town of Prosperity, Arizona, an accident causes a barrel of toxic waste to land in a swamp. An exotic spider collector named Joshua has been making regular visits to the site, where he collects crickets for his spiders. Although the bugs have ingested the toxins, he is oblivious since the insects seem unaffected. Joshua shows Mike, a local boy, his collection. After Mike leaves, Joshua is bitten by an escaped tarantula and accidentally knocks down the spider cages. He is killed by the spiders that grow larger and larger each second.

Mike attempts to return but is stopped by his mother, Sheriff Sam Parker (Kari Wührer) and Deputy Pete pulling the toxic barrel out of the pond. Wade, the Mayor of Prosperity, is holding a town meeting in the mall about whether they should sell the mines and relocate. Chris McCormick, whose father owned the mines before he died ten years ago, shows up and stands against Wade's proposition. Chris also sparks a romance with Sam.

Mike sneaks out on foot and finds Joshua and the spiders missing, although he sees an enormous spider shadow in the mines and tells Chris that the spiders have grown to enormous sizes, based on a giant spider leg he found at the mine entrance. Meanwhile the mines have reopened with the miners searching for a famous gold lode. They are soon consumed by the large spiders, who have made the mines their home. Seeing as the entire town is connected in some way to the mines, spiders show up in many different places. Chris finds out that his Aunt Gladys and her dog are abducted by a male orb weaver in her basement. Sheriff Sam Parker is convinced Chris and Mike are delusional. However, her skepticism fades when she witnesses a giant male orb-weaver attempting to abduct Ashley, her daughter, in her room and saves her.

Sam contacts Pete and tells him to bring all guns in the police station's possession and they travel to the trailer of an eccentric UFO enthusiast named Harlan (Doug E. Doug), knowing he has a radio station that he operates from within his trailer. As Sam broadcasts the threat over the radio, a giant tarantula assaults the trailer but they manage to escape. As the town is assaulted by vicious spiders, Sam tells everybody to evacuate to the mall. The main characters make it in safely along with surviving townspeople. Meanwhile, Harlan and Chris climb onto the roof and ascend the radio mast and try to get a signal to call the army as they are being attacked by the spiders, but are believed to be pranksters. Harlan jumps from the roof, after the tarantula breaks open the gates and lets the spiders enter the mall, and lands in some bushes, where he meets up with Pete. The two run from spiders as Chris meets up with the remaining townsfolk and goes down to the basement. Chris goes to look for his Aunt Gladys in the mines and finds her and the gold his father was searching for, but is confronted by a massive Consuela (female Orb Weaver spider). He uses a motorcycle to escape, and blows up the spiders and the mines utilizing Gladys' smoking addiction and the high concentrations of methane gas. The police finally arrive (brought by Pete and Harlan) after the danger has subsided.

As the story ends, Harlan is heard making a radio report about the spiders. He concludes that the town has decided to cover up the whole incident, but have let Harlan continue broadcasting the incident, knowing nobody will believe him. He also mentions Chris reopening the gold mines and putting everyone back to work, but tells us "that is another story altogether." As the camera zooms in close on his mouth, it is clear that he now has three gold teeth.




The film was originally titled Arach Attack or Arac Attack (under which it was released in 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.[citation needed]

The title Eight Legged Freaks is a line that Arquette ad-libbed in the movie: "Get back, you eight-legged freaks!" The title however contains a punctuation error in that it drops the hyphen, changing both the meaning ("eight freaks with legs" instead of "freaks with eight legs") and the pronunciation ("legged" as one syllable instead of two).[citation needed]


Director Ellory Elkayem got the idea from his 1997 short film Larger than Life, which also handled a spider-fighting storyline.


  • 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 Mall. This movie would be the last operation that took place in the mall, as it was demolished soon after shooting was completed.
  • The scenes in Aunt Gladys' house in the kitchen and in Gladys' basement were filmed at the Manistee Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.

Alternate Beginning & Ending

  • 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.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Eight Legged Freaks is a black comedy film about mutant spiders that grow to enormous proportions over a few weeks and begin looking for new food. Their contemporary menu now consists of the residents of a small town known as Prosperity, in Arizona, America.



  • (First lines) Hello Mike.
  • (After Mike has enquired about the alarming size of the arachnids): It's their diet. These have been growing in the pond for the last three days. (Mike: Crickets?) They're like, spider steroids.
  • I'm going to make a fortune!
  • Yeah, Habronattus orbus.
  • Say hello to Consuela...
  • I had to bribe every customs agent from San Diego to Tuscon. (Leads Mike over to orb weavers.) You see, the female species is three times as big as the male. (Consuela emerges.) The males try to compete for the females' attention by bringing them the best presents, you know, like rats, mice, (Looks at his parrot, smirking), the occasional parrot. Come.
  • (About Consuela) So she can liquefy her prey, wrapped alive...
  • (As Mike leaves) When you come back next week they'll be twice as big as they are today!
  • (Last line, as he observes the empty tarantula cage) Where'd you go, little fella?

Sherriff Parker

  • (To Mike) This is your problem, right here. I don't want to hear any more of your 'paranoid delusional nightmare.' Right you're grounded for a week, mister. And no TV!
  • (To Deputy Pete) Something ate your cat? What do you think it was?
  • (About Chris) He just needs a shave...
  • (To Ashley) Who said it was OK to talk to your mother like that?
  • All the phone lines are down, Mike.
  • Where have you been, Wade? All the phones are dead!
  • (To Chris) Ten years, and you have not changed a bit.

Chris McCormack

  • (First lines) You sure look like a pretty good engineerer.
  • And my name's not Sonny. It's Chris.
  • Aunt Gladys!
  • (About his father's gold) I knew he wasn't crazy!
  • (Confronted by Conseula) I can't! It'll set off the gas! (Squirts perfume into Conseula's face) Mike, you saved us!
  • Adieus, Consuela!
  • (Hysterical) They're here! They're here!
  • Get back, you EIGHT-LEGGED FREAKS!
  • Uh, maybe I don't need a shave...
  • If you start feeling disorientated, then get to one of these higher chambers as soon as possible.
  • You know, that does look like an old piece of cactus.


  • (First lines) Do you know fear? Have you ever had your heart beating in your chest so intensely... that you can't even breathe? This is a story of... monsters... hideous nightmares crawling in the night. I've seen them. I've seen them in visions. And you... will... too. (Laughs.) I know what you must be thinking, what's this crazy guy doing out here in this godforsaken landscape? Well, I'll tell you. For this is the only place in the country where I can tell the truth and they can't. Hit me.
  • We're here in Propsperity, Arizona, with the only reports on government conspiracies, space aliens, and updated reports on when they plan to invade. It's a beautiful day in Prosperity, and it's time for America to WAKE UP PEOPLE! WAKE UP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! But no, of course, they're still asleep.
  • We've just received a report that our pet dog Skippy's been missing, fourth missing pet call we've had this morning. Yeah, it's strange, it's strange. And people are saying, well you know it's cayotes, and it's wolves, but we know the truth. Yes, we all know about those aliens, and the probe, heh, yes, the probe. Let's talk about the probe. I mean, what are they looking for? I mean, it's just wrong! What are they doing? I mean, Skippy didn't do anything to anyone, he doesn't deserve that! I'm telling you, it's wrong! If you want a piece of me, just don't take that piece!
  • Our government-controlled media...
  • Friends, our local 'authorities' have a little message for our charming little community.
  • (Faced with the truth of the 'invasion:') Giant spiders? What the hell kind of bullshit is that? (A moment later) Oh my God, THEY'RE HERE! THEY'RE HERE!
  • I'll lure them off! Defend the human race!

Other dialogue

Chris: I'm a man, you're a woman. Oh my God, what am I doing here?

Sam: Who are the flowers for?

Chris: Oh, they're for you, actually.

Sam: (smelling flowers) Nice.

Chris: Yeah. Picked them myself.

(In the barber's)

Chris: So how much is a dentist's job these days?

Barber: 100 bucks.

Chris: 100 bucks? It's a good deal.

Barber: Indeed it's a good deal. But it's not a good deal in other places. Where they got money.

Bob: And jobs.

Chris: (Having doubts) Uh, maybe I don't need a shave. (Sits up abruptly)

Barber: Hey, slow down in there. (Leans forward) I wouldn't want to cut you. (Starts shaving.)

(In Ashley's truck. Ashley and her boyfriend Brett are kissing.)

Ash: Hey, Brett, slow down.

Brett: But I thought you loved me.

Ash: I do. I do. It's just - it's just -

Brett: What?

Ash: I just - don't want to lose my virginity in the front seat of a truck. Uh.

Brett: (laughing) Then why didn't you say so, I've got a blanket out in the back!

Ash: No, Brett, no, that's not it, I just don't think I'm ready!

Brett: Tom and Larry do it every night.

Ash: So fine, call them, I'm not like everyone else you know.

(Brett continues kissing her.)

Ash: Hey, Brett, I'm warning you -

(Brett continues kissing her)

Ash: Brett, I'm warning you, OK, stop!

Brett: I just can't help it... you bring out the beast in me! (Continues kissing)

Ash: Hey, Brett, get off! (Eletrocutes him in the balls with her stun gun. Brett screams and falls out of the jeep. Ash

half-laughs and Brett pisses his pants.)

Brett: God dammit, I pissed my pants! Hey, don't you think you're over reacting a bit, I was just complimenting a ?

Ash: (Furiously) Over reacting? You know, I can't believe my mum was worried about you, do you have any idea how embarrasing that is? (Slams door shut and drives off.)

Brett: (Shouts from ground) Hey, Ash! Hey Ash, wait! I'm sorry!

(On the sand dunes, mutated Habronattus orbus appear.)


  • What do you get when you cross a collection of exotic spiders with a lot of toxic waste? EATEN!
  • Let the squashing begin!


Chris McCormack - David Arquette

Sam Parker - Kari Wurher

Harlan - Doug E. Doug

Mike Parker - Scott Terra

Ashley Parker - Scarlett Johansson

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