A variety of horrible poisonous spiders get exposed to a noxious chemical that causes them to grow to monumental proportions.

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When Chris McCormick (David Arquette) returns to his home town of Prosperity Arizona after an absence of ten years, he has no way of knowing that a few miles out of town an eight gallon drum, which fell off the back of a truck, has been polluting a pond. Unfortunately, the local eccentric spider farmer has been feeding his flock insects from the polluted pond. He notices that they're really developing fast. And that's about the last thing he notices. Chris was, and still is, in love with the local sheriff Sam Parker (Kari Wuhrer), and it's her son Mike (Scott Terra), who first discovers the growing menace, but he's a kid, what does he know.

Eight Legged Freaks is an affectionate nod to fifties monster movies, just with a more ruthless disregard for the loss of human life. It has a reasonable but not excessive share of laughs and thrills. It was directed by New Zealander Ellory Elkayem who'd made a short on exactly this theme called Larger Than Life, which played at festivals all around the world, and was eventually seen by producers Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, who'd been looking for a project in this genre. A few more dollars later with a heap of special effects, Eight Legged Freaks leaps onto the screen. A shame that in all the excess an element of suspense goes out the window.