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Eight Legged Freaks (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: July 17, 2002
CAP Score: 44
CAP Influence Density: 1.89
EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS (PG-13) -- Another "You don't believe me, mom" show.
SUMMARY/COMMENTARY Production: Centropolis Entertainment, Electric Entertainment
Distribution: Warner Bros.
Director(s): Ellory Elkayem
Producer(s): Bruce Berman, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, William Fay, Peter Winther
Written by/Screenplay: Story: Ellory Elkayem, Randy Kornfield. Screenplay: Jesse Alexander, Ellory Elkayem
Cinematography/Camera: John S. Bartley
Music: John Ottman, Rich Ragsdale
Film Editing: David Siegel
Casting: Paula Rosenberg, April Webster
Production Design: Charles Breen
Eight Legged Freaks. Definitely an R-13. Another "You don't believe me, mom" show. A very violent and in some cases sexually immoral show. A Saturday night "B" flick with extremes.
While cgi spiders are clearly a fantasy to most adults, this movie is targeted at the age stratum in which the ability to completely separate fantasy from reality and to be able to anticipate consequences of personal actions is typically not done cooking ... the early teenager and younger. Dr. Larry Giliam, professional counselor, Dr. Karen Nelson, Harvard educated professor of psychology and expert in child development and many others agree with me that development of these abilities, although considered to be pathological by some, does not plateau until the early 20s in most of us. Some of us folks never quite get the hang of it, especially we who are too old to know everything. But when dozens of cgi spiders tackle actors/actresses with each spider pumping up and down on the victim the realistic imagery may override the fantasy portion for some, especially for many younger folks, many of whom see movies as normative. Clearly, the older adolescent (older teens) will likely be more amused by such portrayal than frightened by it, but maybe not for the younger adolescent and toddlers.
The sexual content of Eight Legged Freaks included typical PG-13 vulgarity but more implicitly rather than explicitly. Human nudity, which is becoming typical in PG-13 movies (and we are buying it lock, stock and barrel [Ps. 12:8]) was not found, but other immoral behaviors which can be as negatively influential in and as entertainment as human nudity were found. For example, a nude female mannequin (with exceptional detail) is knocked over ending up with its face between the legs of a seated nude mannequin [Gal. 5:19]. Though the total screen time of that imagery was about 0.5 second, it can be indelible. The human brain captures imagery much faster than that. Even the seven-times normal speed on VCRs is not fast enough to prevent capture of aberrant imagery. Further, the teen sexual insults at a female sheriff may result in the one(s) who mimic the "cool" script and behaviors in movies -- and many do -- ending up in jail. Just because of the mouth.
The sprinkling of sexual innuendo, comments, talk and behavior may initiate and/or perpetuate such sexually immoral behavior among the target audience, or at least lower inhibitions against such or encourage experimentations with it by implicit approval of it in and as entertainment typically without consequences as in Eight Legged Freaks. It happens. If we keep telling teens through entertainment that is the way they are, the end result is inevitable [Luke 17:2]. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics disagrees, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and the American College of Physicians now are in agreement that the "copycat syndrome" due to aberrant behavior in and as entertainment is as real as the sunrise. If you believe otherwise, they disagree with you, God disagrees with you [1Cor. 15:33] and I disagree with you. On the flip side, positive behavior portrayal can be just as "contagious." When will Hollywood get the point? When portrayal of positive behavior in and as entertainment sells more than the portrayal of aberrant behavior. Now who's "fault" is it? [Ps. 12:8]
The violence coefficient for this movie is high. Some spider attacks are simply a spider whisking a victim off-screen as seen in the previews, but most are quite graphic and on-screen. The spiders of Eight Legged Freaks are not the cardboard variety of the 1950s and 60s that simply press against their victims as the glisten of the wires flicker above the critter. It is modern technological amplification. The cgi spiders wrap their victims up in their legs with realistic-looking up-n-down movements as they inject their cgi poison - just like real spiders. This happens many times through the last half of the show. Some of the deaths by spider attack are gory impalement deaths. [Ps. 11:5]
Resident arachno-genius is Mike Parker (Scott Terra), a sprite lad of nine or ten, maybe eleven years old, son of Prosperity, AZ Sheriff Samantha Parker (Kari Wuhrer) and brother to the neighbor attitude, 16 year old Ashley Parker (Scarlett Johansson). Unbeknownst to and without approval of Sheriff Mom, Mike gets his spider-smarts from weird guy Josh (Tom Noonan) who raises a plethora of exotic spiders to sell by feeding them crickets. Some arachnological accuracy appears in the way Josh's caged trap door spiders (maybe cgi spiders) snuff up the crickets. All seems to go well with everyone until Josh captures some crickets which have been munching on things contaminated with biohazardous material carelessly lost by a careless courier.
A tarantula of Josh's gets an attitude after eating a few laced crickets, escapes its confines then latches itself onto Josh. After the token footage of watching the spider crawl up Josh's back as the bone-chilling sound effects crescendo to explosive volume, it chomps on Josh's neck, causing the sound effects to climax at about 120 decibels and him to tumble to the floor of his arachno-farm. But in the process, Josh is able to break just about every glass tank containing his spiders. Loose, they all join in the Josh-feast and soon Josh is dead.
The bankrupt town of Prosperity has an abandoned gold mine under it. No jobs. No trade. No money. At attempt by town mayor, Wade (Leon Rippy - or hippy judging by his definitely dated appearance) to rescue the town included an Ostrich farm, a shopping mall and selling the old mine to a waste disposal company. But mine owner and old flame of Sheriff Samantha's, Chris McCormack (David Arquette) who was gone for ten years was not convinced the main lode could not be found and would not sell.
There is even a slap in the face of the radical right-wing fanatics who are trying to fight the corruptive influential properties in much of modern entertainment. As Mike tries to explain what is going on to Sheriff Mom, she chides him with blaming his entertainment diet for his delusional paranoid fantasies. Thus, the "you don't believe me, mom" syndrome.
Rather than spoil the whole movie for those who feel what we reveal is acceptable to their family, let me end the storyline with this. It is not long after Josh is killed by his pets that they grow to the size of motorcycles and Volkswagens and start having dirt bike driver dinners with local resident relish. Graphically. Please look to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for an itemization of all that was noted. The sometimes comic style of this movie cannot pad for everyone the graphic violence nor the sexual immorality nor the impudence.
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*******Food for Daily Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|