Friends, the other evening I was watching some YouTube videos when I stumbled upon this 1998 short film entitled Larger Than Life from Ellory Elkayem. That name might not ring a bell, but this 13 minute short film is a throwback to the science fiction/horror B movies of the ’50s like Them! and Tarantula. It also ended up acting as a calling card for Ellory, who wrote and directed Larger Than Life – being shown to both Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich after it’s debut at the Telluride Film Festival. Of course Devlin and Emmerich knew a few things about science fiction films with Universal Soldier, Stargate, and Independence Day. After getting a chance to screen Larger Than Life – seeing someone who appreciated their own love of the marauding giant monster movies of the ’50s – they helped produce a big budget version of his film. The result was 2002’s criminally underappreciated Eight Legged Freaks – which starred David Arquette (Scream, Ravenous), Kari Wuhrer (Anaconda, Thinner), and Scarlett Johansson (Ghost World, Jojo Rabbit).

Video Provided by Movieclips Classic Trailers.

Even the trailer was having fun with the concept of Eight Legged Freaks – which by the way has been said to have been an ad-lib by David Arquette. Apparently the original title for the film was going to be Arach Attack, a line from the film itself, and for releases in some countries it managed to keep that title. A fun fact is the CGI giant spiders in the film were ‘voiced’ by none other than Rob Paulsen (Pinky and the Brain), Frank Welker (Scooby-Doo), and Kevin Michael Richardson (The Batman).

You can totally see the seeds of what would become Eight Legged Freaks in Larger Than Life – in particular the humor of the short film. It stars Rebecca Hobbs as Jo, a young woman whose main concerns are getting settled into her new home – until thanks to a chemical spill – she ends up fighting for her life against a series of increasingly larger spiders.

Video and Article Image Provided by Ellory Elkayem.

Published by Vic Sage

An avid devotee to pretty much all things pop culture and retro related - I love to share my memories and passion for films, comics, gaming, podcasting... and curiously enough my overwhelming desire to never stop eating beef jerky.

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