Happy Holi-Daves: Eight Legged Freaks

Of my ever growing collection of wrestlers appearing in films and TV, my small section of movies that star David Arquette are some of my favorites. He is most famously known as Deputy Dewey from the Scream franchise and for having held, albeit briefly, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000 after filming Ready to Rumble. I find it fascinating that a fan of wrestling who happened to be an actor had a very small title run. Although David Arquette wasn’t a huge fan of the idea of holding the title, I thought it was a neat legacy for him to have and without that short stint in WCW, I wouldn’t even be writing about him on this blog. More recently David Arquette has been spotlighted in the sports entertainment world, his feud with RJ City leading to a handful of appearances including a death match with Nick Gage. I thought it would be fun to cover some films from Arquette’s ever growing fimography during the holiday season.

 

I’ve watched a lot of movies since becoming more than just a casual film fan and not all of them turn out to be gold, however, I find it important to find some good in each movie I watch. What is the point of being a fan of films if we’re not ready to experience a film with a positive attitude and the hope to enjoy it? Granted we’re not going to love every film we see but we can at least try to find some enjoyment in everything we watch. This may seem like an out of place statement and may even come across as ranting but not everything I review here on this blog is a mega million dollar budget film and it is important I not lose sight of why I have undertaken an endeavor to see every film that stars a wrestler I can find.

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Well I’m sure that’s enough proselytizing so on to the feature for today, Eight Legged Freaks. Eight Legged Freaks is about Chris McCormick, played by David Arquette, who comes back to his hometown of Prosperity, Arizona, to stop the sale of the family mine to a large chemical company that has been using the town for storage. It just so happens that the same chemical company has truck drivers hauling loads of dangerous chemical who are afraid to hit rabbits with their trucks. Upon losing control of his vehicle a driver loses a canister of toxic chemicals that falls into the nearby body of water. There is an exotic spider breeder and salesman who lives near the site of the accident who has been feeding his spiders crickets from around the water. Why he is skimming crickets, who are terrestrial insects, out of water is never explained but we don’t need explanations because this movie is B-Movie goodness through and through. The spiders, upon ingesting the crickets are growing at a rapid pace and soon become so large that they eat the arachnid collector, Joshua, played by Tom Noonan. They then skitter off into the nearby McCormick Mines. The spiders wreak havoc on the town first by eating neighborhood animals and then by attacking the townsfolk. This movie is all I could want and more when it comes to a movie about giant spiders, I’m a fan of the older monster movies with gigantic insects and the like terrorizing towns, such as Them and Empire of the Ants.

 

David Arquette is an excellent actor. He’s played cops, goofy teenagers obssessed with wrestling, military privates who smoke marijuana, and more throughout his 28 year career in film. His portrayal of Chris in this movie is quite enjoyable being an average Joe who encounters an extraordinary circumstance, giant spiders. Chris is able to step up and help to eradicate these eight legged freaks and Arquette is perfect in his role in my opinion.¬† Scarlett Johansson is also in this film as Ashley Parker, the daughter of the sheriff, Samantha Parker, played by Kari Wuhrer. Kari also starred in 1997’s Anaconda, another giant animal film. All in all you can’t go wrong checking out Eight Legged Freaks, it’s a perfect mixture of tense and funny. The graphics of the spiders are a bit dated but it added to my enjoyment of the film. Grab some chocolate covered crickets, beer and get ready for a fun flick!

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Arquette as Chris McCormick

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Scarlett Johansson as Ashley Parker

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Deck the Halls with Bau(tista)s of Holly: Final Score

Let’s face it the holiday season isn’t for everyone, even with all the bright colored lights, cheery music, and mass amounts of sweets, some just don’t like it. I didn’t always enjoy the holiday season myself. Well I’ll be doing something a bit different with this and maybe some future entries during these holiday weeks. I’ll be covering some non Christmas themed movies with maybe a small smattering of Christmas ones mixed in.

 

If you haven’t been able to tell from the title of this piece I’ll be reviewing a film starring someone who has become a bit of a juggernaut in Hollywood, Dave Bautista. Bautista, worked for many years in World Wrestling Entertainment and has had roles in films since around 2009. He’s been getting more and more opportunities since portraying Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy and becoming a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is great news for me because it means more movies to watch and enjoy.

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In Final Score, Bautista plays a weary, and distant, U.S. Army member, Michael Knox, who visits a late army buddy’s family in England often. He has come to see his friend’s wife and her daughter Danni. He wants to take Danni to a football game between the West Hamm FC and Dynamo FC. Dynamo FC is from Russia, where as the beginning of the movie tells us the State of Sokovia has been in unrest since a failed revolution for independence seventeen years prior. This is especially interesting as Sokovia is a fictional country in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which Bautista is a part of. A former Sokovian general, Arkady has come to the stadium to further his politics of the revolution. This includes rigging a large portion of the stadium to blow with c4 and offing a lot of security staff in an attempt to find his brother, believed by most to be dead. Unfortunately for Arkady, Knox is at the game and his niece, Danni is missing. This leads to Knox discovering that something is awfully wrong at the game.

Most of the characters we have seen Bautista¬† play on screen are stereotypical big muscle guy roles, which isn’t always a bad thing, in fact I think his physique helps his characters come to life. It is quite hard though to connect with an audience if all you have to offer, however,¬† is your physicality to roles. Thankfully for us, Bautista brings a lot of emotion to his role as Michael Knox, with his need to protect the daughter of a man he couldn’t protect when he should have been able to. Although it feels like he needs redemption, you can tell he also genuinely cares for Danni.

 

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Bautista as Michael Knox and Lara Peake as Danni

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This movie has a lot of action, and some pretty great effects as well in it. Of special note in the film is a fight in a very small elevator, and an extended tussle in a kitchen. The kitchen encounter is probably my favorite as the effects really shine when a deep fryer comes into play. The villains, mostly two dimensional, are still unique enough to catch your attention, especially Vlad, played by Martyn Ford, and Tatiana, played by Alexandra Dinu. General Arkady is portrayed by one of my favorite actors since college, Ray Stevenson, if you’re not familiar with him I suggest checking out the horror movie Outpost, which is tons of fun and partly responsible for the slew of Nazi zombie fare that flooded the market for a while. I’m pretty sure at the beginning of the movie when they show archival footage of Arkady it is actually a still from Outpost. I really enjoyed Final Score and if you’re looking to pad out your holiday viewing with some non holiday fare, I suggest checking out Final Score.

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Martyn Ford as Vlad

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Alexandra Dinu as Tatiana

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Archival footage of Arkady as played by Ray Stevenson. Still is quite possibly from the film Outpost.