Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

St. Petersburg Times Online

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Eight legs up for this hoot

Billy photo
Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.

© St. Petersburg Times
published July 22, 2002

Movie: Eight Legged Freaks

  • Rating: PG-13

Summary: One night in the small town of Prosperity, Ariz., a truck driver makes a sharp turn and unknowingly loses some of his cargo over the side. The toxic waste he was carrying dumps into the local river, contaminating the water. A local spider farmer has been feeding his spiders crickets he caught from the tainted pond, and the crickets are the equivalent of "spider steroids." As the spiders grow larger and larger, they threaten the human race, and it's up to the townsfolk to destroy them all.

Really, really big spider comes in through the window to bother a guy with a chair
[Warner Brothers photo]
David Arquette comes face-to-face with a mutant spider in Eight Legged Freaks.
My view: This is one of those movies that is just so stupid it's funny. The plot was ridiculous, and the actors totally hammed it up. This movie's goal was to answer the question, "What's the craziest and most bizarre way you can think of to kill a gigantic spider?" I may be putting my credibility on the line by saying this, but I thought it was absolutely hilarious!

Favorite part: A lot of the jokes spoofed old, cheaply made horror movies. It was apparent that the cast had fun making it, and I had fun watching it.

Recommendations: This one is made for teens. It's the perfect film to go to with a bunch of friends! Some adults might appreciate it, too, because its style is reminiscent of old horror movies.

Grade: B

-- Billy Norris, 14, will be in the ninth grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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