Let me start by saying that I have a pathological fear of spiders and watching Big Ass Spider did nothing at all to ease that fear. Every slight itch or breeze of air had me scrambling to make sure it wasn't a spider crawling on me, big ass or otherwise...that being said Big Ass Spider is a heap of fun.
As the title would suggest the film is about a huge spider running rampant, no great shock there however the film isn't your typical Sharknado style B grade flick, despite its alarmist name. Big Ass Spider is actually both a great monster flick and also a very funny comedy.
Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg) is in pest control, when he is bitten by a spider whilst on the job, he ends up at the hospital and, after a mortuary worker gets bitten by something, Alex volunteers to kill the bug. The spider escapes, black-ops teams get involved and all hell breaks loose.
|Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a Big Ass Spider!|
Grunberg is pitch perfect as bug-killing, lonely guy Alex, he is - as they say - an everyman, someone to whom most people can relate (especially lovelorn nice-guys) and he helps ground a rather outlandish film. His sidekick, the hospital security guard – Jose (Lombardo Boyar) is very funny. Unfortunately he gets a little bit one note after a while but Alex and Jose’s banter is great with some laugh out loud moments. The black ops team of Ray Wise, Clare Kramer and Patrick Bauchau all do well playing it straight...most of the time.
Mike Mendez does a great job directing this, it’s a premise that could have easily become a hokey joke, but Mendez and writer Gregory Gieras keep the film riding that fine line between OTT and downright stupid and it pays dividends. Mendez clearly cares about the film and in particular this style of film and it is very refreshing in this day and age of creature features being a stunt casted, poorly made embarrassing mess.
|Either those people in the background are dead, or they're extremely dedicated sun-bathers|
The film was clearly done on a budget however it looks great and certainly doesn't seem affected by the lack of funds with special mention going to an absolutely outstanding pre-credits sequence (including a haunting cover of The Pixie’s Where is my Mind). Think of a film that has a great pre-credits sequence and I’ll put this up against any of them. The digital effects are pretty good too and sure they aren't mega budget awesome but who cares when you are watching a giant spider tear up L.A, stabbing people with its legs and eating them alive. The soundtrack was also great, with a dramatic score perhaps not being in line with the films comedic leanings but certainly not out of place in a nature run amok flick.
A lot of people will go into this film thinking – oh it’ll be one those so bad its good films and they would be wrong. This is just flat out good fun. It is the best giant insect film I have seen in a long time.
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