Film Review: Big Ass Spider (2013)

SYNOPSIS:

A giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampage the city of Los Angeles. When a massive military strike fails, it is up to a team of scientists and one clever exterminator to kill the creature before the city is destroyed.

REVIEW:

Although I’m not particularly afraid of spiders, I’m not necessarily a big fan of em’ either. I’ve seen some hella big spiders in my time but they’re not interested in me so I just walk on by and let them do their thing. I know some people who have a paralyzing fear of them though, a fear so bad that even a photo of a spider elicits (Extremely irritating) screams of terror from their gaping maws. Director Mike Mendez’ (The Convent, The Gravedancers) latest opus Big Ass Spider is NOT a movie for them. But if you’re like me and you seriously dig films that this one is paying homage to like Kingdom Of The Spiders (1977), The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), Arachnophobia (1990) or this year’s Spiders then you’re gonna be in eight legged heaven while you watch Big Ass Spider!

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The plot isn’t anything you haven’t seen/heard of before: The military is experimenting with an alien spider by implanting it in a human host and of course it escapes its host in a Los Angeles hospital and due to its alien nature, grows exponentially every four hours or so. But luckily for L.A. (& apparently the entire globe), also seeking treatment in this very same hospital is exterminator Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg) who’s never met a spider he couldn’t take down and with the help of a hapless Hispanic security guard named Jose (Lombardo Boyar), he sets out to stomp the spider out of existence. But remember, this spider is getting bigger & BIGGER….

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While the script (By Gregory Gieras) offers nothing new to the Killer Spider sub genre of horror films, it certainly does it’s very best to entertain its intended audience. Director Mike Mendez is a seasoned pro behind the camera and knows how to keep a movie moving as well as make it look a lot more expensive than it actually is and the titular character is one impressive looking arachnid but the film works as well as it does because of its cast. Grunberg is a familiar face to most if not all of us thanks to his TV gig a few years back in Heroes (2006-10) but none of his previous work had given me the inclination to believe that he could be such a goodnatured, amiable & funny actor! There’s a charming goofiness to his characterization here that really helps sell the ridiculousness of the film’s central premise. And Lombardo Boyar is absolute comic perfection as Jose, Alex’ sidekick/assistant. Together the spider slaying duo make BAS one hell of an entertaining film! As a matter of fact, they’re so freakin’ good here that not only can I not imagine this film with anyone else in their roles but I really wanna see a sequel featuring these characters getting together again. It’s hard to describe but when you see the film you’ll understand what I mean, it’s like the two have worked together for years and their line readings feel so natural and free that you’ll instantly want more of them.

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Mendez was smart enough to cast some very familiar faces to support Grunberg & Boyar as well. Lin Shaye (Insidious: Chapter 2), Ray Wise (Jeepers Crepers 2, Twin Peaks) & Patrick Bauchau offer their usual sterling support work in the film and amazingly enough (Considering the really small amount of money this film was made for), the CGI work is quite effective if a bit dodgy at times. It’s way better than what we’re used to seeing in low budget horror films as of late, especially any coming from The Asylum (Who could really learn a few things by watching this movie).

Another thing I really liked about BAS is that it takes place in a big city and stays there for the duration. Nearly every one of the films I mentioned earlier take place in small towns and while there’s nothing really wrong with that, I found it a refreshing change of pace to see this film take place in the big city. The proceedings had an epic feel to them, a cool King Kong vibe that I enjoyed a great deal. And while the title of the film might sound a bit silly at first, haven’t you ever seen a bug that looked a bit bigger than you were used to and proclaimed it a “Big Ass” {fill in the blank)? You know you have…don’t lie to me!

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What Big Ass Spider wants to be is a Tarantula (1955) for a new generation and with a knowing wink at the audience it succeeds completely! It’s funny as hell, has some great performances in it & features one creepy big ass spider that is effectively scary. There’s literally nothing that it does wrong besides the occasionally wonky CGI work (Which is only noticeable if you’re looking for it actually) and its “Follow The Dots” script. I can forgive that if I’m entertained and Big Ass Spider most definitely entertained me! They even got the running time right, at just over 80 minutes Big Ass Spider is the perfect length for a film of this nature. It’s self aware enough to know when the joke is drawn out and doesn’t hang around long enough to ruin it, it’s smart and secure film making!

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I really loved every second of this movie and I don’t think I’ve had this much fun watching a film in a long time! I really encourage anyone reading this to watch it as soon as you can and fall in love with an exterminator, a security guard and their slapsticky struggles against one BIG ASS SPIDER! You can thank me later…

Big Ass Spider is now availabel on bluray per Epic Pictures
Big Ass Spider
– 4.5 out of 5 shrouds.

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Those of you who don't know of The Black Saint & have yet to commit yourselves to him body, mind & soul will find yourselves in a most uncomfortable position when my army of acolytes is complete & ready to wreak havok upon this pitiful blue ball we live on. Oh, I really like horror movies as well & will take on all comers in a horror trivia contest. Bring it on!
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