TADFF Movie Review: Big Ass Spider! (2013)
There is no surprise when you sit down to watch a movie with the title Big Ass Spider! You can sit back and begin to devour your popcorn, but ultimately, you are bound to witness a big ass spider across your viewing screen. The only question to be answered is how big the big ass spider will become.
Director Mike Mendez is well aware that the title ultimately contains a three-word description of the film but that doesn’t stop him from exploiting the arachnid for as much fun as he can pack into an 85-minute feature.
Staring Greg Grunberg (NBC’s Heroes), Big Ass Spider is your prototypical scientific experiment gone wrong. A biologically produced spider grows exponentially and terrorizes the city of Los Angeles. The Military is on the chance (lead by the always B-movie reliable, Ray Wise) but the hopes of the city rest squarely upon the shoulders of exterminator Alex Mathis (Gunberg) and security guard turned side-kick, Jose (Lombardo Boyar).
Debuting to audience appreciation at SXSW, Big Ass Spider has an acute mix of comedy and special effects that elevate the film above the standard mutated creature flicks that parade themselves out boastfully on the Syfy channel.
Grunberg carries the film in confident style and the quick wit screenplay by Gregory Gieras allows for plenty of sitcom style comedy. Most of the laughs however come from co-actor Boyar whose simple-minded Jose almost steals the move from underneath Grunberg and Wise’s noses.
The effects are above television standards and therefore allow audiences to keep their groan buttons under lock and key. And even though the film borrows from the better parts of Aliens, Starship Troopers and even Godzilla, Mendez keeps everything moving along briskly and is clearly intending to entertain in place of treading new ground.
Big Ass Spider! will inherently have a built-in audience. You are not going to get many fans of the larger than life creature feature tricking their loved ones with such an overt title. But those that are aware of what they are about to experience are likely to be able to sit back and enjoy this CGI-heavy action comedy for what it was intended.