Big Ass Spider (2013)


A giant mutant spider escapes from a military lab and goes on a rampage through the city of Los Angeles. When a massive military strike fails, it is up to one clever exterminator to kill the creature before its eggs hatch and the city is overran with hundreds of mutant spiders. 

REVIEW: I'm a very vocal person when it comes to my annoyance with the overabundance of Shark movies in the B-Movie genre as of late. Surely the majority of them could have still essentially been the exact same movie with a different killer animal, so why not switch it up a bit and get some variety out there? That's why I've been doing my bit to help promote other corners of the killer animal B-Movie market that seem to have a shot at giving the sharks a run for their money. Dinosaur flicks have been putting up a good fight these last couple years with movies like Area 407, The Dinosaur Project, Jurassic Attack, Age of Dinosaurs, and the upcoming flicks Poseidon Rex, Jurassic Block, and the very long-awaited Raptor Ranch.

On the flip side, the other animal also doing it's part to dethrone the shark is the spider, with recent movies like Camel Spiders, Arachnoquake, Spiders 3D, Christopher R Mihm's 2013 movie The Giant Spider, and now this Tremors-esque monster comedy Big Ass Spider (previously known as Mega Spider), so when I had the opportunity recently to catch and review Big Ass Spider, of course I jumped at it (and not away from it, like I would a real big ass spider, hahaha).


Big Ass Spider has Matt Parkman from Heroes (I'm keeping the Heroes love alive!), or rather his real-world name of Greg Grunberg as everyone else not still-obsessed with keeping the Heroes love alive calls him, front and center as the main character that we follow around. He's an exterminator that specializes in spiders and after getting hurt doing a Pro Bono job on his day off, goes to the hospital where shortly after, a slightly larger-than-normal spider kills a patient and he offers to track it down and kill it in exchange for his ridiculously high medical bill to be wiped. Throughout the movie he battles not just this abnormally large arachnid, but also something just as difficult – woman troubles. The guy is as unlucky in love as they come, however it's not for lack of trying...almost too much...but always with the expected hilarious results.

Helping him to track down this spider, he teams up with a side-splittingly idiotic hospital security guard, Jose, who totally steals the movie every time he opens his mouth. The guy acts tough when he's not, repeats everything Greg Grunberg says, and makes sure to rudely include his 2 cents into every single conversation that happens around him, he never fails to elicit the intended laugh and the movie is easily raised up a few notches just for having this character in there, and played so perfectly by his relatively-unknown actor, Lombardo Boyar. Him and Greg Grunberg have such great chemistry together, it's easy to accept them as strangers-turned-friends during the events of this movie. Also joining them here is Ray Wise, who has been in just about everything ever made, as the stereotypical cliche thick-headed stubborn military general partially responsible for not only the spider's existence, but all the failed attempts to recapture or kill it after it's initial escape from the hospital due to ignoring any and all advice from the heroes, and playing one of his lead soldiers and one-of-many potential love interests for Greg Grunberg is the always-beautiful Clare Kramer, who most people will probably recognize as Glory from Buffy the Vampire Slayer but fellow B-Movie lovers like myself will also remember as the main character in the direct-to-video sequel, The Skulls 3.


This movie wastes none of its short 80-minute runtime, starting the plot off almost right away and making good headway even before the 20 minute mark. By half an hour in, the acid-spitting mutant spider has been chased around the inner ducts and dusty basements of the hospital, down through the sewers, and out into the middle of the city where it continues to grow immensely and snack down on the all-you-can-eat buffet that is a wide-open park during a hot summer afternoon. The rest of the movie is spent going back and forth between the military and Greg Grunberg trying to track the always-growing-larger spider down, leading them all to a massive showdown atop a skyscraper in the middle of the city. Along the way in there is even a nice little short scene for fans of Found Footage movies as a squad of soldiers with helmet-mounted video cameras go tracking the spider down in a forest. This movie has no shortage of awesome spider-carnage scenes, and while for the most part it tries to stay a bit family-friendly, there are a couple scenes with some decent gore in them, between skin melting from the spider's sprayed acid and some rather fun impalings, Warrior Arachnid-style.

The special effects are never shied away from, as the movie rarely goes more then five minutes without showing the mutant beastie, and while the average B-grade creature feature of modern day has, well, less-than-stellar effects that has people groaning or laughing at it as opposed to with it, this movie had surprisingly great CGI, especially as the spider continued to get bigger and bigger, a place where the CGI in the SyFy Channel Original Movies that I'm usually used to seem to degrade, but here they seem, if anything, to improve the bigger the spider got. The only times the CGI wavered a bit and were not quite up to par with the rest of the movie were a couple scenes of the military soldiers firing on the spider, and especially toward the end when a nest of baby mutant spiders were running around inside the skyscraper. Save for those two instances, the CGI was top-level stuff and far better than I was expecting out of this.

We also thankfully don't get a whole lot of overdone stereotypical exposition as to the military's creation of this thing. We simply get a really short answer of 'We created this thing as an experiment, this is why and how we created it, and due to an error on our behalf it's now loose' and that's literally it. Seeing as how these kinds of movies always have the same overly-drawn out exposition on the military's creation of whatever mutant animal monster said movie is focused on, I can really appreciate that this movie simply drops a few quick sentences on it and then moves on, leaving in the dust any complicated stereotypical subplot detour that would normally accompany such a movie and instead just uses that time for more fun and hilarity with the main leads of Greg Grunberg, the exterminator unlucky in love, and Jose, the hilariously idiotic-but-lovable hospital security guard.


As mentioned at the top of this review, when it comes to the movie's comedic side, the tone of Big Ass Spider is very nearly identical to that of other purposely-campy creature feature comedies such as Slither, 8 Legged Freaks, and the Tremors series. This thing is simply a laugh-riot from start to finish, with I don't think a single scene passing by that didn't have me in stitches at some point. Hell, you know right from the start that you're in for a hilariously campy fun hour and a half when the movie starts off with Greg Grunberg watching in slo-motion as a building-sized mega spider destroys the city around him to the beat of Storm Large's Where Is My Mind.

Big Ass Spider is one of those rare B-Movies that is several levels better then your average SyFy or Asylum-made production and is not just entertaining, but genuinely made so well that it probably could have had a legit wide theatrical release and been at least mildly successful. I can easily see this being the Arachnophobia and 8 Legged Freaks for this decade, and those who loved those movies should also love this one as well and those who hated those movies...well, find yourself a sense of humor for the lowest price that you can and then come back so you can strap on your exterminator gear and enjoy this laugh-riot killer spider comedy.

As for exactly how you can check this movie out? Well so far the home video release isn't slated until January 7th, 2014 but after recently playing at the Toronto International Film Festival you can now currently watch it via Video on Demand services or find it for digital download on sites like Amazon and Itunes, and you can make a safe bet that the day it does finally come out on DVD (and hopefully BluRay as well), I'll be at my local HMV first thing to nab myself a copy.

10/10  rooms in the Psych Ward



Comments

  1. Thank you for enjoying the film as much as we enjoyed making it. Lombardo and I really appreciate you taking the time to watch and review what we think is the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE. You rock!
    - Grunny

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    Replies
    1. Thank YOU guys for making such a fun movie! I look forward to being able to add it to my collection!

      P.S. Heroes is still one of my favorite shows :) Too bad it never did get the proper conclusion it deserved to have after 4 seasons. Your work on that show was phenomenal.

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  2. There is a chance you're eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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