Big Ass Spider (2013)
Review by Jude Felton
Director, Mike Mendez, might not be the most prolific, when it comes to films, but he does tend to deliver. From 2000’s The Convent which, aside from the appearance of the herb-assisted Coolio, was an absolute gem, to his 2006 film, The Gravedancers, which screened as part of the After Dark Horrorfest (when it was actually worth something), he knows how to make a damned entertaining movie.
Now, he’s back with Big Ass Spider. Not Biggest Spider, as I have seen it foolishly relabeled, but Big ASS Spider, and here he’s notched the fun factor up a dozen or so rungs on the ladder. Sure, you might be forgiven for thinking that this will be another SyFy-type Mega-Shark-Piranha-Tornado-style slice of cheap and cheerful fluff, although I can assure you that it is far beyond those flicks.
What lifts Big Ass Spider up into the higher reaches of cinematic enjoyment, among other things, is the funny as hell script, which rarely misses a beat. It’s this that helps you get past some of the wonky CGI, which admittedly isn’t really that bad. This movie has a pulse though, and this pulses increases in speed throughout the film’s running time. Seriously, it’s just damned fun to watch.
You don’t really need to know too much about a plot, aside from the fact that Alex Mathis, a smalltime exterminator, gets roped into helping with a spider problem; a big ass spider problem. Well, actually it’s a fairly small spider, to start out with, but if you’ve seen the artwork, trailer or even the opening scene, you’ll know that this bugger gets pretty big, pretty damned quickly.
On top of the non-stop action, and laughs, there’s also some great performances, both big (ass) and small. Greg Grunberg, as Alex, is spot on in the lead role, but when you also have the likes of Lin Shaye, Ray Wise and the ever-reliable Ruben Pla showing up, you know you’re in for a good time. Hell, they even helped me forget that Lloyd Kaufman pops up for one, thankfully, brief scene.
Big Ass Spider does not aim for greatness, it won’t win any mainstream awards, and it’s not the “best” film ever. However, in terms of action-packed fun, with a huge slice of humor, you won’t be able to go too far wrong. Mendez strikes another win with Big Ass Spider, and for my money it was one of the most entertaining films I have seen in ages. Get in there; it’s a barrel of laughs!
Big Ass Spider is available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Epic Pictures.