2014 is here, and I hope you’ve all had a good holiday time. But no wit’s time to get back into the swing of things.And I feel like starting off the new year with Big Ass Spider! It’s directed by Mike Mendez, who previously directed such movies like The Convent and The Gravedancers. I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of Gravedancers, but I was willing to give a giant spider movie a go. So let’s see if it’s worth one’s time.
Greg Grunberg plays Alex Mathis, a local exterminator and an all-around nice guy. After getting inadvertently bitten by a spider because of one of his clients trying to squish it while on his arm, he soon finds he has gained fantastic superpowers. Ok, maybe not.
Mathis actually goes to the hospital to get the bite looked at. And it must be fate, because in the morgue an unusually large spider pops out of corpse and attacks the mortician before escaping into the vents. Before long, the military shows up to take control of the situation, with Mathis nosing in to try to help out (as well as impress Lieutenant Karly Brant). But the spider is growing at an exponential rate, and becoming more resistant to conventional weaponry. As the body count rises, will they kill the spider before it gets too big to handle? Will Mathis get the girl in the end? Will there be cake?
I had a blast watching this movie. I admit, I had some reservations going into this ever since seeing Spiders 3D (see my review here), but this was much better. Greg Grunberg (known mostly to me for his role in Heroes) pulled off a great role as the “man’s man” of exterminators, willing to go one-on-one against a spider that eventually grows several stories tall. His character isn’t alone in this though. He’s teamed up with hospital security guard Jose Ramos (played by Lombardo Boyar) He and Grunberg play off each other very well, and are worth the time watching by themselves.
That’s more than I can say about the extras though. One major scene involves the spider wreaking havoc in a well-populated park. A lot of them looked way too happy during screaming, and while running they had looks on their faces like they were being chased by someone with a water gun as opposed to a mutant spider looking to eat them. I just hope none of them were thinking of being full actors, because I foresee disappointment in their futures.
Let’s get into the spider itself. It looks awesome, given that it’s not your run of the mill spider that is. You learn fairly early in that it’s part of an experiment run by the military, hence why they’re around to try and capture it. While I did enjoy the look of the spider, the CGI isn’t all it could be. When the spider grows larger, there is a blurry effect whenever it moves even slightly fast. This sort of spoils the fun somewhat, but not too much to want to turn the movie off.
Big Ass Spider! is not a scary movie at all, unless you suffer from arachnophobia. A lot of people die, be it from getting a spider leg through the chest, acid spit in your face, or just plain getting eaten. but it’s still got a lighthearted feel throughout. In fact, one could argue that it has more of an element of action than horror, as there are a number of scenes with the military just cutting loose with all the weaponry on-hand that can be used. Hell, I think 8-Legged Freaks has more of a horror feeling than BAS! does.
If you need a movie to watch where you can just shut your brain off and enjoy the comedy and mass murder caused by a giant freak spider, than this is right up your alley. While I can’t really give it points for horror, it’s still quite entertaining, so go see it as soon as you get the chance. Rest in peace.
Macabre Rating: 3.5 out of 5 tombstones.