Big Ass Spider Movie Review

Written by Becky Roberts

DVD released by Studiocanal

Directed by Mike Mendez
Written by Gregory Gieras
2013, 80 minutes, Rated 15(UK)
DVD released on 23rd December 2013

Greg Grunberg as Alex
Lin Shaye as Mrs Jefferson
Ray Wise as Major Braxton Tanner
Clare Kramer as Lieutenant Karly Brant
Lombardo Boyar as Jose 



If the legendary arachnid adventures in Eight Legged Freaks and Arachnophobia weren't enough to prove the insect may deserve just a sideline presence in the creature feature, director Mike Mendez brings a new spider to town. And this time it's an even bigger, even more cacophonous one.

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When a giant, dangerous spider escapes from military confinement and takes residence in a Los Angeles hospital, friendly neighbourhood bug guy Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg) offers his services as the right person to catch the critter. As the spider spreads terror and infection across the city, growing bigger and bigger every minute and plucking people from the streets for breakfast, it becomes a race between the military and the unlikely hero and his (equally unlikely) new-found sidekick Jose (Lombrado Boyar) to save the people of LA from the eight-legged mutant.

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As the title frankly suggests, Big Ass Spider is by no means original, nor revolutionary. A giant spider engulfs a population and threatens the entire human race. It’s a ridiculous concept, and in some ways, Mendez indulges in the burgeoning trash of how the monster movie subgenre is typically tackled today - with overtly humorous dialogue, exaggerated character traits and over-stylized CGI. It can be downright absurd, atrociously good humoured and offensively straight-forward. But what more would you expect from a movie called Big Ass Spider?

But - as much as it sounds like it could be - it’s not the latest addition in the SyFy series. Instead, it’s surprisingly well constructed. Its satirical approach and conventionally structured sci-fi horror plot are just some of the ways Mendez succeeds in bringing back a familiar, and much-missed, sparkle to the classic B-movie. Handled with a nice dose of both nostalgia and modern flair, Big Ass Spider is a respectful tribute and, though not particularly ambitious, a fun and farfetched journey nonetheless. Grunberg and fellow cast members that include Lin Shaye, Ray Wise and Clare Kramer promise a comical, somewhat ludicrous, time. But it’s the incongruous relationship between Grunberg and Boyar that really keeps the fun at large, not least in their comically consistent breakdowns in communication.

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It’s entertaining enough from start to end and comfortably rides the fine lines between spoof and seriousness. If you want splatter and silliness in survivable measure, and don't expect it to defy the likeliness of its title, make this your next Friday night popcorn movie. I could certainly think of, and have endured, far worse company for 80 minutes.

Video, Audio and Special Features:

Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.


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