A giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampage the city of
Los Angeles. When a massive military strike fails, it is up to a team
of scientists and one clever exterminator to kill the creature before
the city is destroyed.
Genre : SF
Country : USA
Greg Grunberg : Alex
Lombardo Boyar : Jose
Ray Wise : Major Braxton Tanner
"I could be the Robin to your Batman, the Tonto to your Lone Ranger…"
I 'm actually a little biased because I have a weak spot for B-movies in the category of horror and SF. "Big Ass Spider" belongs in that list of low-budget B-movies. There have been several films in which the content is covered by the title itself . In "Snakes on a plane" you know that it´s not going to be about chickens on a train. And "Dinoshark" obvious was about a dinosaur-like shark. The quality of "Big Ass Spider" was a lot higher than the latter . Even for me as a fan of such movies, I thought "Dinoshark" was a bit too much and I found it a terribly bad movie. The intro of "Big ass Spider" is simply brilliant. A
slow-motion shot where Alex Mathis (Greg Grunman) regains
consciousness and continues strolling down the street while bystanders
flee and soldiers fire their automatic rifles and debris is hurtling
down. And all that while "Where is my mind" from the Pixies is playing. A superb cover in a serene manner. In one word : stunning. And
then the image of the oversized insect : a kind of black widow clinging
to a skyscraper and hitting helicopters out of the air with its pointed
legs that also drill into the building. A tribute to the famous "King Kong" movie .
Of course this is not a movie like "Pacific Rim" or "Godzilla" where huge budgets are used so you start drooling while seeing the CGI and the acting sometimes makes you cry. If you expect a well developed story with flawless special effects and convincing and believable acting, then it is best to leave this one aside. Eventually, you can compare it with the famous monster movies from the years 50-70 like "Them", "The Swarm", "The Deadly Mantis" or "Empire of the Ants" and later "Tremors", "Starship Troopers" and "Killer Bees". All of which the protagonist is a bug and it is greater than the movie itself. The actors are secondary. Here the bugs are the stars.
Indeed, the story isn't breathtaking. A huge spider that afflicts a metropolis and makes enormous casualties in a short time. That just about covers the entire movie. There are moments the SE just looks abominable. Especially when the spider moves quickly around and chases future victims. Terribly bad was the chase with the jeep . The jeep was even shown in an accelerated pace. Something I have not seen since Benny Hill. The smaller spiders looked convincing and the huge specimen at the end was also enjoyable. The rare images of corpses mutilated and melting faces because of acid, was pretty realistic. The
performances were sometimes distressing bad except the roguish duo
Alex, the cheerful fat man and a benign bug exterminator, and Jose, a
security guard from the hospital with a Mexican accent who doesn´t know what it´s all about half the
time and walks around with a surprised look on his face. These two figures provide the humor, and I must admit there were some chuckle moments anyway. Personally, I found the elevator scene a hilarious moment. "Twin Peaks" figure Ray Wise was asked to interpret the role of Major Braxton Tanner. A not so impressive role eventually . Of course there were the obligatory busty female figurants parading around in tiny bikinis.
Normally, the emphasis in this genre of movies is on the disastrous development and the overall panic hereafter. "Big Ass Spider" however aims at the comic part. The only thing I could describe as less successful is the use of the well-known cliché of the unknown and ordinary guy who shows up to prevent a catastrophe that arose through the fault of a higher authority. All the high tech that the military had for use, could not solve the problem. Alex and Jose solve it again with a little bit of courage and a sprayer filled with a homemade chemical liquid. There have been several movies with this premise, so ultimately it didn´t bother me that much.
Conclusion: a highly enjoyable monster movie with a lot of humor. A must-see for those who fancy this kind of movies and watch it on a Saturday night with a big bowl of popcorn.
My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB
Labels: 7/10, SF