Mania Grade: B-
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- Rated: PG-13
- Starring: Greg Gunberg, Lombardo Boyar, Ray Wise, Clare Kramer, Lin Shaye
- Written By: Gregory Gieras
- Directed By: Mike Mendez
- Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
- Original Year of Release: 2013
- Special Features: See Below
Big Ass Spider Blu-Ray Review
The King Kong of Spider Films
By Tim Janson
December 28, 2013
The Big Ass Spider is in town!
© Paramount Home Entertainment
I have always had a soft spot for those old, giant bug films like Them, and Tarantula. Those schlocky sci-fi/horrors of the 1950s were often unintentionally funny but always entertaining. Big Ass Spider is a throwback to those films but with a Tremors style brand of humor. Greg Gunberg (Heroes) stars as Alex Mathis, an exterminator who specializes in “getting into the heads of spiders”. Mathis ends up at a hospital after being bit by one of his prey. The military arrives on the scene with Ray Wise as Major Tanner and Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Lieutenant Brant, looking for a body that was delivered to the morgue in error.
The body was home to a spider, genetically manipulated with microbes found in Martian soil which cause the spider to grow exponentially. Mathis, and hospital security guard Jose (Boyar) team-up to hunt down the arachnid, unaware of its true nature. The spider grows from the size of a small dog, to the size of a man, to that of a large dinosaur as it wreaks destruction in downtown Los Angeles. As the military fails to control the giant spider, it is up to Alex and Jose to kill the beast before it can lay its eggs.
Big Ass Spider is heavily influenced by both Arachnophobia and Tremors, both of which are superior films. Its special effects are strictly Sy-Fy Channel quality and this would be the type of film you would expect to find on that network were it not for the quality of the cast. Grundberg and Boyer are the most enjoyable monster-hunting team to come along since Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon joined forces for Tremors in 1990. They share playing straight man and comic foil equally and deliver more laughs than the film has a right.
Ray Wise and his electric smile never fail to entertain. While he might not be believable as a military commander he still commands every scene he is in. The always wacky Lin Shaye has bit role as Alex’s “favorite” customer. Legendary cult film Producer/director/actor, and founder of Troma Studios, Lloyd Kaufman, has a cameo as a jogger who runs afoul of the giant arachnid.
Big Ass Spider isn’t a film you want to sit down and over analyze as there are plot points you can drive holes through and sub-par CGI. The first 20 minutes are far too similar to Arachnophobia before it finally finds its own legs. This is the type of film you just sit back and enjoy the ride and move on. The film had a limited theatrical release and will be available on blu-ray and DVD on January 7.
Big Ass Spider Premiere (5:07) – The Director and cast meet fans at the films premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas as Director Mike Mendez introduces the film to an eager audience.
Interviews with the Cast (1:30) – At a mere minute and a half these are not interviews but rather just a few short comments from Grunberg, Kramer, and Boyar about the film.