Sometimes, it’s a good idea to give the underdog a shot. Even if it shows none of the signs of being a piece of quality cinema, from time to time a B-movie, however campy, can end up surprising you. This most recent dark horse was a comedy/horror flick called… quite succinctly… Big Ass Spider! I didn’t add the exclamation point, by the way. It comes pre-packaged with the title. Obviously I had every reason to expect this movie to be, erm, unsatisfactory. While giant spider movies can be funny or spooky in their own way, it’s much, much more likely that they’re going to totally blow (Spiders springs to mind right away). And while we occasionally get a winner that rises to the top (Eight Legged Freaks), there’s no shame at all in judging a book by its skittering, eight-legged cover. Big Ass Spider! stars Greg Grunberg, who you all likely know best as Matt Parkman from the show Heroes. He plays a similar, though far more likable, character in this – as Alex Mathis, an exterminator who “can think like a spider.” “We’re just dealing with a big-ass spider.” Now, I noted that I enjoy the Mathis character a good deal better than Parkman, and I want to quickly explain why. Both are chubby losers — which seems to be the sort of role Greg Grunberg is destined to be cast as. But while Matt Parkman is a chubby loser who is graced with an ability that he doesn’t deserve, and proceeds to use that ability very questionably, Alex Mathis is a chubby loser who has a skill that he earned, and uses that skill to help as best he can. He’ll be kind to those who need it, but doesn’t take shit just because he’s too weak to stand up for himself. It makes for a realistic yet compelling character that I actually found myself rooting for, an example of an everyman done right. I should get on to the movie itself, though — not that there’s much to say. It’s just balls-out fantastic. And yeah, I know that I’ve been doing a decreasing amount of “meh” reviews lately, but with all this delicious free reign I’ve found that the movies that inspire me to review them are either extremely good, or heinously terrible. Big Ass Spider! falls firmly under the former category as one of the most memorable B-movies I’ve seen in ages. Hell, it even has the Lloyd Kaufman certificate of authenticity. In that, well, it has Lloyd Kaufman in it, doing a silly jog and then instantly being killed by the big-ayuss spider. So that’s gotta stand for something. Of course, if you don’t know who Lloyd Kaufman is, then there may be nothing I can do for you. We may have to amputate. Pictured: Lloyd Kaufman’s tragic death-by-big-ass-spider. He will be missed. Anyway, the movie begins with Alex Mathis getting bitten by a brown recluse on an extermination job, and being quickly sent to the hospital. Little does he know that a mysterious body bag just arrived – with a darling little present inside, ready to eat the fuck out of absolutely everyone so that it can sustain its physics-defying size. When the first sighting is made, the staff at the hospital (including the security guard, Jose, who is played by Lombardo Boyar) dismisses it as a small animal of some sort since, obviously, spiders straight-up do not fucking get that big. However, Alex Mathis hears the commotion and promises to handle the issue, “pro bono”… which in his case, means he’ll do it if his hospital bill “goes away.” The chief administrator agrees and Alex gets into action, bringing Jose along with him. Jose provides the film’s sustained comic relief… however, it’s worth noting that while most designated funny sidekicks are annoying and worthless, Jose is gut-bustingly hilarious and absolutely everything out of his mouth is pure comedic gold. He also ends up actually being pretty damn useful. “Hi!” As the two unlikely heroes go on their search for the spider, we are treated to a both amusing and pants-pissingly terrifying game of cat-and-mouse… or, in this case, losers-and-big-ass-spider. In this “phase” of its life, the spider is just small enough to be realistic, yet just big enough to be fucking unacceptable, and it’s during this first act that we get the real scares. Now, I should mention that I’m very severely arachnophobic – of the “paralysis and helpless shrieking” variety – but I also didn’t watch this movie by myself. And everyone watching, myself included, and during a certain scene specifically, joined in on the classic chorus of “nononononoNONONONONONONONOFUCKAHHHHHHH,” as one is wont to do. I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that, if you have anything even resembling a fear of spiders, tryyyyy not to watch this alone. Unless of course you want nightmares/phantom spiders on your neck. ‘Cause you’ll have them. Eventually the army gets involved, revealing that they’re involved with it somehow and searching the hospital for the critter before it enters the next phase of its life… after which it will quadruple in size. That’s, um… that’s four times, by the way. x4. 400%. S’bad. It’s also not the last time it plans to quadruple. Gonna need more bugspray, bud. The spider inevitably escapes through the sewers (since sewers work that way) and the dynamic duo of Alex and Jose chase after it, doing things their way while the army searches for it using cameras and news feeds – and amazingly, keeping up with them every step of the way. Between Alex’s knowledge of spiders and Jose’s random flashes of inspiration, they manage to track the big ass spider to a nearby park, where it is now about the size of a minivan and impaling a truly tragic number of bikini-clad women. Lloyd Kaufman dies somewhere around here, but everyone else manages to survive this phase of the critter’s life. However, Alex’s love interest, an army lieutenant by the name of Karly (portrayed by Clare Kramer), is webbed up and captured. The spider then escapes once more, and Alex and Jose team up with the armed forces to stop this King Kong-sized spider once and for all – leading to an ultimately enjoyable and satisfying climax that I won’t spoil for you, since I want you to watch the film and support it. “Fuck the Square-Cube Law, mothahfuckah – I’ma big-ass spider!” If I hadn’t made it obvious enough, I enjoyed this piece of work thoroughly. Well-cast and well-shot, this is one of those horror/comedy hybrids that manages to be both genuinely scary and genuinely funny. It’s a rare combination, but it’s one of my all-time favorites. Each line of dialogue is a gem, and the love that went into this really shows. It’s charming, well-put-together, and you really don’t want to let it pass you by. Silly name or not, give Big Ass Spider! a shot when you’ve got a few beers and someone to watch it with. See larger image Big Ass Spider! (Blu-Ray) New From: $16.99 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.