Thursday, October 17, 2013

Big Ass Spider (2013)

I loved Big Ass Spider.

Yea it’s a a little slow at the start- especially after the stunning and funny opening of the giant arachnid on top of a building in LA- but once the first half hour is done this film starts firing on all cylinders and is funny and creepy in a near perfect mix.

The plot of the film has a mis-directed body bag ending up at hospital morgue in LA. Inside the bag is a corpse and riding shot gun is a huge spider. Escaping the body bag and getting loose in the hospital the spider begins killing patients. Meanwhile Alex Mathis is at the hospital. He’s an exterminator who is at the hospital after one of his clients injures him. He offers to take a look for the spider. As the hunt goes on the military comes in tries to lock the hospital down. Unfortunately the military manages to drive the spider into the sewer system and soon it’s growing exponentially eating as it goes and collecting bodies. It all ends as the film begins with the spider on top of an LA landmark ala King Kong.

If you’re expecting anything but an excuse to chow down on popcorn you’re sadly mistaken. This is just a big scale B science fiction horror movie that they used to do in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It’s the sort of silly nonsense that SYFY does on a regular basis – except done with more skill and cleverness than SYFY usually musters.

The reason the film works is the blending of horror and humor. The horror part comes in the form of the spider. First off spiders are inherently creepy creatures, and while I find them neat and not something that bothers me, there is something about the creatures deign in the film, all angular and menacing, that makes it truly scary. Add to it the fact that it can kill you any number of ways including acid spray and you have one mean monster.

The humor is on target. Except for some cheap jokes at Jose’s expense early on the humor is more or less keeping with in the situation. The jokes are a mixture of cocky one liners of the sort we’d expect from a big budget action film, and the sort of thing that you really might say in a situation like the one in the film. Jose going on about not being okay after riding in the truck with Alex or even Alex bitching about the loss of his truck when the spider tosses it are genuine moments. Later on when Alex is going after the spider and is backed up by Karly there is some cocky banter of the sort that great movie heroes would exchange. It pretty much all works and produces genuine laughs not groaners.

Actually the thing I find rather surprising is that outside of some things that are no doubt due to budgetary limitations there is very little I can complain about. I think the only thing is a WTF moment in the park sequence when Alex and Jose are being chased by the spider and they get a ca cal from Karly saying they are in danger of driving into a trap set for the spider. Karly is in a command center- only in the next shot she and all the other characters are standing outside in the park firing at the giant spider.

God damn this film is a great deal of fun. I had a blast. It is what it is and damn proud of it.

I know that isn’t the most coherent or deep review but this is a film that is like a rollercoaster ride- how do you critique a thrill ride? You can’t without draining it of all emotion. I’m going with the emotion here and just say leave the brain at the door, get some popcorn and see this.

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