Big Ass Spider!
More in step with the loving work of Joe Dante and early Ivan Reitman than the “look at how crappy of a movie we can make” irony of something like Sharknado, Mike Mendez’s aptly named Big Ass Spider! is a welcome surprise. It’s a lovingly cheeseball, genuinely funny man vs. beast creature feature that works because it’s simply trying to be genuine rather than a condescending response to the current state of low budget filmmaking.
In exchange for a chance to flirt with cute girls and get a medical bill paid for, down on his luck exterminator Alex (Greg Grunberg) agrees to take care of an arachnid that’s burst out of a corpse’s body in the downstairs morgue. Pretty soon the military arrives – led by the always welcome sight of character actor Ray Wise – to tell everyone they are up against something much bigger than they could imagine. Alex seizes upon the opportunity to outsmart the military and make a name for himself by catching the eight legged menace that begins laying waste to Los Angeles, and sets out with an eager to help security guard (Lombardo Boyar) in tow.
It’s all affably goofy, aiming for actual comedy the entire time rather than a false, over the top seriousness. There’s some nice gore and the film embraces its low budget CGI in the same way a 50s sci-fi film would embrace a rubber or marionette monster. Everyone seems to be having a good time and the fun is infectious. The eminently likeable Grungerg and Boyar have a wonderful chemistry that keeps things buoyant and light hearted throughout. It’s not scary in the slightest, but as these kinds of romps go, it’s an absolute blast. (Andrew Parker)
Friday, October 18th, 7:00pm, Scotiabank Theatre