In 2010 Rubber nearly killed movies for me. Generally all I want to know about a movie is the genre, writer, director, or star(s). I know what appeals to me and what doesn’t; I attend the former, avoid the latter. More often than not I don’t watch trailers or previews. I like a certain amount of surprise.
When I came across Rubber’s trailer I was instantly smitten. Robert, a tire, comes to life and then discovers his telepathic ability to explode people and animals’ heads. While traveling through the desert he develops an intense obsession for a mysterious woman. The tagline: Are You TIRED of the Expected?
Ah. Hell. Yeah.
Some films that are exactly what they advertise, some are pretentious garbage. Rubber was the latter, which is why it turned me off of movies. Luckily there are filmmakers like Mike Mendez who know a genre, love the genre and can produce a film that delivers. Big Ass Spider! is exactly that kind of a movie.
Big Ass Spider! will never win an Oscar. It will be lucky to get a limited theater run. It is full of cheesy CGI, explosions and blood. There is the gratuitous girls in bikinis playing volley scene. The plot is typical “military science has over stepped its bounds and created a monster” construction. In a Q&A after the screening at SXSW, Mike Mendez himself admitted that there was a good likelihood that the film would eventually be the movie of the week on SyFy (though as of yet there’s no specific plans).
In other words, the title really does say it all.
While it would seem like I’m bagging on Big Ass Spider!, I’m really not. This movie is full of heart and a lot of fun. Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg) is an exterminator, a regular Joe looking for the American dream. Actually, he is just looking for paying customers and a date. A trip to the ER lands him in the middle of a hunt for a genetically modified spider which is growing exponentially bigger. With the help of the hospital’s security guard, Jose Ramos (Lombardo Boyar), Alex has to take out a big ass spider to save the world, and hopefully impress the girl, Lieutenant Karly Brant (Clare Kramer). While Mendez was very limited in his means for effects, and the simplicity of the plot, it’s the strength of the chemistry between Alex and Jose that makes the film so entertaining.
If you are a fan of the big monster genre Big Ass Spider! is a great film to waste a Friday night on.
I spoke with Mike Mendez about when we can expect to see Big Ass Spider! in theaters. So far there’s no date, but he assures me he’s on it.
This article was first posted on March 18, 2013