Monday, March 14, 2016

Big Ass Spider! (2013)

Number Rolled: 100
Movie Name/Year: Big Ass Spider! (2013)
Tagline: 10 stories high and very hungry.
Genre: Horror
Length: 80 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Epic Pictures Group, Film Entertainment Services, ICE Animations, Snowfort Pictures, Syfy
Producer: Shaked Berenson, Patrick Ewald, Sarah Gyldenvand, Uri Levanon, Erik Olson, Travis Stevens, Klaus von Sayn-Wittgenstein
Director: Mike Mendez
Writer: Gregory Gieras
Actors: Greg Grunberg, Lin Shaye, Ruben Pla, Alexis Kendra, Lombardo Boyar, Bob Bledsoe, Ray Wise, Clare Kramer, Patrick Bauchau, Kerry O’Quinn, Adam Gierasch, Bobby C. King, James C. Mathis III, Lloyd Kaufman

Blurb from Netflix: Alex is a lonely bug exterminator whose trying day begins with a bite from a venomous brown recluse spider, and gets worse from there.

Selina’s Point of View:
Big Ass Spider! surpassed every expectation I had for it. It was pretty damn good.

Sure, with a name like Big Ass Spider! you can’t really expect more than “so bad it’s good.” But that’s fine. It was a B-movie that knew what it was and owned the hell out of it. The script was incredibly funny and a lot of the spider scenes, in the beginning anyway, were Arachnophobia (1990) level creepy.

I even recognized a few nods to one of my favorite films, Starship Troopers (1997). I’m pretty certain those nods were on purpose. If not? Headcanon.

The actors really seemed to enjoy their roles and it made everything more fun to watch. Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Burning Dog, Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens) has amazing comedic timing and he worked really well with Lombardo Boyar (Murder in the First, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Some Kind of Beautiful).

Then there’s Ray Wise (Agent Carter, Fresh off the Boat, Newsreaders). As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, he will ALWAYS be the devil to me thanks to his part in the short-lived TV show, Reaper (2007-2009). I found that this film allowed me to keep my perspective. At one people, someone actually says, “see you in hell,” in one of his scenes and I had my own private little giggle.

This film is a great example of how you get a movie into that “so bad, it’s good” category. You expect the shoddy graphics and the ridiculous premise, but it has to do at least one thing extremely well. In this case, that thing was the script. Gregory Gieras (A Fine Step, Beyond, Dark Island) really knocked it out of the park on this one. The characters were fun, if not super deep, and the banter was just on another level.

As usual with B-movies, this film is not for everyone. It’s for people like me who enjoy a shot of ridiculousness now and again. I’d watch Big Ass Spider! again in a heartbeat.

Cat’s Point of View:
The SyFy Channel can be rather hit or miss with its made-for-TV movies. Big Ass Spider! was a decided hit for me. While the premise wasn’t exactly original, the delivery was well executed for what it was.

I’d seen this when it first aired on the network, and recall enjoying it. With this second watch-through, though, I must say that I actually found myself somewhat forgetting that it was a TV movie. That particular genre typically has the extended transitions between scenes for the insertion of commercials and station identification. The film seemed to flow smoothly – or I was invested enough in the story that I didn’t notice if those pauses were there.

There was a lot of bang for the buck in the special effects utilized in this movie, as well. There have been some effects stinkers that network has put out, let me tell you. This wasn’t one of them.

I enjoyed the casting, as well. Greg Grunberg (Super 8, A Tiger's Tail, Heroes Reborn) was an excellent choice for the hero. (Yes. I entirely did that on purpose.) His delivery amped up the comedy factor without making this a total cheese-fest. I especially enjoyed the exchanges between his character and the security guard played by Lombardo Boyar (Happy Feet, Least Among Saints, Tales of Halloween).

Sure, they played to a few Hispanic stereotypes; but it wasn’t at a disrespectful level and seemed very tongue-in-cheek.

Other than the fact that the movie involved ‘big ass spiders,’ the only thing that made me really cringe was one of Greg’s scenes during the course of his extermination attempt. I was reminded of one of the ABCs of Death (2012) segments. Ew.

I was also amused to find Lin Shaye (Dark Moon Rising, Noobz, Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves) in this film. She has a real talent for adorable creepiness. She’s that lady that seems really nice but makes you horribly uncomfortable for whatever reason. Love it.

Some of the acting was a little ‘eh’ but on the whole it was an entertaining movie, and I would definitely recommend it. There were a few rather graphic segments regarding spider victims. If letting kids watch this, have hands ready to cover those eyes. It’s not very many, though.

Arachnophobes beware!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 79%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 44%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Short scene right after the credits begin.

Movie Trailer:

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