I’m starting to get the impression that with these over-sized monster films, there’s a single script that Hollywood passes around, which is then given a quick polish to give a new location and add in whatever the creature is. Often that results in a pretty rubbish movie, but Big Ass Spider is actually quite fun and has a good sense of humour, even if it has exactly the same plot as 1000s of other films of its ilk.
Greg Grunberg (Heroes) plays Alex, an exterminator who has a bit of a problem on the job and ends up in hospital. At the same time a body enters the morgue that has an over-sized spider hiding inside it. Soon the spider is out and causing havoc, so Alex suggests that in return for the hospital paying his medical bills, he’ll hunt the creature down.
What he doesn’t know is that this is just the beginning of the problem, as the spider is part of a secret government program, and it’s growing at an exponential rate. Soon it’s not just a big arachnid, it’s an absolutely enormous one that’s easily the size of a house. It may be too big for even Alex to deal with, especially with the military getting in the way.
Plot-wise we have definitely seen all this before, to the point where I was virtually groaning with each new plot development, as every single one mimics that laziest of monster movie clichés. Luckily though, from the first moments the film shows that while it may not be bothered with making anything new out of the plot, but it certainly wants to have some fun and inject proceedings with a bit of personality.
The opening sequence, where Grunberg walks through downtown LA as chaos reigns and a giant spider lays waste to the city, is extremely well done. It’s one of a few extremely well executed scenes, which are interspersed with plenty of moments that will make you smile. It wants to have fun and entertain, knowing that it’s all a bit silly but inviting you along for the ride anyway. Unfortunately though, along with the good sequences there are a few pretty dreadful ones, mainly as a result of the special effects suddenly looking incredibly cheap and tacked on top of the live-action footage. Luckily it’s not too much of a problem though.
Overall Verdict: The plot may not have a single original idea (indeed it seems to actively avoid anything that hasn’t been done many times before) but instead the film concentrates on entertaining fans of this sort of b-movie monster movie, and at that it succeeds.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac