SXSW Chronicles: Big Ass Spider!

Out of Order didn’t want to take this one off my hands. Here you are, Internet!

It will help you imagine the rest of the movie if I tell you that those helicopters have no missiles and just hover there until the spider crushes them.


 “It’s a B movie,” they said. “Don’t expect too much,” they said. “Have a few drinks first,” they said.

 I tried to listen, except for the part about the drinks, but the trouble with Big Ass Spider! wasn’t expecting too much, but expecting anything at all, save the monster promised in the title.

There is a spider. It is big ass, big-ass, bigass, however you spell it.

There are also some human characters, two of whom are funny. One of those never appears after the first scene, which is clever and promising and in no way representative of the rest of the film. Instead, we get a stock parade of gruff general, pretty no-nonsense girl soldier, non-soldier girls with large breasts running away from things, grunts being sent into futile combat against an unkillable opponent, and a Hispanic janitor who is Hispanic.

I’d like to comment briefly on the grunts. Even in a horror comedy, it feels a little insulting to tell us that the Army’s main strategy in dealing with an eight-legged monster with tank-like armor is to throw out foot soldiers without a single rocket launcher between them. Director Mike Mendez’s attempt to inject some military pathos into the script later on falls even flatter than it should have following the abject and inexplicable massacre of so many helpless men. Soldiers are massacred all the time on film, of course, but even Transformers at least takes them seriously.

Anyway, sorry for the interlude, but it’s the only non-surface thing I could think to say about the flim. Props to Mike Mendez for making his vision reality without much of a budget, but writing a good screenplay costs exactly as much as writing a bad screenplay, and he took the low road. There are no surprises, precious few laugh lines, and no real logic in any aspect of the growing-spider situation (compared to Cloverfield or Aliens or even most bad modern monster movies). The spider looks okay, but is more in-your-face powerful than frightening after it molts into its first big-ass form. (There are many different forms, and we hear about them in absurd detail.)

Some say there’s an audience for any movie. I honestly do not think anyone reading this review would enjoy Big Ass Spider! Please do something else with your time.

Leave a Reply