Other principle roles include Lombardo Boyar and Clare Kramer.
The movie starts off with one of the greatest opening shots I’ve ever seen. Alex the exterminator (Greg) wakes up after a car accident. In slow motion he walks down the road. Fire is everywhere. Many are burning and grimy, and running from something (obviously a big ass spider). Soldiers are firing at it. He reaches the bottom of a skyscraper, looks up, and boom! Right there, a big ass spider blows up a helicopter, because what else is the helicopter supposed to do? Fly?
It cuts back to twelve hours earlier, to his first job of the day and interactions with his “favorite” customer. Scary stuff. And then he gets bitten by a brown recluse. I honestly thought the brown recluse would be the giant spider; it is part of the synopsis after all. It does get him to the hospital where everything goes down. He meets security guard Jose (Lombardo), Lt. Brant (Clare), and Major Tanner (Ray). All of these principal characters need to stop a giant CGI spider from growing to King Kong proportions.
Naturally it doesn’t work. One of the interesting parts about this movie is how it hijacked the “Hide yo wife, hide yo kids!” craziness during an interview. That was actually pretty funny. Lloyd Kaufman of Troma fame was also entertaining in his cameo. To the movie itself, for the budget they have, the spider effects were much better than most. The fire effects, not so much. This doesn’t detract from my enjoyment anyway. It’s a brightly colored movie with decent production values.
The story is naturally cliché with this kind of movie, but that’s alright. The characters and the dialog make it work. All of the principle characters are likeable, except probably the scientist (Patrick Bauchau) but he has some funny lines. I loved Jose though. He was having an absolute blast and had the best lines of all of them. From his introduction scene he’s just… bouncy, and it affects the viewer because he’s so likeable. He isn’t the brightest and the writers used that to give his character depth. He just wants to help. Major Tanner is actually a reasonable authority figure and adds some different elements to this kind of movie.
At a quick 80 minutes (including credits) the movie is frenetic in pacing. There isn’t a single dull moment to be had because they didn’t go the Godzilla 2014 route; it’s about 60 minutes in all of spider action. The action and cinematography itself work great together. Anything the spider does, it is in full view. They have great use of soldier POV cams- with admittedly the worst HUD display ever.
It can also get pretty gory in a couple of spots, especially near the beginning; the PG-13 rating was really pushed. The on-screen deaths are almost to the triple digits. Los Angeles loses a lot of money in the attack. Explosions, giant spiders, baby spiders, hot women, and comedy abound- watch this movie as part of a Halloween marathon. That’s what this was made for. And don’t forget the popcorn like I did. This is definitely one of those films.