(On Cable TV, December 2014) It’s no use trying to pretend otherwise: Big Ass Spider! is nothing but another of those cheap monster-movie-of-the-week that you see so often on SyFy and other cable channels desperate for content. Here, a mutant spider gets bigger and eventually terrorizes Los Angeles, while a local exterminator teams up with the Army to remove the threat. It’s far more comic than horrific, tries to present a monster invasion of a threadbare budget and never aims much higher than blue-collar amusement. (From the title onward, what else were you expecting?) There is, as they say, a market for that, even when it’s a one-note cliché blown over 90 minutes. To its credit, though, Big Ass Spider! is a bit better than most similar films. It has a sense of humor about itself, recognizes some of its limitations, does manage a few effective shots (the lesson, as usual, is to spend more on the important sequences) and even features a Lloyd Kaufmann cameo. Greg Gunberg makes for an effective everyman-hero, but it’s Lombardo Boyar who turns in the most likable performance as his wisecracking sidekick. The script may be a touch too heavy on stereotypical humor, but other lines work well: I was particularly amused at the leading pair’s reactions during an exposition-heavy scene. Big Ass Spider! is not really a good movie, but you can be assured that there is much, much worse out there.