Big Ass Spider!

“Big Ass Spider!” a sci-fi movie about a giant alien spider that rampages the city of Los Angeles, premieres Friday. The movie is playing at Gators 4 Cinema at 10 p.m. “It’s going to be something good,” said Jason McNeal, UF’s English department film and equipment manager.

Creeping from our worst nightmares, a “Big Ass Spider!” will be released in a theater near you, crushing buildings with its hairy legs, spitting skin-melting acid and making people laugh.

For one night, Gators 4 Cinema, located at 6741 W. Newberry Road near the Oaks Mall, will show “Big Ass Spider!,” a B-roll, independent, horror spoof about a 50-foot-tall creature that breaks out of a military lab near Los Angeles. The film starts at 10 p.m. on Friday, and admission is $7. It will also be released that day worldwide on video on demand.

The film, directed by Mike Mendez, started getting a lot of attention after it was screened at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and quickly became one of the most talked-about films shown there this year.

The buzz from that “is really what got me going on it because I realized that this wasn’t going to be a piece of crap. It’s going to be something good,” said Jason McNeal, UF’s English department film and equipment manager, who is responsible for bringing the film to Gainesville.

“I know that people are not going to have an opportunity to see it on the big screen,” he said. “I like people to see different kinds of movies if they can, and seeing it at home on your television set is not the same.”

Ryan Hopewell, a 29-year-old UF anthropology senior who works at Video Rodeo, laughed after he saw the trailer and said the film looks fun.

“Nobody is going to go see ‘Big Ass Spider!’ and expect that they are going to be horrified. They are going to go to laugh and just enjoy themselves because that’s the style of movie — an over-the-top horror movie,” he said.

Although she doesn’t like scary movies, 21-year-old UF sculpture senior Marla Rosen said “Big Ass Spider!” is something she would be interested in seeing because it looks funny.

“I think that this movie is very Gainesville-appropriate,” she said. “It’s great that they are bringing it here for only one night because it makes it into a cool experience. It makes it special.”

In a recent film review, Crave Online said, “There is indeed a ‘Big Ass Spider!’ you should be aware of it, and you should be supporting exactly what this movie is doing with the low budget sci-fi monster genre.”

If the film does well on Friday, McNeal said he can potentially run it again if more people are interested in seeing it. He could also show other indie films in the future, making it into an event of sorts. There’s “definitely other stuff that I have my eye on,” he said.

For more information about the film or to see the trailer, check out its website at http://bigassspider.com/.

A version of this story ran on page 7 on 10/17/2013 under the headline "‘Big Ass Spider!’ crawls into local movie theater"