2014 Horrorfest Presents: Big Ass Spider (2013, Mike Mendez)


Despite being rather low budget and feeling as if it was a SyFy movie of the week Big Ass Spider is pure, dumb entertainment that had plenty of good moments to offset the noticeably poor acting and cheap special effects.  Greg Grunberg’s Alex and Lombardo Boyar’s José have great chemistry together and are one of the reasons why this film even works in the first place, multiple homages to classic gigantic killer insect movies aside. And it does always help to have Ray Wise, who doesn’t seem to mind that he’s in a movie where the characters have the look and feel of people reacting to a clearly CGI-ed monster rampaging through some city. Naturally it’s Los Angeles, which has seen it’s fair share of being destroyed in countless movies over the past century, and will probably be continued to destroyed long into this century and into the next. Hopefully for the people who live there an actual natural disaster never happens again, yet I highly doubt it will be gigantic killer mutant spiders. No, those are more likely to strike the Midwest….crap….

The story here is kind of flimsy and the dialogue isn’t the best, yet I laughed at a lot of the one liners and I was never bored, which is a good thing. What amuses me about giant killer bug movies is how ridiculous they are, and the best ones seem to embrace the outrageous elements of such a concept. Although it’s not a great film by any means I still liked Big Ass Spider, and I wouldn’t mind if they made a sequel where hapless Alex and Jose continue to battle the super insect creatures that threaten mankind. I’m surprised that more movies don’t exist where an exterminator has to defeat a huge bug-after all, they deal with the little ones on a regular basis. 

Behold A Pale Horse: Chapter V


Alex looked at the man and the man looked right back, as if he was trying to read Alex’s mind. Despite the black night that clouded the park Alex was able to finally make out two other men hiding near a dim light post that barely gave off any illumination. As the thin man lit another cigarette Alex saw one of the men in the background suddenly move. That was the signal. Not even hesitating Alex drew his .22 and opened fire, blasting the thin man in front of him before the poor bastard could reach for his gun. Seeing the first man turning towards him and revealing a large machine gun, Alex pushed the thin man forward and then dived behind a park bench.

Bullets pierced the thin man, finishing off what Alex had started. Firing off a few more shots Alex rolled over to a nearby statue, sitting casually at its base while the second man unloaded more rounds in Alex’s direction. Knowing that he was pinned down, Alex turned on his flashlight and pointed the beam in the shooter’s direction, blinding him and giving Alex enough time to fire off more .22 rounds. One bullet smashed into the shooter’s arm, drawing blood and causing the shooter to cry out in pain. Having discharged the remainder of his .22 rounds Alex shoved the empty pistol into his jacket and drew out his .44, cocking back the hammer and looking around for the second gunman.

Suddenly headlights flashed and the park was fully lit, bathed in glowing yellow light. “This is the police! Freeze!,” shouted a rather familiar voice. It was unmistakably raspy, much like Alex’s voice, and it carried a high level of authority. The two men peeled in the voice’s direction, and the wounded man pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, dropping his machine gun and wincing in pain. Alex steadied his piece and opened fire, hitting the other man in the chest as he opened fire upon the police in the parking lot. Despite the clear hit the man kept firing, yelling angrily before the two policeman in front of him each opened fire. The first man winged him with a handgun, while the second discharged a shotgun round at his chest. Stunned at this turn of events the now dead man’s partner turned to flee as the dead man collapsed, blood exploding from his chest.

Ignoring the police and not caring that the man was fleeing, Alex opened fire two more times, hitting the man in the shoulder and in the leg. The man fell screaming, dropping his gun and turning to face a furious Alex, panic quickly filling his eyes. “That’s enough Alex. He’s down. No need to kill him.” “Why not, Kyle? He won’t tell me anything I don’t know already.” “Yeah you’re probably right. Still he’s a wounded suspect. And murder is murder.”

While Alex and Kyle argued a car suddenly screeched out of the park, blazing away at 90 miles per hour. The two men looked at each other and shrugged as Kyle’s partner walked towards the wounded man, examining him for weapons before calling an ambulance. “This is Richard, my young new partner. Reminds me way too much of you. Not really a good thing, heh,” stated Kyle as Alex watched Richard warily eye the suspect, making sure the wounded man didn’t move and that he was truly unarmed.

Alex shook Richard’s hand and the two looked at one another, unsure about what to expect. Kyle broke the tension by then saying “Also fuck you, Alex. No phone calls, no e-mail, no visits? That’s cold even by your standards.” Alex grinned coldly and responded back with “Well you know me, Kyle. I’m just a grumpy old asshole.” The two men starred at each other for a minute before laughing at one another. Meanwhile Richard called for an ambulance and further backup as Kyle and Alex walked over to the injured suspect.

Behold A Pale Horse Chapters Page


This is a short story I’m attempting to write, titled Behold A Pale Horse. Its a crime story. Here’s links to all of the chapters:

Chapter 1https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/behold-a-pale-horse/
Chapter 2https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/behold-a-pale-horse-3/
Chapter 3https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/behold-a-pale-horse-4/
Chapter 4https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/behold-a-pale-horse-2/
Chapter 5https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/behold-a-pale-horse-chapter-v/

Behold A Pale Horse Chapter IV


After dropping Hersh off at his small yet nice looking house in the suburbs Alex headed to his favorite watering hole, The Golden Apple. It was a bar and grill, a dive for grizzled ancients that Hersh and Alex frequented back when they were private eyes, hunting for information and a quick brew. Quietly gliding through the establishment’s huge wooden doors Alex came to rest upon a flat wooden stool perched squarley in front of the solid oak bar.

“One pint of your best ale, Fred,” he requested as the large behemoth of a barkeep appeared before him. Fred smiled then handed him the chilled refreshing glass of beer. Drinking slowly so as to only get a slight buzz, Alex’s mind pondered if he should just forget the whole thing and run. They, whoever they were, probably wouldn’t come after Hersh or anyone else. Yet Alex knew that wasn’t right. Couldn’t be right. Whoever was behind this lengthy plan would never quit-they had waited long enough. And he knew that if it involved Henry then Kyle was as much a target as he was.

As hours passed and Alex consumed a few more beers the place began to fill with more people. “Time to go Fred. Here’s what I owe plus something extra.” Fred smiled again and replied “Till next time? And bring Hersh will yah? If his wife allows it, of course.”

Both laughed, and Alex ventured outside to his car. Calmly opening the trunk, he pulled out his .44 and also a silver plated Rutger .22 semi-automatic that he took to the range every Sunday afternoon. Holstering the .44 and sliding the .22 into his khaki pants he began the long steady walk towards the park. It was a chrisp, warm clear night devoid of clouds, with a sickly pale moon floating above the earth. These types of evenings felt sadly familiar to Alex, as most of them had ended in pain and misery.

Upon arriving near a dimly lit park bench, Alex noticed a tall thin man leaning against the glistening silver light post. Its silver ball sparkled and illuminated the man, and as Alex grew closer he could view the man’s weathered features. Clad in a tweed jacket and black leather pants this fellow was flashy and yet appeared dignified, smoking a cigarette and calmly waiting for Alex to speak.

In a gruff fashion Alex said “Lovely night for an ambush, eh?” The man smiled yet said nothing, thus acknowledging the truth in Alex’s statement. Flicking away his cigarette, the man turned to Alex and replied “Finally you arrive. Your late. I see you wisely came alone.”

“Of course. I obey the rules. Without rules man is just a dumb animal.” Alex’s left eye peered past the man while his right kept close attention. How would they hit him, and how many were hiding? Alex hated guessing yet it was information he lacked.

Behold A Pale Horse Chapter III


Hersh’s reply surprised Alex just a little, even though it was delivered in the old man’s usual graval tone. “Three years and not one phone call, email or letter? Not even a personal visit? And you want my help? Damn Alex your a cold bastard. Lucky for you we’re friends first partners second. Maybe it’s the other way around. Sure I’ll help you. I’m bored stupid and the wife nags something fierce.”

Alex frowned at first, then nodded and showed Hersh towards his car. “You still take cabs, or do you ride the bus these days?” Alex asked. “Well I prefer a cab yet the bus is cheaper. So the bus it is. Sure will be nice to have a driver again like the old days.”

While driving away Alex swore he saw a man spying, watching closely. This detail came to mind later on when the bullets whistled by and the smell of gunpowder filled the air. Turning away him and Hersh entered Alex’s beat up Ford Taurus and journeyed to Alex’s home in the suburbs.

Upon arrival Hersh was shown to Alex’s computer, ignoring the messy state of the entire house. “Old friend it’s time you hired a maid,” said Hersh as he chuckled at his own insult. Alex nodded and watched as Hersh examined his e-mails, scrolling down until he found the ones titled “Henry.”

“Of course whoever sent this has a bogus account. They have been threatening you for what, three months, and yet no attempt has been made to contact you? Strange..wait. New message: ‘Meet me at Chomsky Park. 9 PM. Don’t be late. No cops.’ Trap?”
“Oh yeah. Time to give Kyle a call? I know he’s not my biggest fan but let’s play it safe for now.”

Hersh signed and nodded as he walked to the kitchen. “Still got ’em? The time has come old friend.” “But of course buddy. Even cleaned them. Both are loaded and ready for action.” Alex opened a case and handed it to Hersh, who opened it and grinned as he pulled out a twin pair of .45 semi automatics. Closing the box and tucking it under his arm, Hersh said “Well its getting late. Best head home before the wife tears my head off. Call me after the meeting. Wish I could go.”

Behold A Pale Horse Chapter II


Calmly driving down the stretch of freshly paved road Alex maneuvered through cars too slow to get out of his way. He always drove as if he was in a hurry, usually going 10 or even 20 over the speed limit. Pedestrians were a nuance, and he despised jaywalkers as much as he cursed those who drove slow in the fast lane. Besides he wasn’t sure how much longer Hersh was going to wait, although Alex’s old partner admitted he had discovered patience in his ancient years. Hersh was never big on virtues or social graces.

Seeing the park in sight Alex took a right and parked his car neatly and slowly into the first open parking spot he saw. “Only assholes fail to park the right way…” he grumbled to know one in particular. “Still talking angrily to yourself after all these years? That figures,” said an gravelly voiced elderly gentleman dressed in a brown trench coat and wearing a sharp gray fedora. Alex smiled and waved as he walked over, glad to see a familiar face. “Hersh you haven’t changed a bit. Hopefully that’s true because I need your help for a change.”

Hersh grinned back and replied “You? Need my help? What kinda trouble you in old man?”

“The kind that requires a private eye. A true detective. Dogged and relentless. Even if he is retired and isn’t allowed to leave the house without begging his wife first.” Alex caught Hersh off guard with a joke geared to mask his serious request. Hersh didn’t take the bait even if the last part made him laugh.

Behold A Pale Horse Chapter I


The dog barked as the man stared out the window on a dreary March afternoon. An overcast sky and the pounding rain had turned the flat dead earth into mush, leaving an ugly and depressed look. Hope was gone, crushed by a cruel winter. The promise of beauty…unfulfilled…at least for now.

Alex sighed and began to tear apart and clean his shiny snub nosed .44, neatly and carefully examining each and every piece. Next to his ancient cleaning kit lay a hand written message in pen that said “Henry.” Only Alex had an idea of what this cryptic letter meant, and he was unlikely to share the meaning with another.

Resembling his revolver he loaded it with six bullets, each one created in his garage. ‘If you value your life you make your own ammunition,’ he grumbled to himself. Proceeding to shoulder the  weapon in a cracked leather holster located under his left arm, Alex flung on his jacket and headed for the door. Ignoring the sad appearance on his dog’s face, he stated “See yah later, Crabs.”

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