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Fanboy Comics Interviews Mike Mendez, Director of ‘Big Ass Spider!’

The following is an interview with Mike Mendez, director of the horror/comedy Big Ass Spider!. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Mendez about what attracted him to the film, the creative process of working with the film’s stellar cast and crew, and the creators that have had the most impact on his career.

This interview was conducted on January 3, 2014.

Barbra J. Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: Congratulations on the recent release of your film, Big Ass Spider! For our readers who may be unfamiliar, would you mind telling us about the premise of the film?

Mike Mendez: Big Ass Spider! is about a loveable exterminator played by Greg Grunberg, who is racing the clock and the government to save Los Angeles from a big ass spider.

BD: What first attracted you to direct the film?

MM: It had been a while since I have done a movie, and I really liked the attitude Epic Pictures Group had with the film. They seemed like they would allow me to be creative and take the movie in a less traditional direction, so that got me very excited. Plus, spiders are cool.

BD: Much like the wildly popular Shaun of the Dead, your film successfully straddles the comedy and horror genres. How does the film maneuver through these opposing genres, and do you feel that they easily complement one another?

MM: For me, they have always gone well together. Some of my favorite movies are horror comedies, like Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive. These are the movies I grew up with, so it has always seemed like a natural balance for me.

BD: The cast and crew of Big Ass Spider! consist of some amazingly talented creators and performers. Can you tell us about the process of working with the creative team and the contributions of these individuals?

MM: I was very fortunate on the film to mainly work with friends or friends of friends, so there was just a very creative and fun environment on set every day. Even though we didn’t have the luxury of time or rehearsal, we still managed to come up with wacky ideas on the spot and give them a try. I really think that the movie is so much better than it should be, because of the contributions that everyone provided as a team.

BD: I hear it on good authority that you are a big comic book fan. Being that we focus on all things “geek” at Fanboy Comics, would you care to geek out with us about your favorite comic books and graphic novels?

MM: My favorite comic is Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and I have always been a huge fan of Alan Moore. It was The Killing Joke that got me interested in his writing, but very quickly the brilliance of Watchmen and V for Vendetta made me a huge fan of his work forever more. I also was a huge fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

BD: What is the most important piece of advice that you can offer to independent filmmakers who aspire to create their own projects?

MM: Make films by any means necessary. However you have to do it, by all means, just keep being creative.

BD: On that same note, which creators have inspired your work?

MM: The biggest artists who are influences on me are Sam Raimi, Danny Elfman (even though he is a composer, he is a huge influence on my work), David Cronenberg, and John Carpenter. Also, the Fat Boys. 

BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Big Ass Spider!?

MM: Listen to the wacky commentary that Greg Grunberg and Lombardo Boyar have on the Blu-ray, available next week! Please support us, so we can make a big ass sequel!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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