Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #5: 2 Lava 2 Lantula (dir by Nick Simon)

(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by Thanksgiving, November 24th!  Will she make it?  Keep checking the site to find out!)


I recorded 2 Lava 2 Lantula off of the SyFy Network on August 6th.

A sequel to last year’s sleeper hit, Lavalantula, 2 Lava 2 Lantula aired shortly after SyFy’s 2016 Shark Week.  Naturally, I watched and live tweeted it.  I have to admit that my 2 Lava 2 Lantula live tweet was probably one of my weaker live tweets of the summer.  For whatever reason, my naturally brilliant wit failed me on that night.  That’s not the fault of the film, which is wonderfully snark-worthy and was obviously made to appeal to live tweeters like me.  Maybe I was just tired.  After all, I was still recovering from the epic Sharknado 4 live tweet.

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about the Lavalantula films without also talking about the Sharknado franchise.  Even more so than the first film, 2 Lava 2 Lantula is, for all intents and purposes, a Sharknado film, with the sharks replaced by giant spiders and Steve Guttenberg playing the Ian Ziering role.  Otherwise, both franchises feature the same campy sense of humor and over the top sensibility.  Both franchises share a love for (deliberately) cartoonish CGI and callbacks to other cult films.  These are films that wink at the audience and say, “We’re in on the joke … are you?”  It’s easy to imagine that, if Ian Ziering and Tara Reid ever start demanding too much money to appear in another Sharknado, Steve Guttenberg and the Lavalantula crew could step in and take their place without missing a beat.

(Ian Ziering even made a cameo appearance in the first Lavalantula, establishing that both franchises take place in the same cinematic universe.)

Wisely, 2 Lava 2 Lantula doesn’t waste any time getting started.  The film opens with fire-breathing spiders suddenly showing up in Florida and it doesn’t devote much time to worrying about how they showed up.  The important thing is that they’re there, they’re breathing fire, and somebody has to save the world.  Luckily, film star Colton West (Guttenberg, of course) is in Florida, shooting a cop movie.  He and his friend, Marty (Michael Winslow), saved Los Angeles in the first film.  Now, they’re going to save Florida!

They’re also going to have to save his daughter, Raya (Michele Weaver), who is fleeing through a burning Miami with her friend, Daniella (Lorynn York).  Daniella has a nasty lavalantula burn on her shoulder and, if you’re familiar with SyFy films, you can already guess what’s going to eventually burst out of Daniella’s back.  That’s one thing about 2 Lava 2 Lantula: it knows, understands, and respects the rules of SyFy.

There’s a scene where Colton is confronted by some soldiers who refuses to let him drive into a restricted zone.  Colton tells them, “My name is Colton West, authorized movie star.”  That really tells you everything that you need to know about 2 Lava 2 Lantula.  It’s a film that refuses to apologize for being ludicrous.  Instead, it embraces the silliness of it all.  Not only does it feature giant, fire-breathing spiders and Steve Guttenberg as a badass action hero but it also finds the time to throw in homages to everything from Dr. Strangelove to Independence Day.  Colton’s speech on why Florida is the best should do a lot to help that beleaguered state feel better about itself.

Whether you’ll like 2 Lava 2 Lantula depends on whether or not you like SyFy films in general.  If you’re not a fan of SyFy’s aesthetic style … well, then you probably wouldn’t be watching a film called 2 Lava 2 Lantula in the first place.  But, for the rest of us, this is a fun little movie that promises fire-breathing spiders and delivers.

Who can’t get into that?

Music Video of the Day: Side To Side by Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj (2016, dir. Hannah Lux Davis)

Let’s see what things I have already talked about in the area of sex when it comes to music videos:

-Laura Branigan brought us an orgy and being seduced with Self Control.
-Cyndi Lauper brought us masturbation with She Bop.
-Fiona Apple brought us the uncomfortably erotic Criminal that looks like it was shot on the set of a 70’s porno.
-Fifth Harmony loaded Work From Home with sexual references.

I think that’s it.

I didn’t think I would get to a music video in the area of anal sex, or rough sex, depending on how you interpret “getting railed”, till I did Dog Police.

I love that this music video about anal/rough sex is sponsored by Guess. It even premiered on their website.

There isn’t much to say if you’re my age–I thought. I take one look at this and think: Let’s get physical! Physical! I wanna get physical! Except can we do it in a way that comes across as somebody trying to be shocking instead of making something clever?

Director Hannah Lux Davis clearly had that music video in mind when she made this. The look of this gym is based on the one from Physical.

According to Grande in an interview with Ryan Seacrest, she thinks the album Dangerous Woman will move her away from her Nickelodeon image:

“It still sounds like me, but it feels like a more mature, evolved version. There’s a nice blend of the R&B vibes and a nice blend of pop vibes. The whole body of work is a little darker and sexier and more mature…”

Maybe she pulled that logic from Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball. The difference is that the music video for Wrecking Ball referenced Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, and being her real-self instead of an image assigned to her by others via a reference to the wig from Hannah Montana which represented disguising who you are to please others. That was well-done. The song also had meat and punch to it.

This has Grande wearing a hat that says she is an “Icon” as a stand-in for a mostly shaved head. It has her dressed in an allegedly sexy manner that I guess represents maturity and being herself as a sexual being who isn’t ashamed to talk about anal/rough sex. It also has men turned into Ken dolls that I’m assuming are supposed to be a replacement for the newly buff guys pairing off and leaving the gym together in Physical. Otherwise, I’m not sure why they are around at all. It comes across as similar, but it doesn’t have the same impact when I watch it. I don’t feel anything when I hear the song.

I have never watched her Nickelodeon show, so I am not familiar with what her image was there. However, I can speak about Disney, which is along the same lines. This doesn’t break from that image at all. There’s sex all over their shows in one form or another.

That’s really it. It’s a more explicitly sexed-up version of a late-90s pop-princess music video based on Olivia Newton-John’s Physical, trying to do the same kind of thing as what that video and Wrecking Ball did for Newton-John and Cyrus, respectively. I hope that if she wants to move away from her Nickelodeon image, that she doesn’t let herself get trapped in this image. She has plenty of time. She’s only 23.

6 from 2016:

  1. Music Video of the Day: Work From Home by Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign (2016, dir. Director X)