(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?