Starring: Steve Guttenberg, Nia Peeples, Patrick Renna
Director: Mike Mendez
Running Time: 81 mins
Lavalantula is an American film about a series of violent volcanic eruptions in Los Angeles that give rise to an unexpected attack of giant fire-breathing tarantulas, and only one man, a washed-up 90s action star, can save the city.
This is getting ridiculous now. Lavalantula is technically a part of the Sharknado Cinematic Universe, seeing as Ian Ziering pops up and has a cameo for a second, so you’re going to see a lot of comparisons to that series in this review, because this is by far and away worse than all of the Sharknado films.
With each instalment, Sharknado has begun to embrace its silliness, and upped its budget to make a bit more of a watchable film. Of course, they’re still atrocious when it comes to storytelling, but by now, we’re all fine with watching them and having a good laugh.
So you’d think that Lavalantula would jump on the bandwagon and go for another ridiculous so-bad-it’s-good extravaganza, but it really doesn’t.
The main thing that’s so bad about this film is that it’s just not funny. At all. Even though I’ve never really laughed out loud at the Sharknado films, Oh Hell No was at least moderately entertaining. This, on the other hand, completely fails at making a funny horror parody, and as a result completely ruins its chance to be at all enjoyable on a level like Sharknado.
What you’re left with, then, is an 80 minute mess that’s both stupid and unfunny. The story is almost line-for-line the same as all the Sharknados, but that’s not what we watch these Syfy original films for. It’s a complete mess of a movie, but without any decent comedy, or even fun performances, there’s nothing to avoid the fact that this is just a bad movie. Full stop.
Finally, let’s talk about the CGI. Yes, the Sharknado films have got a bigger budget, but the CGI spiders and lava in this film were just really dull. It’s all just a bit too good to really laugh at, but it’s still badly made enough to make it a disappointing spectacle.
Overall, Lavalantula is as disappointing as these sorts of movies go. I knew from the off that it wasn’t going to be good, but what I didn’t expect was that it would be so painfully unfunny and boring, and that’s why I’m going to give it a 1.7.