Syfy's LAVALANTULA, A TV Review (Is this the next Sharknado?)

LAVALANTULA TV Review from Syfy telecast

Lavalantua aired on Syfy, was produced by Cinetel Films (Wow, a movie NOT by The Asylum!), and directed by Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider). To be honest, Mendez cranks out some great spider-like content and knows how to thread the line between too much and too stupid and makes it work. Like he does here in this giant lava loving spider movie. The cast included

Nia Peeples, Steve Guttenberg, Michael Winslow, Ralph Garman, with Ian Ziering making a comedic appearance and pitch for Sharknado, Leslie Easterbrook Patrick Renna, Leigh Whannell, Danny Woodburn, Carlos Bernard (only in the opening scenes), Marion Ramsey, & Diana Hopper.

Guttenberg plays Colton West, a washed up action actor, Nia Peeples plays his wife, Olivia, and Noah Hunt plays their son, Wyatt.

The story revolves around the West's and the various people they encounter during this hot-tempered-spider emergency. Micro spoiler - The West's can kick ass!


Lavaluntua opens to Colton getting beat by an interrogator (Bernard), but it turns out to be a movie shoot. But as things go wrong with the shoot, Colton quits the movie. In the background we hear a subtle news report about an earthquake.

Then during a phone call with his 'wife,' an earthquake hits, but turns out to be an erepting volcano right next to the 405 in the Sepulveda Pass! And out spew the lava encrusted spiders drooling lava. (BTW: This is one of the first times I've seen the actual locations used, called out as the locations they're in!)

Yes the lavalantulas are loose and chowing down on people!

Do you remember the 1997 movie, Volcano, with Tommy Lee Jones? In it lava is erupting all over the Los Angeles area? This movie took me there. Except with lava spiders added to the mix.


To be honest...  this movie did not suck. Sure the special effects like lava, smoke, exploding cars, and such kind of sucked but the spiders were done well and with movies like this and the budgets they're restricted to, you can't blame them for dropping some of their budget on talent rather than tech.

And the story, if you pay close attention, takes shots at itself and other genre films. Or at least it seemed that way to me. There's one scene that totally...  well, if you last long enough you'll see.

Plus, for any of you out there that have seen the original Police Academy (1984) film, then you will see that this film reunites Steve Guttenberg with Michael Winslow, Marion Ramsey and Leslie Easterbrook.

To be honest, I felt like this flick was either trying to be the next Sharknado or could be the next Sharknado as Guttenberg's Colton takes the reigns and brings the can of whoop ass to the spiders, as does his wife and kid. We seriously have the ass-kicking family who end up taking spider names later. We have a few quirky scenes, and even have a micro-crossover with Ian Ziering wearing his tee-shirt with chain saws on it.

In an interview director Mendez said he wanted to make a fun B-movie... and I believe he hit his mark with this one. I wouldn't go out of the way to catch this flick but I don't think you need to flip channels when you see it coming up on the Syfy network.

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