TV Movie: “2 Lava 2 Lantula”

Creature features can be fun. Depending on the type, if it’s too serious, it won’’t work at all. There’s simply no room for fun. Some creature features, the one’s I’m most familiar with, are just plain silly. They never set out to be serious, and revel in it completely. However, even with this type of creature feature, it’s really hit or miss.

The Cinetel Films movie “2 Lava 2 Lantula”, is a ridiculous funny creature feature that, yes, is actually funny. Not just stupid funny, but funny.

This comedy stars Steve Guttenberg (“Sharknado: The 4th Awakens”, “Running on Empathy”), Michael Winslow (upcoming movies “Hospital Arrest”, “Renaissance Man”), Eric Etebari (upcoming series “StartUp”, “The Loner”), Michele Weaver (“Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life”, “A Teacher’s Obsession”), Jimmy Bellinger (upcoming “Fox Hunt”, “Liv and Maddie”), Erron Jay (“Rescue Dogs”, “K.C. Undercover”), RJ Walker (“Castle”, “Baskets”), Marion Ramsey (“Lavalantula”, “Wal-Bob’s”), Josh Sussman (“Nuclear Family”, “Tangerine”), Danny Woodburn (“Bizardvark”, “Monkey Up”), and Martin Kove (“Assassin X”, “Six Gun Savior”).

The TV movie is directed by Nick Simon (“The Girl in the Photographs”, “Chase the Ace”) and written by Ashley O’Neil (“Lavalantula”) and Neil Elman (“They Found Hell”, “Lavalantuala”).

The movie originally debuted on Aug. 6, 2016 on SyFy.

I’ve got to be honest and say I almost forgot about this movie. Yes I saw the promo for it during “Sharknado Week”, but I between then and now, well, I’ve had a lot of things going on. You know, like most people. It was only by chance that I stumbled upon a news item that mentioned that this movie was going to be on and should be watched. Okay, maybe I decided it should be watched, but still, if it weren’t for this news item I wouldn’t have remembered. I must say that I probably would’ve missed it completely. Now that I’ve seen it, I must say it was worth it!

How to finish this post in the next 30 minutes? What? The Olympics are on right now and I’m much more distracted than I thought I would be, especially with athletes from other countries. Anyway. Perhaps just talking about it like I seem to be doing other pieces.

It’s a creature feature B-movie on SyFy. You pretty much already know what to expect. If you go in thinking somehow you’re going to get something else, well, then, you’re fooling yourself or haven’t watched one of these dreadfully awesome movies in some time. It’s got everything you could possibly want in one of these movies. Outlandish event which brings forth the creatures, chaos, deaths, highly impossible solutions to the creature problem, terrible CGI creatures, and too many badly delivered lines because the acting is mediocre. See? What’s not to like?

This movie had it all, well, except for a sturdy story or characters. You know the story, stop the Lavalantulas, but at the same time, it meandered too much. At some point, which I didn’t think was possible in this type of movie, I was a bit lost. Fortunately there was enough action and death, plus comedy, to keep me distracted. The downside about not having much to like about these characters is the fact that you have no reason to care if they live or die. However, on the flip side, the fact that you don’t really know much about them isn’t bad. They’re all, mostly, doing some badass fighting, all in an attempt to stop these creatures! It’s go, go, go, and no matter the situation or antics, it’s enjoyable! You don’t need to learn anything new about them, or have much new going for them. This isn’t that type of movie.

This movie may have had a few of the typical issues, but it also seemed to have a few positives which are typically lacking. Up first, the CGI. While it still looked bad a lot of the time, it didn’t always look terrible. I’ve seen a lot of terrible looking CGI, but here, especially with the smaller Lavalantulas, it actually looked good. I couldn’t laugh at the terrible creatures, no matter the design. Here, much like with “Eight Legged Freaks”, I was laughing because of the creatures. They were just so cute and funny, especially if they just jumped and attacked some poor unsuspecting person. So, quite a lot. Something fun with this movie, which I didn’t think about, was the fact that we didn’t just get the typical Lavalantulas. No, we got a new species. I won’t spoil what it is that this deadly breed of lava spider can do, but it’s quite cool and silly all at once! Definitely made it easier to enjoy this movie, and be even the slightest bit surprised.

My favorite positive with this movie, is the fact that I think it was actually trying to be a comedy. The writers were actually trying to shape moments with humor, moments that could make you laugh, and then moments that didn’t matter one way or the other. These are the moments that just make you laugh because of how stupid they are. I found at least two instances that really, genuinely made me laugh. It wasn’t even that, it was the set up. The execution was good. I’m sure there were other instances, but I probably didn’t notice them as I was too distracted by the fact that this movie was largely one long pop culture reference fest. Something. Anywho.

I’m not sure how many pop culture references there were, but the ones I caught and got, were quite funny! It wasn’t simply that the writers used them, but how they wove them into the story. Some just took on the typical mention, but others, became a moment in the story. The “Miami Vice” reference, which I didn’t get until afterwards, largely thanks to those on Twitter who were also watching, pointed it out. When I looked at Guttenberg and Winslow dressed in outfits that resembled that of the iconic TV series and the main characters seen in it, I couldn’t help but laugh. It was perfect. My next favorite, of all the references, is another one woven into the story. It’s one big “Jurassic Park” reference that just sent me over the moon! I laughed the whole time, analyzed what they did, and I just loved it! It was incredible. Weaver, and one other character (I’m honestly not sure who it was), were escaping some Lavalantulas, but had to hide in a kitchen. And thus begins the “Jurassic Park” reference, complete with the ladle falling from its hook, and it being used to draw the attention of the lava spiders. Brilliant! But, yes, of course, quite stupid. So stupid, let’s not forget that. Just thinking about all of these references is making me wish I’d recorded it as I want to watch it again.

And just so you can know what kind of silly and stupid there was going on, but also some brilliance, here are a few of the other things referenced in this movie:

“Burn Notice”, “The Terminator”, “Cocoon” (Possibly), “Die Hard”, “Dr. Strangelove”, “Crocodile Dundee”, and of course “2 Fast 2 Furious”. Again, those are just the ones I caught and got. There could’ve been others, but if it weren’t for the way these references were used, I may have just shrugged and hated it.

While this may not seem like much, it honestly is enough to carry you through. You don’t need much more as it’s a story that doesn’t require your full attention, or even all of your brain. I’ll say the toughest thing is that the deaths weren’t as gruesome, (but fun!), and there seemed to be a few less than I was expecting. Oh well, can’t please everyone. The thing, like with each of these movies, is to go in expecting the lowest and worst thing ever. If you want something serious, shell out 11 dollars at the theater in a few months for more dramatic and better made films. Oh, and the other thing you’ll need, which is what makes watching these types of creature feature B-movies so much fun, is Twitter! Tweeting along, and semi-I paying attention just makes things even more fun. You may already be enjoying the movie, but now you’re enjoying it that much more. As I learned during “Sharknado Week”, it’s, not every movie can be that good, and Twitter can only help so much.

Oh! and for those of you wondering, it took me longer than 30 minutes to complete me. The allure of sports was just too strong.


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