Oh yeah, baby, because parodying the Fast N Furios titling stylization is still kewl.
But it fits, given the tongue-in-cheek tone of the first Lavalantula (still think it should have been Lavantula, but whatever), which was a decent, enjoyable B-movie about lava spiders from director Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider, the “Friday the 31st” segment in Tales Of Halloween), a genuine one that actually sets out to be fun and not just in the “let’s make as bad as possible on purpose” trend.
Most of the cast from first one is back (aka the Police Academy mini-reunion is intact), but directing duties this time are given to Nick Simon, whom i remember mostly as the writer for the god awful The Pyramid (the 2014 movie, not the italian horror antology), but he also directed the features Removal and The Girl In The Photographs, and keeps doing TV movies like the 2017 Truth or Dare.
The story is… Colton West (Steven Guttenberg) has to save the day once again from flame-spitting prehistoric magma spiders. It’s not a case of people on IMDB writing too synthetic synopses, it’s just the way the movie frames it as well. This time the spiders attack the beaches as well, Colton West isn’t a washed up action movie actor anymore, but it’s popular again and fresh off his latest blockbuster, not that this will stop his from reforming the old group and save his step-daughter (and all of Florida) from these magmatic fire spittin’ bastards.
It even starts the same way, with Colton West acting in the movie within the movie (a police comedy that Colton randomly tries to derail into a more serious affair at random), the lavantulas’ bite have nasty side-effects, but – like a proper sequel should – it ups the ante by having made the spiders learn Pin Missile, having an even bigger “mother spider” (a Gargantantula, if you will), with some new ridiculous side characters (including Colton’s intern and a swamp dwelling Crocodile Dundee-knock off that seems to have survived many creature features) and the benefit of not having to set up much, so we can get right into business to see Steven Gutenberg and Michael Winslow going around Florida blasting lava spiders with guns that feel right out of Duke Nukem.
It’s just more of the same, but i honestly liked the comedy a little better this time, the movie references again are there but are fairly quick, not obnoxious (there is also an obscure in-joke with Tyrone Power and Tahnee Welch – seen in the Cocoon movies alongside Guttenberg – appearing as themselves for a quick cameo), and the characters are likeable. More than the movie NOT elaborating at all at the Fast N Furios joke made in the title, it’s worth notice that the budget seems a bit less abundant this time around. The spiders pretty much look as they did in the first one (maybe the CG it’s a little worse, but its hard to tell, they didn’t look great to begin with), so they’re alright, but the scenes involving vehicles are clearly affected.
Despite the movie’s light-hearted tone and taste for tongue-in-cheek, it’s clear that the scenes with crappy CG elicopters weren’t made as a nudge to the modern low budget b-movies, it just a simple ol’ problem of lack of money and/or time, so fuck it. It’s not that distracting overall, given what else happens in this movie, and if you watch a lot of these movies, you probably are used to far worst CG for vehicles and such. You can easily do worse, as i said before and will say again.
I really don’t have much else to say, 2 Lava 2 Lantula it’s a decent sequel to a decent B-movie, it’s quite fun and manages to outdo the first one, given we get Steven Gutenberg riding “de-explosive crates” aimed at a ginormic magma spider, Dr. Strangelove style. So stupid it’s hard not to like it.
Just wish CineTel Films is smart enough to NOT do another one, just stop here, there’s no need to run this fun lil’ series into the ground and render moot this tongue-in-cheek attitudine of poking at movies and cliches, to become the butt of your very own joke.