In this day and age in which modern monster movies are become more and more popular again it's actually hard to come across one that works out as a good and fun one as well, especially when it's a made for TV movie, with the budget lower than a TV executive's monthly income. It makes it all the more awesome and surprising to finally come across a movie that indeed works out as a wonderful to watch- and fun one!

It's hard to get these type of movies right. It's especially difficult to find a balance between its silly concept, the story, the comedy in it and the effects, especially when you have to work with a low budget and on a, no doubt, tight time-schedule. Most movies therefor aren't even really trying and they are just simply being as formulaic, safe and predictable as they could possibly get and it doesn't even seem like the film-makers are trying at all to produce a good or remotely original movie. For them it's all just another paycheck and just a day at the 'office' but luckily there also still are some film-makers who manage to put some obvious love and effort into their movie, even if they don't have an awful lot to work it.

For me there only are an handful of directors nowadays who I trust when it comes down to low budget monster/disaster flicks; The Kondelik brothers and the director of this movie Mike Mendez, who previously also did the movie "Big Ass Spider!", which doesn't sound very likely but actually is a surprisingly good and definitely highly fun movie to watch. And this movie doesn't differ in that regard. Of course "Lavalantula" isn't a great movie but it's a good one, that besides is highly fun and entertaining to watch.

What this movie does very well is that it manages to be funny and silly, while still featuring some decent character and somewhat of a story as well. At least it's following a story, without featuring too many needless distractions in it that don't add anything to the movie at all. Actually, there still are plenty of random characters and moments as well in this movie but big difference this time around is that it actually adds to the overall fun and creativity of the movie.

There are plenty of good and fun moments in the movie, that help to make this an highly entertaining one to watch, even though it obviously never becomes a great movie as well. But did you honestly expect such a thing from a movie that involves giant, fire-breathing, spiders? Luckily the movie knows what it is and doesn't ever attempts to give the movie any form of authenticity or grounding. It rather decides to have some fun with its concept instead. Yes, that of course makes this more of a comedy than a horror or science-fiction movie but that of course isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially not when it works out as well as it does in this movie.

Yes, even Steve Guttenberg works out as a good and entertaining main lead for this movie. I must say that even though the story and dialog is kept deliberately bad for most part, the action never becomes anything cringe-worthy to watch as well. All of the actors seemed to know and understand what type of movie they were in but at the same time they never acted too goofy or over-the-top.

It's still a cheap movie, so of course it's not a perfect looking one as well. The special effects really aren't anything too special and yes, you can nowadays create all of those effects yourself with an iPhone (the movie itself even jokes about this) but I'm still willing to give all of the effects a pass in this case. Really, it's the worst I have ever seen and in this particular case it also adds to the atmosphere and charm of the overall movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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