Giant, Pre-Historic, Fire-Breathing Spiders!
Colton West is a washed-up actor, formerly known for playing an action hero called The Red Rocket. While on the set of a movie whose script he didn’t read, he’s caught off-guard by a malfunctioning explosive prop. Between the malfunction and the fact he’s over the agreed-upon time for shooting, Colton walks off the set, quitting the movie.
While driving home through gridlocked Los Angeles traffic, a few things happen -
1. He gets yelled at by his agent for walking out on the movie when it’s tough enough for him to get work.
2. He gets yelled at by his wife Olivia for being late to pick up their son Wyatt.
3. A series of earthquakes lead to the hills exploding, unleashing lava and giant, pre-historic, fire-breathing, spiders upon the entire city!
Oh yeah, it’s one of those movies!
The movie is full of tropes, so I’ll just set things up and we’ll go from there.
After the phone call from Colton to Olivia, Wyatt leaves in a huff of frustration and disappointment that his dad seemingly flaked on him.
Colton escapes the fire spiders* on the freeway and eventually makes it home to his family. He tries to warn his wife about the fire spiders, but she just assumes he’s drunk or otherwise impaired so she dismisses him. He decides to leave to find Wyatt. She stays at home thinking that the earthquakes that they have been experiencing are just typical LA earthquakes.
While at home, Olivia calls a neighbor. The neighbor hears a noise in her house. When she goes to investigate, she’s attacked by fire spiders. Hearing the commotion on the phone, Olivia walks over to the neighbor’s house to check on her only to narrowly escape the fire spiders herself.
Wyatt is downtown, hanging out with a few of his Skater/BMX buddies. The earthquakes continue and parts of the street start to open up, releasing a smell similar to gasoline. A few of the friends are pulled into the hole by an unseen force (the fire spiders, but they can’t see them yet). One friend is burned and another is bitten.
Colton is looking for Wyatt, Olivia is looking for them both, and Wyatt is trying to keep his remaining friends alive.
After a bunch of shenanigans had by all including, Colton hijacking a tour bus to get downtown, Olivia hijacking a military jeep, Colton running into a one-handed pirate that he used to work with, Wyatt watching his bitten friend die as hundreds of baby fire spiders escape her body, Colton conveniently finding a scientist that is fully informed about the details of the situation and has a solution, and Wyatt fighting off an even bigger fire spider with a fire extinguisher, the family is reunited and ready to leave LA - except they can’t (of course). There’s no way of escaping the full hoard of lavalantulas (of course). So they must defeat the lavalantulas (of course) by defeating the queen (of course) because if she dies, all the others die automatically (because, of course).
Colton is inspired by the compressed nitrogen fire extinguisher that Wyatt fought off the fire spiders with and remembers the props from the movie shoot earlier in the day. The family heads to the set to find the film crew is still there, hiding from the dangers outside.
Colton concocts a plan, based on the info the scientist gave him, to lure the Queen fire spider out from the hive and blow her up using the C4 the film crew had lying around.
The movie concludes with Colton donning the Red Rocket suit, with a working rocket pack, and dropping C4 into the mouth of the Queen fire spider!
The movie was… exactly what I thought it was. A creature feature with silly characters. It’s not normally my genre of choice, but for a fun way to kill 81 minutes**, this will do.
All things considered, I’d rated this movie a 6 on my 10-Point scale. This isn’t an original concept at all and the characters were almost overacted in some cases, even for the creature feature, but I was entertained, and ultimately, that’s why we were here!
* So, I know that the movie is called “Lavalantula” and that’s what they eventually called the fire spiders, but they were fire-breathing spiders who weren’t fuzzy, so I stuck with fire spiders.
** While I looked up the runtime for this movie, I discovered that there are THREE Lavalantula movies! And yes, I will watch all three eventually. Stay tuned!