Sharknado 3 may be the big Syfy movie premiere this month, but sharks aren’t the only scary creatures hitting that network’s airwaves in July. That other go-to standard for animal horror movies — spiders — also make an appearance with the debut of the original film Lavalantula debuting Saturday, July 25. As you can tell from its name, the film — directed by apparent spider-movie expert Mike Mendez, who also helmed Big Ass Spider! — is about tarantulas that spit lava, naturally.
“It’s based on a true story,” deadpans star Steve Guttenberg during our interview. “A volcano erupts in the Santa Monica Mountains, and lo and behold, these spiders erupt and start terrorizing law-abiding citizens. I play an action star who has been out of work and has a family [Nia Peeples plays his wife]. … We have to actually fight these spiders. It really is a lot of fun; you know, it’s a creature feature.”
It turns out that, if fate had worked differently, we may have seen Guttenberg headlining both creature features Lavalantula and Sharknado 3.
“They originally offered me Sharknado three years ago,” Guttenberg tells us, “and I turned it down. So when [Syfy] came back to me, I was smart enough to say yes to this one.”
Guttenberg may have missed out on being part of the Sharknado pop-culture phenomenon, but he is certain Lavalantula will also take off on Twitter. He hopes to be tweeting during the movie’s premiere. “I think that’s going to be a lot of fun,” he says. “You know, people really get into it.”
Also fun for Guttenberg was reuniting with some of his former costars of the Police Academy movies for Lavalantula, including Michael Winslow and Leslie Easterbrook.
“It was just terrific,” Guttenberg says. “You know, old friends, there’s nothing like them. I was just so lucky that Syfy was so gracious in allowing me to reach out to these people and find out if they wanted to work together again.”