Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger
Starring: Joe Tucker, Nicola Stapleton, James Holmes, Grahame Fox
Director: Joe Tucker
WARNING: In case you only read the first few lines of this review I’m telling you now – this film is terrible! How anyone could get the funding to make this, let alone get a distributor for it is unbelievable.
The idea is that a previously healthy, normal, young man has suffered permanent severe brain damage after being beaten up for no reason by a thug Darrel (Grahame Fox), who served a short prison sentence. The injured man’s brother is of very low intelligence and his friend is a real loser. Together they decide to take revenge on the now released Darrel and buy a cheap gun to kill him.
They go to his apartment and hold his girlfriend Julie (Nicola Stapleton) prisoner while through constant misunderstanding, mistaken identity and drug taking they manage to blow away everyone who knocks on the door.
The scenes of the brain damaged young man with his drunken down and out father are really distasteful and yet are supposed to be funny. The majority of the film takes place in the apartment and we are supposed to find it funny as we watch the violently filmed scenes of people being shot through mistaken identity. Somehow we are even supposed to laugh as the tied up Julie is threatened with a sex game.
Don’t get me wrong, sex and violence in films doesn’t bother me in the majority of cases. I can even find glamorised violence in some movies acceptable if it’s done in the right way, it’s just that LAVA is so distasteful to look at and the humour so non-existent that I really found the film offensive. Ironically the actors do perform there parts well. Even Joe Tucker the lead actor is convincing in his acting ability, so would you believe he’s also the writer and director.
The whole film is supposed to take place against the backdrop of the Notting Hill carnival with casual drug use taken for granted and couldn’t paint a worse picture of that part of London if it tried. Unfortunately I suspect the characters and their lifestyles are fairly and depressingly realistic so how this film can possibly find any kind of humour in the events or situations is just sick.
If you never take any other advice from a review do take notice now and avoid this film like the plague. LAVA is possibly one of the worst films I have ever seen!