Lava is an adult animation (no, the kids can’t watch; there’s profanity and mild violence) sci-fi comedy about Deborah (noted Argentina actress Sofía Gala Castiglione in the Spanish version; Janeane Garofalo in the English version), a lonely tattoo artist who takes it upon herself to save her town from an alien invasion — of large kaiju-like cats, cackling witches, and more snakes than is earthly possible. And they’re not your run-of-the-mill earth-type creatures: they know how to use our media to hypnotize us into submission.
Lava is based on the comic by Salvador Sanz and the film received a well-deserved nomination at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. As with his previous animated feature El sol (2010), animator Ayar Blasco’s worlds are surrealist, apocalyptic lands rife with chaos and paranoia that reminds of Chilean-French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s works. Lava is Blasco’s second feature film. His third — soon to see release in the international marketplace in 2021 — is his first live-action feature, the sci-fi film, La Vagancia.
We all know SNL actress & comedian Janeane Garofalo (she was great in the radio-based comedy, The Truth About Cats and Dogs), who’s been down the animation route before with Ratatouille (2007), and she heads the American-voice cast of this imported film’s English dub. The film’s Spanish-language version stars Argentinian actor and playwright Martín Piroyansky, who acted in the notable South American exports XXY (2007) and The Vampire Spider (2012) (get them both, they’re very good).
I love the animation here, and I appreciate the production eschewed the CGI-animation we’re grown accustomed to watching in U.S. theaters for more traditional animation; art that that reminds of MTV’s Beavis and Butthead and FOX-TV’s King of the Hill. In fact, if this were a U.S. production, it probably would have become a live action-meets-animation apoc-comedy in the style of Adam Sandler’s Pixels. Kudos for this Argentinian production for finding an English-speaking audience outside of its native homage. This is freaky stuff that is also great stuff that needs to be enjoyed by a mass audience. Stream it.
TriCoast Worldwide and Rock Salt Releasing will release Lava onto various digital streaming platforms on March 15, 2021, on Amazon, InDemand, iTunes, Google Play, DirecTV, AT&T, Vimeo on Demand, FANDANGO in both English & Spanish.