Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Crime, corruption, a portal for almost every illegal drug sold in the United States, humidity, hurricanes, angry old people… and it’s about to get a whole lot worse for the city of Miami Florida because the Sci-Fi channel has come to town which almost always equals disaster. Guaranteed disaster for the town in question and potential disaster for the eyeballs of the unsuspecting viewer. I’m a suspecting viewer so my eyeballs are relatively safe, but the question is, for the uninitiated, how safe will your eyeballs be while watching ‘Miami Magma’? I realize that Sci-Fi changed the title to ‘Swamp Volcano’ but ‘Miami Magma’ is a much better title so we’re going to go ahead and stay with it.

Somewhere I guess in the Gulf of Mexico, a big oil derrick is drilling for black gold when my man sees the graphic showing the striated rock, and the bottom of this thing is bright red. I’m thinking that red represents ‘hot’, he thinks red represents more black gold or something, because he’s dumb, so he keeps drilling and now a once defunct volcano is spewing the hot stuff. Special scene? Dude observing that one of the oil pipes was glowing bright red, emitting mad heat and bulging outward, and his desire to get a closer look at it.

While this is going on, at the Local U, hardworking professor of… you know, I have no idea what Dr. Antoinette Vitrini (Rachel Hunter) was a doctor of. I know she looks at rocks, water and boiled gators, but that’s about all I know about that. Regardless, Dr. Vitrini has arranged for a field trip for her class to look at some rocks and water, along with her top assistant Dr. Rice (Griff Furst) and her sister Emily (Melissa Ordaway). We could ask why Antoinette sounds all foreign and stuff, and seems twenty years older than her sister, but we’re not going ask that. So everybody goes on the field trip, grabs some rocks, looks at hot water, observes some boiled gators and goes home. We could also mention that Antoinette’s best student fell in some hot water and boiled to death, and at no point in this movie… ever… did anybody notice he was missing, but I guess he was kind of a jerk.

While this is going on, super evil CEO Jacob Capilla (Brad Dourif) is in the process of covering up his company’s part in unleashing the volcano while drilling, but his right

hand man Ray Miller (Cleavant Derricks) begs him to warn somebody. Then Mr. Capilla meets an unfortunate end in one of the dumbest ways possible which then elevates Mr. Miller to Evil CEO. Yes, this movie has two evil CEO’s, which is extremely rare, and apparently simply becoming the CEO of an oil company makes you evil. This I did not know. Antoinette actually went to the new CEO’s office to confront him on his evilness, but he denied everything. He was lying. The thing about this is how easy it was to get into the office of the CEO of the biggest oil company in America. I mean just yesterday I tried to get a one and one with Rex Tillerson, CEO for Exxon, which of course makes him evil, and Exxon security kept shooting at me.

By this time volcanic activity is totally wrecking Lafayette Louisiana… I mean Miami Florida, and unless the Doc, her skinny sister, her duplicitous assistant, and Colonel Anderson (Lawrence LeJohn) can somehow cold cap this activity, while the NEW Evil CEO and his evil right hand man Butch da Killa (Miles Doleac) is doing everything in their power to stop this from happening, Miami is in a heap of dookey.

For the astute Sci-Fi original movie watcher you will notice the name of the director of this film, one Todor Chapkanov, who has helmed a few of these films including one of my favorites in ‘Monster Wolf’ and you may also notice the writer of this movie is another Sci-Fi original directing mainstay in Declan O’Brien who directed another one my personal faves in ‘Cyclops’. Out of respect of Mr. O’Brien we will avoid mentioning ‘Rock Monster’ or ‘Monster Ark’. That’s a lot of Sci-Fi original talent on hand in this one, not to mention that Griff Furst is in the cast, yet another Sci-Fi original director, so our hopes were high… relatively speaking.

The good thing is that ‘Miami Magma’, at least the first half of it with all of the Evil CEO’s, missing grad students that no one cared about, Brad Dourif chewing up scenery like a stick Bubble Yum, flaming tennis balls blowing holes through chests and stuff, ‘Miami Magma’ was kind of entertaining. Then, for whatever reason, the entertainment factor kind of just tailed away. I’m thinking it might’ve begun when our PhD put the secret device on the desk of Evil CEO #2 to record his conversations and steal his data. I’m no master spy, and obviously neither is she, but if you have a large device with a large blinking red light on it… put it under the desk baby, not in a place where anybody walking by the glass office can see it.

You see, while the tale being told in ‘Miami Magma’ was never completely lucid, at least it was manageable to a degree. But when the time came to save the world, by basically using a PhD, her whiney sister and seven U.S. Army soldiers, ‘Miami Magma’ got to leaning towards the side of too stupid to deal with. We like stupid and all, but we like our stupid contained. Manageable. ‘Monster Wolf’ was tightly contained stupidity, which made it awesome. ‘Miami Magma’ was global off the tracks stupidity, which made it a challenge. And what kind of CEO actually goes through the trouble of killing their own victims? I know Mr. Miller was a new CEO and all, but come on man… that’s what Butch the Incompetent Killa was for. And when a killer with a gun is freezing to death, but still trying to shoot you… run. That’s all.

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