Lectins display a variety of biological functions including insecticidal, antimicrobial, as well as antitumor activities. In this report, a gene encoding Aphrocallistes vastus lectin (AVL), a C-type lectin, was inserted into an oncolytic vaccinia virus vector (oncoVV) to form a recombinant virus oncoVV-AVL, which showed significant in vitro antiproliferative activity in a variety of cancer cell lines. Further investigations revealed that oncoVV-AVL replicated faster than oncoVV significantly in cancer cells. Intracellular signaling elements including NF-κB2, NIK, as well as ERK were determined to be altered by oncoVV-AVL. Virus replication upregulated by AVL was completely dependent on ERK activity. Furthermore, in vivo studies showed that oncoVV-AVL elicited significant antitumor effect in colorectal cancer and liver cancer mouse models. Our study might provide insights into a novel way of the utilization of marine lectin AVL in oncolytic viral therapies.