Boa vs Python – 2004

Today’s movie is Boa vs Python, brought to you by the letters D and H and the number 2.

I am not ashamed to admit that I deliberately picked out this movie and brought it home. That’s right, I did it on purpose. There were three reasons for this.

1. I like snakes – particularly constrictors. That fondness is reflected in the theme of this blog.
2. I like David Hewlett almost as much as I like snakes.
3. It was free with my other rentals.

I did watch the movie. I then forced two of my friends to watch it (for which they have yet to forgive me – and this was six or seven years ago). I then went out and found it second hand for a few dollars so that I could have it long-term just to share with the rest of you. This is a bad movie. I would go so far as to say that it’s a terrible movie… and yes, I’ve seen Anaconda, Boa, Python and Python 2, amongst many others. I love Syfy’s (ugh) thematic bad movie marathons.

On the bright side, it’s not ‘The Cavern’. This is a bad movie you can actually watch.

(As a side note, it is useful to have seen Python 2 before viewing this movie. This is not a recommendation, by the way, simply an observation.)

At any rate, this is a movie starring a pair of huge, CGI snakes, David Hewlett ,and a blonde with the prerequisite amount of cleavage. Also a totally gratuitous bath and almost-sex scene. What more could anyone ask for?

We open in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to a thrilling score and a two second shot of a large cargo plane and a giant tractor trailer (which are actually in Philadelphia, as it turns out). There is an immediate cut to a man in a cheap tuxedo shouting into a microphone in that overly-melodramatic fashion used by fight announcers everywhere.

The first nine minutes of the movie are devoted to switching back and forth between the truck and the skeezy man with the bad hat who is apparently in charge of it, a skanky young lady and her arrogant escort at the fight and the fight announcer. Said switches are done apparently at random as the announcer goes on and on about these fighters and how this is the fight of the century. Or something like that. I more or less automatically tuned him out and I suggest that you do the same.

In an attempt at foreshadowing or dramatic irony or some other concept that the writers and directors of this movie don’t seem to have a clear grasp on, the ‘villain’ of the fight is ‘The Python’ and the ‘hero’ is ‘The Boa’.

All of the above goes on as the skanky girl gets upset over a scantily clad blonde waitress type ogling her creepy boyfriend and the skeezy guy with the truck calls the boyfriend. Over the course of the short conversation, we can infer a number of interesting things.

1. The skeezy guy (Ramon) is so not getting paid enough to put up with the creepy boyfriend (Broddick).
2. Broddick is, indeed, an ass.
3. The girlfriend (Eve) is no better and possibly worse.
4. The blonde waitress chick totally digs Broddick.
5. All of this has something to do with giant snakes.
6. Broddick and Eve have paid a lot of money to sit right up next to a fight and ignore it while they make phone calls, issue petulant demands to the waitress and attempt witty banter.
7. No one in this movie, thus far, can act worth a damn.
8. Whoever wrote the dialogue needs to be shot.

Also, please note, naming the skanky chick in a movie about snakes ‘Eve’ isn’t as funny as you think it is. We’ll get into Eve and her issues with snakes shortly.

Ramon orders the truck to move out and away it goes, escorted by two SUVs. Another shot of the fight and we see the truck again, this time at night. Something has gone wrong with the cargo and the man sitting in the back keeping an eye on what looks like an electronic lock pulls out his walkie talkie to inform the mini-convoy somewhat ominously that, “It’s awake.”

There are dark, menacing growly noises from within the steel cube that he’s sitting next to, despite no sign of airholes. These guys would make lousy pet owners. The mini-convoy pulls over to the side of the road to investigate and experienced horror movie fans are now placing their bets as to whether or not there’ll be any survivors and how many of them actually get bitten in half by the giant snake that is doubtlessly hidden in that myssstttteeeerrrrious cargo.

We’re still flashing back and forth to the fight, just in case you were wondering. Apparently the tense moment with the snake has to be broken by Eve being all pouty because the waitress didn’t bring her the Raisinets she’d demanded. This is a really good indication of the quality of the writing for this film, frankly.

Giant snake, armed men, a deserted road at night – skanky chick bitching about her lack of Raisinets. Yeah, that really keeps me riveted to the screen. I’m right at the edge of my seat… fighting the urge to flee screaming into the night.

Back to the truck, wherein there is much growling and thumping and thrashing coming from inside the cargo container. Back to a blurry shot of the fight. Truck. Fight. Truck. All of this in ten second intervals that are intensely annoying.

At least it’s not ‘The Cavern’. I can actually see most of what’s going on.

There follows an argument at the side of the road about who is going to open the truck and who will shoot the snake. They open the door and the snake springs forth –

Truck, fight, truck, fight, about two second intervals this time, and it’s broken by a slightly longer segment as ‘The Boa’ picks up ‘The Python’ and throws him out of the ring and right into Broddick and Eve’s private table. Despite being right up next to the ring, they are elitist and snippy to the poor masked man, complaining that they paid 500 dollars for their seats.

Me: Bwuh? 500 dollars for a table that might, at any moment, receive a visit from 250 lbs of flying wrestler? Boy, did you get hustled.

Let it be noted here that Broddick does have an accent. I just can’t decide which accent it’s supposed to be. The actor is from Manchester, but he ends up all over the map. In a similar vein, Ramon is played by an actor who I believe is from Bulgaria. The nationalities of the various characters is just a bit… scattered.

Eve pulls a gun on ‘The Python’ and tells him to get back into the ring. “Get back in your yard and play.” This apparently is supposed to establish that she’s some kind of bad ass, pulling a gun on a man in chartreuse briefs and decorated ski mask who is still trying to recover from having impacted heavily with a table. Yeah, I’m impressed. No really. See? This is me being impressed.

Back to the truck, then. Darkness, gunfire and basic carnage are the order of the day as the snake escapes. Truck, fight, truck, fight. I’m starting to get into this whole wrestling thing as Ramon’s men blaze away with semi-automatic weapons and Ramon pulls out a bomb and arms it. The snake hits Ramon with its tail, he drops the bomb and blows himself, one of the SUVs and his henchman to flinders.

The end of the fight flickers through the explosion and Eve and Broddick jump up and down and are all excited as ‘The Boa’ triumphs over ‘The Python’. Hooray.

We pick up with our gruesome twosome in a new scene with a long, exterior shot of a jet, painted a rather tacky dark brown and dull yellow (what, did they have to borrow it from UPS?) with Broddick’s name emblazoned on the side in an amusing, quirky font. Honestly, the only thing missing from the shot was the fingers of whoever was holding the model airplane up by its tail.

Inside the plane, Broddick and Eve suck face for a brief moment before she takes her skanky butt off to bathe. I feel that I can speak with authority as to the skankiness of her butt, because she shows it to us. Along with the rest of her. She’s got a number of tattoos as well, none of which are very attractive, but I suppose we’re supposed to theorize that she’s a bad, bad girl. You know, from the way that she draws firearms on defenseless professional wrestlers and has lots of tattoos, including one of a cobra that runs down her spine.

We’ll get back to that.

At any rate, we are then treated to the least erotic bathing scene that I have ever been subjected to – probably because most people who are attempting to appear erotic on-camera in a bubble bath don’t use a giant, rectangular yellow sponge of the variety generally used to scrub walls and/or industrial sinks with. Oooooh baby. Soap yourself up with that giant, yellow brick that reminds most of us of the unpleasant chore of cleaning the bathroom. Yeah. That’s it… bring the dimmed memories of soap scum and ring-around-the-tub back to me as you run it across your bared flesh….

*ahem*

As she’s bathing with her big ol’ yellow brick, we’re treated to an ominous, floor-level camera view, with much breathy, sotto voce growling and an ominous rattling. The camera slithers up to the tub and Eve gets all startled and then sort of indignantly amused.

Of course, so would I be if a snake that was supposedly an anaconda started growling and rattling at me. Now there’s a reptile suffering from one hell of an identity crisis.

She calls Broddick’s name as we switch to a view of him discarding his shirt, ever-present cigar still in one hand. I suppose this is to make up for having to look at Eve’s none-too-impressive nakedness in the bath. It doesn’t work. It’s all relatively gratuitous, especially as Eve stalks out of the bathroom, starkers, and snark ensues. Broddick makes some idiotic comment about garter snakes that doesn’t make sense even in context and Eve tells us all that she hates snakes.

This is an interesting sentiment from a girl with a cobra tattooed on her spine who cheers for a wrestler named ‘The Boa’. Of course, she goes on to resurrect her ‘bad girl who-takes-no-prisoners’ image by declaring that she’s not afraid of them – oh, of course not. She just doesn’t like them.

I’d like to take this opportunity to ask the writer what the hell he was thinking when he wrote this piece of garbage.

Broddick then gets all hot and bothered as he goes on about this snake and Eve plasters herself to him and there’s much suggestive grinding on the bed for all of about three seconds before they’re interrupted by his cell phone. You know, up in a jet. Of course, he does have an anaconda and a giant marble bath and network tv up there.

At any rate, the call is from the truck rental company who wants to know why their truck and driver haven’t reported. This call is fortuitously followed by a smarmy guy on the television who brings Broddick conveniently up to speed on what happened to said truck, not ten seconds after he learns it was missing.

Why can’t my life be like that?

Broddick manfully decides that they’re going to hunt the snake anyway. So what if they have to go all the way to Philadelphia to do it.

The scene fades to the smarmy television news guy (Kent Humphries), who is going on about conspiracy theories and terrorists, much to the disbelief of his cameraman. I actually quite like these two as actors and the cameraman as a character.

A man in a suit pulls up in an SUV. He has closely cropped hair and sunglasses and just screams ‘I am the hero! Fear me!’ Kent seems to think so too, as he grabs his cameraman and leaps at him, dramatically producing more questions about terrorism and completely missing the entire ‘giant snake eats Philadelphia, news at 11’ angle which would doubtlessly have sent his miserable career sky-rocketing.

The running gags here include the mispronunciation of the phrase ‘al-Quaida’ and the newly arrived Agent Sharpe telling Kent repeatedly that he wouldn’t know because he ‘just got here’. If you don’t think that’s funny, I’m afraid that I’d have to agree with you.

Agent Sharpe pulls on a pair of latex gloves and begins wandering around the scene, staring at the still-burning car wreck and immediately pulling a somewhat charred scale out of the back of the truck. Because, you know, no one else would have notice a giant scale the size of your hand lying directly in the opening of the abandoned truck.

There are bodies, and we meet Agent Sharpe’s efficient female sidekick over one of them – or parts of three of them. It depends on who you feel like believing. They wander from the body parts over to look at the metal doors of what appears to be a conveniently located access tunnel. The doors have been ripped apart, although not enough to allow the passage of the giant snake that we saw earlier, and the edges are blood-stained and jagged.

Please note, when we next see the snake, it is not at all bloody or missing any scales. Amazing powers of recuperation these giant, mutant snakes have. [/nitpick]

We will now dash over to Philadelphia Water and Power and take a look at the tunnels below-ground where workers are wandering around wondering about strange noises. A bit of snake skin is found and whoops, chomp, so much for his pension plan.

So the giant snake, as yet unidentified, has eaten poor Carl the Water and Power worker and his friend, thus establishing the serious fact that it doesn’t subsist solely on heavily armed reptile smugglers for its daily protein intake. Then again, it does tend to leave large, gory bits behind and hasn’t shown any inclination to curl up for a snooze while the large lumps of meat digest, so perhaps it just likes the taste.

Human blood. Mmmmm.

Back to the scene of the crime, where Agent Sharpe and his female sidekick are treated to the humorous pratfalls of one of the state troopers. There is attempted humor involving gore and corpses and body parts and a good time is had by those with no taste.

Gore. Mmmmmm.

It is, however, established to the satisfaction of the Feds that the snake has slithered itself off to the Water and Power plant. They are apparently still puzzled as to what kind of creature has scales and slithers. Agent Sharpe throws his federal weight around and gets the plant shut down and orders the female sidekick to close everything down until they can get ‘experts’ in.

There is also a concise summary of the plot of Python 2, to wit:

“And I want everything we’ve got on the Larson project.”

“That was a CIA project gone bad….”

“Couple of big snakes that got loose in Russia and wiped out an entire team.”

You’d think they’d’ve learned their lesson, then.

Cut scene to a sunny pool and a totally gratuitous shot of a girl in a thong bikini to the melodic thump of equally gratuitous pop music. The title tells us that it’s Miami, Florida, although it could have been any pool anywhere.

We are then treated to the spectacle of a thuggish, ex-Navy Seal tearing off his shirt and getting into an underwater breath-holding contest with an improbably pretty blonde woman in a bikini. She wins by flirting and playing with her top till the guy gives in and breathes. Impressive, it’s not.

This is our introduction to Dr. Monica Bonds, dolphin expert and all ‘round bimbo. She swims around the pool collecting money for her cute little party trick and ends up staring up at a Federal Agent sent to collect her for the egregious Agent Sharpe.

We then cut to Elkins, West Virginia (and why all these little notifications of change in locale have to be done in pink, I have no idea. It’s not quite the right tone for a movie regarding rampaging giant snakes). Agent Sharpe and Dr. Monica (now with a track suit over her bikini) are discussing dolphin research as they zip down the highway in a chauffeur driven SUV. Apparently Dr. Monica was recruited not for her habit of taking off her top at strategic moments after all, but because she developed a method of mine-sweeping using implanted technology on dolphins.

If you’re failing to see the connection between that and the giant snake, you are not alone.

They pull up at the Longreen Snake Reserve to meet Dr. Emmett, ‘one of the world’s leading herpetologists’. Monica cements my low opinion of her intelligence by remarking, “That’s kind of creepy.” Honey, you do cerebral implants on dolphins so they can hunt for active mines. I don’t think you get to judge other people’s creepiness factor.

“In my book, people who play with snakes are creepy.”

Was it a big book with large, colorful pictures and really short words?

Agent Sharpe hares off to find an unlocked door while Monica paces back and forth and dissects the unknown Emmett’s character. My favorite part of this entire movie is when he walks up behind her, looking slightly bemused, and listens for a moment before asking, “Agent Sharpe?”

I will admit to being more than merely slightly fond of David Hewett, but even he couldn’t save this movie. In fact, his being a good actor mostly served to point up the deficiencies of the characters around him. Sad, that, actually bringing up the tone of a perfectly adequate bad giant snake movie.

Emmett ushers them into the institute and we get an impressive shot of a great deal of high tech equipment and several snake tanks. Monica shows her credentials as movie bimbo by attempting to bond with Emmett, now that she has a good look at him and immediately blows it by being entirely clueless.

I realize that these movies tend to make their female characters either over-sexed or under-intelligent, but this movie sins in both directions, and I find it highly annoying. I like my horror movie women to be kick butt and/or the brains of the operation. Eve is neither, and Monica is so badly written that although they’d like her to be the brains of the operation, or at least one half of them, I can’t possibly believe it.

Agent Sharpe has come here to look at a very large snake and as we’ve apparently met the python, this means that Emmett has custody of the boa. Her name, in a moment of utter anti-climax, is Betty. They are taken through a rather impressive security system and Emmett picks up a snake that’s about three to four feet long as he talks about Betty. Agent Sharpe remarks that it’s a little smaller than he imagined – and we’ll pause for titters here.

Thank you.

Emmett remarks, with a decided air of smugness, that the snake in question isn’t Betty, but Betty’s lunch. Monica gives him the sort of look usually reserved for junior high school geeks that try to sit down to have lunch with the senior cheering squad in bad ‘coming of age’ movies everywhere, and prepares to be all grossed out.

Emmett treats her to a rather condescending explanation that boils down to the fact that he feeds Betty live snakes injected with a poison and then draws blood and runs experiments to produce various anti-venoms. Monica doesn’t look very impressed. Agent Sharpe asks where Betty actually is, then, as the large, red-lit room seems relatively empty.

You can’t tell me that it isn’t total smugness when Emmett informs them both that Monica is actually standing on Betty. She screams and leaps away, and Betty coils up to take her dinner from Emmett. Betty’s head is almost as long as Emmett is tall and he lets her take the smaller snake and then watches with much smug, parental glee as she slithers off.

Leaving Betty in peace, they move back to the main lab where Monica goes through a brief recap of who she is and what she does while demanding to know exactly why Agent Sharpe has brought her to meet Emmett.

“I’m dying to know what kind of situation could possibly require the use of his boa and my implants.”

There are jokes to be made there, but I’ll pass. Really. I will.

As it is, she looks very much like a dumb blonde as she asks that because, duh. Animal implants to help search for stuff and a giant boa? Looks to me like Agent Sharpe wants you to do surgery on the snake so he can use it to go looking for something.

Damn me and my use of Earth Logic, as that’s exactly the plan that Agent Sharpe has in mind.

We cut now to Broddick and Eve and what is possibly the world’s dumbest and most cheesily staged introduction of secondary characters snake fodder. Seriously. I’ve never seen anything like it.

As Broddick and Eve stand on the runway next to the plan, a large pickup truck roars up with a giant American flag mounted on the back of the cab, flapping merrily in the breeze. The driver screeches it to a halt before exiting, showing us a set of snakeskin cowboy boots, a huge belt buckle, a purple suit jacket over jeans and a cowboy hat. He is introduced to Eve by Broddick as, “My good friend Tex, from Lubbock.”

Barely has he swaggered from his vehicle, than a red sports car makes an appearance, roaring along and spinning to a screeching halt directly beside the truck and here’s where I dissolved into helpless laughter that lasted through the entire rest of the introductions and well into the rest of the movie. I had to go back and watch the segment again. This is, “Mr. Foley, our military’s greatest sniper.”

Wait for it, guys. It’s worth it.

The guy who climbs out of this car was obviously picked out of a line-up of male models. He’s sporting something just a little heavier than five o’clock shadow, a cheap knock-off of some designer sunglasses, a tight grey t-shirt and fingerless black leather gloves. Broddick advises Eve not to stare, but I didn’t feel there was much there to look at, frankly. Of course, compared to him…? Maybe he has a point.

As Foley joins Tex, a rather badly driven station wagon joins the line-up, and we are introduced to Mr. Danner and his son James. They’re dressed in hunter’s orange vests and caps over camoflage, one of the world’s most hideous uses of fluorescent fabric, and after Tex’s flamboyance and Foley’s cliché-ness, are a bit of a surprise. I suspect they’re meant to be ironic or symbolic of something or other. It’s hard to care about them, really, as they are obviously snake fodder.

“Wife took the truck,” Mr. Danner explains.

The final arrival, as everyone turns dramatically to look at the waving flag, is wandering across the field in a leather vest, a single bracer and glove and sporting a bald head, crossbow over one shoulder. The vest doesn’t cover the huge tattoo of a pawprint on his chest, which was, I felt, a bit over the top. “Littlefield,” Broddick tells us, “Master huntsman.” After seeing him in the woods a little later on, I think I’d have to guess that he earned that particular title playing some on-line video game. After another spate of hysterical giggles, let’s return to the movie.

We are then treated to this group of misfits walking dramatically, five abreast, toward the sunset. It’d’ve been a great deal more dramatic if they hadn’t all been squinting – save Foley who is safe behind his cheapass sunglasses.

Broddick gives them an insanely cheesy welcome, complete with a dramatic pause, and then loads them all on the plane and they have a strategic planning session around a large marble table… in a jet. He compounds the cheesiness of his speech by calling Eve, ‘babe’.

James makes the mistake of asking for a Sprite as the grouping of manly men give their drink orders to Eve, and covers for it by asking for a beer as well. Yeah, you just know Mr. Danner brought his son along on this venture into idiocy in order to ‘make a man’ out of him.

If I were partaking in a ‘count the cliches’ drinking game, I’d be comatose by now.

Broddick goes on with the melodramatic cheesiness, spinning out the tension before telling us all that he’s got himself a giant, man-eating python on the loose. Littlefield is silent and dramatic, Foley leers at Eve, Broddick continues to be melodramatic and the rest of them are more or less entirely forgettable. Oh, and Broddick and Foley are going to be getting into a pissing contest at the first possible opportunity. The meaningful glares as Foley has the audacity to make a toast to the hunt in Broddick’s own airplane’s boardroom are… well, rather pathetic actually.

Back to West Virginia we go.

Agent Sharpe explains to all and sundry, in a decidedly pouty fashion, that Philadelphia won’t let him release toxins in enough volume to poison an 80 foot long snake right on top of their water supply. He follows this with a declaration that he’s not gonna “send armed men blindly down there so they can become snake bait.”

I listened to that and snickered a bit. No, of course he’s not. No, he’s just going to compound the situation by setting loose another giant snake – one with no fear of humans. Gee, how clever of him. (Note: Okay, so it’s doubtful that the python has any fear of humans either, given how happy it is snacking on them. Just humor me.)

Emmett earns major points for hearing out Agent Sharpe’s plan to surgically attach a device to his boa and send it after a monster python and then responding, “Well, congratulations. That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.”

Sharpe attempts a rebuttal in the fact that the Navy trains seals and dolphins to sweep for mines and that the Army uses dogs for tactics and combat which, in my somewhat limited experience, has nothing to do with setting a giant constrictor loose to hunt another one to its den in the bowels of a Water and Power plant. But that may just be me.

Ah, thank god for Emmett. “It’s a hell of a leap from dogs and dolphins to wild reptiles.”

Not that Betty is wild, per se, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

According to Sharpe, however, the CIA has already been working on the entire ‘giant reptiles as combat units’ thing – well, until they were all eaten by their test subjects in ‘Python 2’, anyway. You’d think that would stand as a relatively pointed object lesson, but apparently not.

So the grand plan is to do surgery on the boa and send it out to do battle with the python, backed by military reinforcements. Once she’s killed the python (and there’s a huge leap of supposition there) she’ll be ‘immobilized’ and returned to the lab. All well and good and so very neat and tidy.

Yeah, right. We all know how monster movies work, right?

At any rate, Emmett explains to Agent Sharpe that they need to get moving, as it’s about to be night, and these snakes are corpuscular, ie, active at daybreak and sunset. He theorizes that the python will be out terrorizing the local populace and Sharpe ripostes that he’s got men in place and thus, the python being out of the tunnels is inconceivable.

Tha’ word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Neither does Emmett. He’s got a fairly good grasp of Earth Logic himself, far too much to actually be a part of this movie, frankly. The python is indeed out and looking for lunch.

Let us pause here to admire it as it butts a solid metal pipe cap a good distance into the sky and slithers off. No contusions, tears, scrapes, burns or even a bruise on its blunt little snout. No suspiciously human-sized lumps to mar its sleek form and no sign of wanting to snooze somewhere warm while it digests. I mean come on. It’s a python in Pennsylvania at night. You’d think it’d want to curl around a steam pipe in the power plant and purr itself to sleep while it digests the five or six humans it has eaten in the last ten hours or so. Of course, it’s done remarkably little constricting for a python, preferring to rip its prey in half so maybe it hasn’t really eaten that much?

The writer and director flunk at basic herpetology. I give them an F and move on.

Monica and Emmett are performing surgery on Betty while Agent Sharpe looks on. It all looks very high tech and dramatic till you realize that the metal bits they’ve stuck on the outside of her skull strongly resemble something out of a magical girl anime. I swear, I expected her to flick it off with her tail and shout ‘Moon Tiara Magic’ at some point as it sliced an innocent bystander in half.

Maybe that explains the egregious pink font in the text that flashes on the screen occasionally.

At any rate, we now have Cyborg!Boa to contend with. We’ll leave them to it and wander off to watch a couple making out and indulging in bad dialogue in a parked station wagon. This being a movie about giant snakes, we know that they’re both going to end up eaten, so I won’t waste much time on them.

I do feel it my duty to point out that the guy gets dragged away in the middle of going down on his girlfriend and the snake comes along and, well… that’s an orgasm she’d never forget if it hadn’t followed up by literally eating her.

Moral of the story? Don’t have sex in a station wagon in the middle of nowhere with the door open and your eyes closed. It’s just safer that way.

Back to the surgery. Emmett is all worried about his poor baby now that she’s been converted into a cyborg death machine, and displays, somewhat grumpily, the little device that’s supposed to trigger a shock that’ll stun her for a bit. Then he wanders off to angst sadly over his giant boa constrictor, now that the mean lady has stuck bits of metal into her skull.

We will leave him moping there to go check in on Kent and his cameraman. Kent is trying to cash in on the mysterious happenings at the Water and Power plant, but is still missing the main story – ‘Python Eats Municipal Employees, Gov’t Cover-Up in Progress’. Kent has a wonderful grasp of purple prose, however, and flights of fancy that really have to be seen to be believed. His cameraman, being a pragmatist, is less than enthused.

Long story short, Kent is an asshole, the cameraman is wonderfully funny and Kent gets eaten by the story of a lifetime.

Monica brings Emmett coffee back at the lab, where he’s sitting staring mournfully at his snake and begins with the lamest pick up line in the history of pick up lines – “So, tell me more about your anti-venom.” Emmett, being a scientist with a hobbyhorse, is more than happy to oblige. Betty chooses this moment to get all cranky and wake up.

Sharpe chooses that moment to show up and tell them about the teenagers and the missing Kent Humphries. The python is still leaving bits of its victims around, arguing that it’s really just a very aggressive vegetarian or that its going for some sort of world record as ‘messiest eater’. In any case, Sharpe wants them to get Betty out there and python-hunting right now. Emmett stands protectively over his giant boa constrictor and protests that she’s just woken up from surgery, for the love of pete, and really shouldn’t be slithering off for a round of mortal combat with a killer python.

Again with the Earth Logic.

Agent Sharpe doesn’t care and says so. Emmett gets extremely peeved and there is a brief shouting match, involving trigger happy goons shooting his (Emmett’s) boa constrictor while Sharpe points out, reasonably enough, that they really need to stop the python from going around eating the happy residents of Pennsylvania. He comes up with a set of guns and some tranquilizers to try and bring this all to a happy ending with no dead snakes at all. Monica chimes in with how the CIA should be happy to have their own snake as a guinea pig (which brings up all sorts of odd and unfortunate mental images) and shows us again what an idiot she is. We’ve seen what a bad idea that is in the last giant python movie.

Sharpe reluctantly agrees to try taking the python alive (thus minimizing risk to Betty) but wins major points for the line “But if it comes down to a choice between saving human lives and saving that snake, I’m siding with my own species.”

Emmett should have thought about Betty’s well-being before letting himself be dragged into this, frankly.

Back to the snake fodder, who are climbing out of their cars out in the woods and all het up to start blazing away at anything that moves. Yee-haw. You know this is all going to end badly – it’s just a question of when.

As they pull out their guns and get set, we’re treated to shots of armed convoys and people frantically buying bottled water as the headlines scream about the giant snake in the water treatment plant. Except that it got out and, frankly, while some reticulated pythons live in caves, most of them prefer ground cover and trees. I have no idea why the writers think that it would be attracted to an uncomfortable, noisy, wet and cold system of man-made tunnels.

*coughs* Sorry. Moving on.

Sharpe is briefing his heavily armed troops on how “Those tunnels down there go for miles.” They’re going to drop the boa down there and hope it comes across the python’s trail and follows it back out of the tunnels so they can catch it.

His efficient female sidekick shows up at that moment with the information that the original truck was leased to a certain ‘Broddick’, casino owner and big game hunter. It’s not much of a logical leap to deduce that Broddick is responsible for the man-eating python.

Betty is introduced to the tunnel and slithers on her merry way, magical girl tiara of technological wonders firmly in place. She is understandably peeved about her change in environment but takes off. Emmett and Monica have a moment at this point, more or less, and all’s well with the snake hunt from this end.

With all the efficiency and cohesiveness of the average high school field trip, Sharpe, his men, Emmett and Monica go trotting after Betty. The military guys are dressed for slogging around cold, dank tunnels. Emmett and Sharpe are in shirt sleeves, and Monica is dressed, well, like the heroine in a bad monster movie. Monica looses the signal from Betty’s technological tiara in the tunnels and everyone freaks out a bit.

Back above-ground, the hunters are wandering around. Eve, not to be outdone by the blonde bimbo in the tunnels, is wearing a set of hip-hugging camouflage pants and a skimpy camouflage halter top and is waving a pistol which I doubt will do much good against an 80 foot python.

James and his father, resplendent in their camo and hunter’s orange, are pathetic and dysfunctional. Eve practices popping out of her scanty top. Tex and Foley are manly. Broddick and Littlefield look halfway competent but, unfortunately, compared to the others, this isn’t exactly difficult. Foley uses an alarm that they might be closing in on the python to stir up a rebellion against Broddick’s manly leadership in the hunt and he and Tex go haring off – hopefully to their doom.

Down in the tunnels, Monica gets the signal back and then loses it again, much to the disgust of everyone involved. The soldiers toddle off to get the whole thing over with that much faster by getting eaten instead of hanging around with the scientists. This leaves Sharpe, Emmett and Monica alone with their malfunctioning technology.

Above, Eve has run off to tattle to Broddick about Foley and Tex deciding to go python hunting on their own. Broddick has the nerve to call them amateurs, which makes me snicker a bit, especially considering the way they’re all running around in the woods shouting and carrying on.

Tex gets eaten. Broddick discovers Foley striking a dramatic pose with Tex’s discarded weapon. Broddick and Foley get into it about responsibility and it almost looks impressive till Broddick adds, ‘and stay away from my girlfriend’. Shots ring out elsewhere and break it up as Foley and Broddick stand nose-to-nose, chests pressed together, etc, etc. James and his father have apparently cornered the python and blow the shit out of it.

Funny, most pythons are a bit longer than fifteen-twenty inches and few of them sport fluffy tails. Sad. Very sad. Grenades and semi-automatic weapons are a bit of over-kill when hunting bunnies.

Eve, being observant, leads them back to the tunnels, whereupon Littlefield strikes a dramatic pose with a bit of discarded flesh.

Pythons swallow their prey whole, guys. Pardon me while I go beat the writer with a very large wiffle bat.

There’s a great deal of pointless posing among the snake fodder group. They’re arranged dramatically in various poses at every possible opportunity. I suppose it’s meant to boost their fearless, law-breaking image, but it looks very, very odd.

Down in the tunnels, the soldiers are nowhere to be found, Monica keeps losing and regaining Betty’s signal, and there appears to be not only a new reptilian arrival to the party but Betty might have decided to eat the soldiers. The air is fraught with tension.

Also military body parts.

Can I point out that it’s idiotic to be firing automatic and semi-automatic weapons when underground surrounded by concrete walls and metal pipes, especially in a steam and power facility? You can imagine the rest.

Betty decides to eat the soldiers, on a whim, presumably. Sharpe has an argument with Emmett about knocking Betty out using the remote, and Emmett manages to get contact with the soldiers and tells them to shoot the pipes, thus releasing superheated steam and messing up the snake’s visual acuity. So to speak. Ignoring the fact that this would probably result in steam-cooked soldiers and par-boiled snake, they do so and it works. Two out of four soldiers survive and are sent haring for the surface, leaving our intrepid trio in the tunnels with Betty and, presumably, the python. The snake fodder group should be arriving shortly, bringing things nicely to a head.

Nicely if you’re rooting for the snakes, that is.

Above, as the sun sets, Broddick and Eve smooch and she practices popping out of her top some more. Her pistol is jamming, so Broddick gives her his rifle. Gee, I don’t know about you, but while hunting something that can eat me, I always love to use an unfamiliar weapon. Of course, given the weapon she was using, it’s a vast improvement. Foley is an ass to the other hunters, apparently in a miserable effort by the writer and director to make him look cool. This is interrupted by Broddick, who has found himself a flamethrower, which he then uses to light a cigar.

Yeah, so impressed over here. Wow. The rampant, untrammeled manliness of it all. I’m totally overwhelmed. Totally.

Back to the tunnels, where Emmett and Monica bond a bit over their respective animals of interest and we learn that Emmett’s little sister got bitten by a pit viper and died. The moment of warm fuzziness and sympathy is thankfully interrupted by Sharpe wanting them to get on with business. The electronics choose this fortuitous moment to start working.

Both snakes are apparently in a diversion tunnel beneath the plant so all they have to do is flood the tunnels and force them out. A simple plan, really. Flush the snakes out of the tunnels and into the reservoir.

This, of course, means that it’s time for the snake fodder to show up and mess everything up.

In the meantime, however, the A/V feed kicks in just in time for a gratuitous snake sex scene between boa and python.

The snake fodder arrives in the tunnel and Mr. Danner is sent off with his son and Foley and told by Broddick that he’s in charge – yet another play in the game of ‘I’m the guy with the biggest dick’. Eve, Littlefield and Broddick head off in the other direction and everyone is supposed to keep in constant radio contact.

Back at the ranch, so to speak, the snake sex has been broken up by Betty indignantly rebuffing the other snake’s apparently improper advances and slithering off, the python in hot pursuit. Our trio of voyeurs discover that there are three other people in one of the diversion tunnels and go racing off.

The tunnels are set to flooding and Emmett, Monica and Sharpe race off to save the snake fodder. Mr. Danvers is incompetent, Foley is creepy, and as Sharpe rounds a corner, Foley shoots him dead. ‘Cause, you know, the military’s foremost sniper is gonna mistake a federal agent for an 80 foot python. Really.

Monica bursts into floods of tears, James blames his dad, Emmett is incredibly pissed off at everybody and Foley is an ass. Par for the course, really. Foley then gets eaten by the python, much to the joy of everyone else involved. Mr. Danvers gets thrown by a lash of the python’s tail, is impaled and dies. James chooses this moment to get distracted by the water and gets carried away by the flood as Monica and Emmett escape.

Python: 4
Mighty Hunters: 1

The remaining snake fodder stumble upon what appears to be a discarded skin and a bunch of eggs. Eve, regaining her title of ‘oblivious movie bimbo’ swans over and picks up one of the eggs. Broddick points out that this is not a good thing, as the python is male – and Betty chooses that moment to lower her head from the ceiling and breathe right down Eve’s neck.

Monica dropped all her equipment in the rush and, as the python closes in, Emmett tells her to jump into one of the main water tanks. We’ll leave them there and go back to Eve and Betty.

Broddick, speaking slowly, tells Eve to put the egg back. Eve drops it, Betty lunges and Broddick lets loose with the flamethrower. As Betty coils around Eve, we’ll fade to where the python is investigating the water tanks. Ah, here is where we argue for the relevance of the earlier flirty, breath-holding.

We will now go back to the cinematic nit-wittery of the beginning of the movie, wherein we jump from scene to scene at about four second intervals such that if Betty weren’t red and wearing a little silvery tiara-like thing, we might get confused as to which snake/scene we were actually looking at.

In short: Broddick is a dimwit, Eve gets squished, Littlefield gets eaten, Emmett can’t hold his breath as long as Monica can (not when faced with unexpected dead bodies, anyway) and they end up sucking face underwater. Note to author: This works better if the person sharing their air isn’t also running out of breath, but has just taken a fresh lungful. Thank you and have a nice day.

Betty leaves after Broddick shoots her technological tiara and Broddick goes to crouch manfully and sorrowfully over Eve before swearing eternal revenge on Betty.

The python buggers off and Emmett and Monica surface, Monica pausing to hit on Emmett none too subtly and they dive back underwater in an attempt to find their way out. They achieve an exit from the water and my estimation of Monica’s intelligence goes up sharply as she says, “Well, I’d say we either go after the python and your boa without any radio or tracking support whatsoever, or we call it a day and get the fuck out of here.”

They get.

On their way out, they bump head on into Broddick and Emmett gives him a hard right hook to the jaw and calls him an asshole. Cheers for Emmett. As Broddick gets ready to kick his ass, a pistol appears from off screen and he is told to let Emmett go.

All hail the efficient female sidekick. She has sent the men in black to retrieve Emmett and Monica and they arrest Broddick for illegal import of animals and poaching.

Back in the treatment plant, Betty is coiled up as her technological tiara shorts out and gives off sparks while the python plays games with her eggs and basically makes her seven kinds of unhappy.

Meanwhile, Emmett and Monica get together with the efficient female sidekick and are brought up to speed. She has Monica’s backup equipment all set up at their base camp in Philadelphia and the snake hunt is on. There are tanks and armed men and more of that annoying pink font to let us know that we’re in Philadelphia, despite the female sidekick’s pronouncement only half a second before.

Why isn’t she the hero of this movie?

Broddick gets all manly and indignant about their having ‘accidentally’ broken an egg and the senseless death of his sweet, innocent girlfriend. Yeah. Right. Emmett and Monica get all confused and then excited about Betty’s eggs, concluding that because it was impossible for the python to have gotten Betty pregnant and to the egg-laying stage so fast, one of the earlier attempts to get her to breed must have worked. Huzzah!

‘Cause, you know, the world needs more giant snakes running loose.

As they watch the playback of the video footage as the python eats Betty’s eggs, Broddick makes a break for it. Betty takes off after the python and, as they look up from the playback, they realize Broddick is gone. On his way out, he steals a tank, just to show how hardass he is.

Monica and Emmett share another moment and in the silence following the gunplay and explosions of Broddick’s escape, they hear a thumping bass inside their supposedly secure perimeter. Turns out some nitwits are having a party at a nearby club. ‘Cause all the really cool kids don’t evacuate when there are giant, killer snakes on the loose.

There is much gratuitous baring of breasts and dancing around in glow in the dark paint. The python fits right in. It’s already eaten one club-going nitwit before it goes public by eating the dj, who can’t tell frantic ‘look-behind-you’ hand-waving from an attempt to get him to wave to the crowd.

Python: 2
Party-goers: 0

Emmett, Monica and the female sidekick arrive just in time to watch him eat the dj and the frantic clubbers trample the soldiers on their way out. Broddick kicks open a door as he arrives with his flame-thrower and is impressively backlit while he poses.

As Emmett takes aim with his tranqulizer gun, Broddick lets loose with his flamethrower and attempts to be witty before trying to fry Emmett and Monica. Emmett loses the gun and Broddick mugs an innocent bystander for his cigar before continuing to try to burn the club down around them all. He doesn’t actually manage to set fire to anything save a couple of the soldiers for quite some time, which tells us not to buy domestic propellants for our snake-killing sprees.

The female sidekick calls for backup as the python goes for Monica and Broddick’s flamethrower decides to go on strike. The soldiers, those who weren’t made into military flambé, leap into action and Monica throws herself into Emmett’s arms and they flee, leaving the gun behind. They cling to a set of metal bars which they are holding closed as the python tries to force his way after them – and Betty falls out of the ceiling to pick a fight.

Yeah, I didn’t believe it either.

Emmett lunges into the fray, retrieves his tranq gun and blazes away at both snakes. Broddick pauses to rip his shirt off in a display of maximum testosterone and picks up a gun, which I have to assume was discarded by one of the soldiers. He says something witty, or attempts to, and starts blazing away.

Broddick and Emmett have a moment, just before Emmett shoots him with the tranq gun thus leaving him to be eventual snake fodder, always providing his heart survives being shot full of Giant Snake Sedative. Betty grabs his legs, the python grabs his head and there’s a nifty little game of tug of war that deteriorates into a snake fight.

The two snakes drop through the floor (structural damage from Betty’s dramatic entrance or something equally idiotic) and into the subway… dramatically separated by a rushing train. ‘Cause, you know, we have to get those commuters through even after a city-wide lockdown has gone into effect.

Emmett and Monica rush down into the tunnel to find the snake fight back in full force as Betty is hurled across the station. Monica ends up thrown down onto the tracks and is rescued by Emmett as the battle goes on. Emmett sets off the electronic charge to knock Betty out and she goes flying out of the way of an unrushing train as he does so. The python is decapitated by the train and Betty goes thud.

As Emmett angsts about killing his baby and gets a warm, squishy hug from Monica, he looks up to find Betty gone.

Cut scene to back where the snake fodder entered the Water and Power tunnel complex, where Emmett and Monica are all tricked out in what might be wetsuits. Monica is all cute and flirty and points out that they make a really good team. Emmett adds, “And Betty makes three,” which made me want to point out that all of Betty’s babies will make significantly more than three and she might not be too happy to see Emmett again, given all that she’s been through.

The movie ended there, leaving me with the forlorn and desperate hope that Emmett only means to lure Monica down to the tunnels in order to feed her to Betty and Betty’s babies and then take up a life of herpetological crime.

Hey, I can dream.

– Truth

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About Popcorn Mice

Hi. We're the Urban Amazon and her sidekick, Truth. This blog is dedicated to recap and commentary of various movies in a hopefully humorous fashion. Said movies are mostly of the horror/action/adventure/science fiction and fantasy genres, as that's where our interests lie. Our efforts will, hopefully, amuse and entertain.
This entry was posted in 2004, Herpetologist's Delight, Things Man was not Meant to Tamper with - but Did Anyway, When Animals Run Amuck and then Eat your Face. Bookmark the permalink.

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