Well, if your goal in life was to watch two ex-idols duke it out in skimpy, wet dresses, this is the flick for you.
For the rest of us who don’t care so much about the Tiffany/Debbie schtick, there are fabulously fake giant gators and pythons, and a plot full of WTFery.
Nikki Riley (Debbie Gibson), who is supposedly a herpetologist, “rescues” snakes from illegal breeders and releases them into the Everglades. The pythons grow to B-movie-monster size and start eating all the gators. Ranger Terry O’Hara (Tiffany) pumps dead chickens full of steroids and feeds them to the gators, so they will also grow to certified B-movie-monster size and eat the pythons. Then it’s pythons vs. gators vs. humans! Oh, and Nikki and Terry catfight a lot.
Vitamin B-Acting: 90%
Tiffany and Debbie don’t hold back in their manufactured onscreen rivalry. Their sneers, pouts and snarls convey a sensitivity to the nuances of human emotion that is impossible for anybody other than Syfy Original Movie veterans to replicate. Bravo, Tiffany and Debbie!
|An accurate portrayal of rangers' uniforms|
A. Martinez, in the role of Native American herpetologist Diego Ortiz, does a perfect imitation of a stone statue throughout the movie. His calmness stuns the viewer, particularly while he watches his fellow human beings disappear down the maws of giant snakes.
I’d also like to give a shout-out to Kathryn Joosten, who played Angie the tough old lady ranger. I was quite sorry to see Angie die—but clearly she had to be punished for revealing any vestige of common sense.
Former Monkee Mickey Dolenz also makes a cameo in the flick. I must say, I could really get into watching B-movie monsters taking a bite out of these ex-idols.
Vitamin B-SFX: 90%
The gators, in particular, look faker and faker as the movie goes on. By the movie’s end, they were hardly recognizable as gators in certain scenes. I think these gators may well take the prize as the worst gator SFX in a Syfy Original Movie. That’s saying a lot, considering there are at least a dozen other gator-related Syfy Original Movies…
Hey, the pythons look fake too—don’t get me wrong. But these pythons are better done than the gators, and the pythons in this movie are on par with the SFX snakes from other Syfy Original Movies.
Darn, I really have spent too much of my life watching Syfy Original Movies.
Anyway, there’s a fun bit in the movie when the beasties invade Miami (looks more like a Hollywood backlot to me). A snake attacks a blimp with the Asylum logo on it—Asylum, of course, is the studio that made the movie.
I also enjoyed the moment when a commuter train goes right into a snake’s gullet. After riding the Washington DC Metro regularly for two years, I wouldn’t be so surprised if that started happening on the Red Line.
Vitamin Fun: 80%
I’d say the second half is the most enjoyable, because that’s when Nikki and Terry really go at each other’s throats, and the SFX degrades steadily. But the plot WTFery (the details will come soon) remains consistent throughout the film.
You know it’s a true, 100% certified Syfy Original Movie when even the death scenes of important characters have no emotional impact whatsoever. (No, I’m not saying who dies.)
|NOO! Not the DOG!|
First, no herpetologist in his/her right mind would ever think that releasing more pythons into the Florida wilderness was “right” or “natural,” as Nikki loudly insists during the entire movie. I have nothing against snakes—after all, I actually agreed to let my college roommate keep a pet snake in our dorm room. Florida has such a serious problem with snakes in the Everglades, though, that it really does flout reason to have a herpetologist actively releasing more snakes into the wild. (I also watch too much “Animal Cops: Miami.”) The python-gator problem is real—for more background, take a look here. (Warning—not for the squeamish)
It also makes zero sense that an Everglades ranger would automatically think that fighting giant snakes with giant gators was the way to go. Of course, this movie’s entire raison d’etre is for Tiffany and Debbie to constantly fight onscreen, and logic is not conducive to a good fight.
Since the movie focuses so much on the faux Tiffany-Debbie rivalry, the pseudoscience and political pills don’t have any real effect on the plot. This movie regurgitates the pseudoscience of Mega Piranha, when pseudoscience does appear at all.