Curse of the Komodo (Review)

Curse of the Komodo

Tim Abell as Jack
William Langlois as Prof. Nathan Phipps
Gail Harris as Dr. Dawn Porter
Paul Logan as Drake
Directed by Jim Wynorski
Written by Steve Latshaw

Jurassic Park except instead of dinosaurs we have big komodo dragons!

Yep, it’s as bad as it sounds. Luckily, the movie tries to make up for it with stereotypical characters, scenes lifted almost directly from Jurassic Park, and zombies. Yes, zombies. As one of the new age giant monster movies that Sci-Fi Channel seems to produce ten at a time, it doesn’t have much to do to stand out from the pack of Boa‘s, Python‘s, Octopus‘s, and Crocodile‘s, but the movie even fails in that regard. At least this film avoids the Curse of the Title That is Only an Animal’s Name.

Military men invading a lush tropical island 200 miles from Hawaii open this film. The military men have one purpose: cannon fodder. They all get eaten in a matter of minutes by an unseen monster. On the island, two normal guys are in a compound guarded by an electric fence, they go outside to check on the gunshots they hear as a blonde bimbo-type girl stays inside. The two men are Jason, the younger, and Hanson (Mmm Bop!) the older man who seems based on the Jurassic Park character Robert Muldoon (the game hunter) at first, but instead just is a rip off of some random guy you’d run into at the local 7-11 buying some beer and a copy of Gallery. The remaining military men are Komodo-tongued, Komodo-squashed, and Komodo-chomped. The two men find a survivor, who is dying. He is covered in Komodo slobber, which Jason gets on him. They finish the job on the military guy to ease his pain, and head back to the compound. A giant Komodo runs into the electric fence and is detoured. There, the bimbo-type girl Becky is all “What happened? What was that?” and the younger guy is “Ask your father!” ICE BURN!

Cue credits, which let us know we’re now at Pearl Harbor, where the military is meeting with Scientist Nathan Phipps and his assistant Dawn Porter. The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor! Just kidding, though that would make the film better. The scientist and the Giant Komodo are property of Project Catalyst, which is an experiment designed to make food, but the military is using it to make weapons. The radioactive food the Professor Nathan has been making has been eaten by the island’s Komodo, so now they are very big and their metabolism is very fast as well, making them hungry often. Scientist doesn’t like the military and starts ranting and raving. The Military Man Foster tells them to destroy all evidence about the project. By themselves. On the island where the giant Komodos are running amok. Guess what’s gonna happen!

Meanwhile, two guys and a girl are robbing a casino. The robbers are Drake, a muscle-bound stereotype with a fuse as small as his IQ; Tiffany, his girlfriend who is starting to get tired of the criminal life; and Reece, a fat Keifer Sutherland-looking guy. They plan to escape from one Hawaiian island to another via helicopter, flown by a man named Jack who looks like Viggo Mortesen would had he been a heroin addict. Jack’s our ex-military man who’s fallen on hard times and drinks a lot stereotype. Their helicopter takes off in a storm, so you know they’re gonna be Komodo Island bound. Until that happens, the robbers bicker and bicker for our entertainment, which is interspersed with scenes of the whole scientist crew on the island saying “Good thing we have this electric fence” and “This electric fence is the only thing keeping us safe” and “I’d love to have the electric fences baby. To feel the electric fences arms around me in the dark of night, knowing that all is safe within it’s muscular arms. The love of the electric fence is the only thing keeping me alive.” I think we can toss the electric fence in the “about to be destroyed” pile.

The next morning, Dawn, Becky, and Jason are out alone, while the criminals have landed on the island and their chopper is no longer functional. The Professor Nathan and Hanson (Mmm Bop!) go out to search for them, as the Komodo are getting hungry. Yet they go alone and separate, sort of killing the whole point of their “stick together” conversation. The whole point of this nonsense is just to get the bimbo daughter of Nathan Becky alone with Donna, so Becky can swim around topless. In the jungle where Giant Komodo are eating people. When a giant komodo stirs and growls, Becky wants to keep on swimming naked. Her gigantic fake, fake, so fake breasts look as unrealistic as the komodo’s CGI. Jason is busy trying to fix a broken jeep, and is infected by the komodo slobber. The criminals trek across the island, verbally sniping at each other all the way. Leader Drake cannot keep up with the barrage of quips from pilot Jack.

KOMODO ATTACK! A komodo attacks the Professor, the girls, and the now dead of infection Jason. Hanson (Mmm Bop!) also pulls up in his truck to help shoot at the Komodo, as do all the other heroes, yet the bullets do little, and the komodo just stands there being shot and hissing. The criminals see what is going on, and Jack rushes to help, as Fat Keifer guy Reece gets komodo slobber on his arm (“All I know is I got slimed!”) Everyone runs to the truck, and they rip off the T-Rex scene from Jurassic Park, except with guns.

Back at the compound, the electric fence is having trouble due to lack of fuel for the power generator. The Professor calls the Navy, who won’t get them help until tomorrow morning. Becky asks dumb questions to fill up some time. The Professor figures there is only one komodo left, who has eaten all the others. This is proved by absolutely nothing. Hanson (Mmm Bop!) and Jack bond while Fat Keifer gets sicker. The generator starts to malfunction as well. They try to make the compound unattractive to the komodo, by killing all lights (except for the giant outside lights, and most of the inside lights. In fact, all they do is close some of the curtains. The generator dies, but somehow the outside lights are still on. Fat Keifer gets sick to the point he’s now from Night of the Living Dead, and wanders around with a gun, and is impervious to bullets. He gets eaten by the komodo. Many many more bullets are needed to drive it off. These are some well armed scientists. Military man Foster refuses to send more help, and the Professor realizes they aren’t going to get any help. Foster tells his adjutant that he’s gonna napalm the island. There is a shed full of ammo on the other side of the island, and they need to get their to resupply. In addition, the helicopter Jake flew now suddenly works again, and they will make way for that. (Jake lied, tee-hee!) So why is the ammo dump on the other side of the island by itself? Because we need to have several characters die on the way over to pump up the bodycount. In addition, we get more bickering!

Drake: “What’s carrion?”
Jake: “Luggage”

KOMODO ATTACK! The komodo attacks by standing near them and snarling. The komodo has ripped his vision off from the T-Rex in Jurassic Park as well, as he can’t see you if you don’t move. So Tiffany runs away, naturally. She gets eaten, Hanson (Mmm Bop!) gets whiplashed by komodo tail and killed, and Drake acts all tough despite being an impotent fool who let his girl get eaten. The rest get to the supply depot, and they decide to spend the night there, as Becky the moron daughter cannot walk any further. Professor Daddy agrees, despite Jake’s objections. I guess Professor doesn’t mind losing a few more cast members. Military Guy Foster plans to napalm the island at 8am the next day also.

ZOMBIE ATTACK! zombies are the last thing I would be worried about while trapped on an island with giant man-eating komodo dragons, but there they are. This one is Zombie Hanson (Mmm Brains!) who has been reanimated by komodo slobber. He bites the Professor, and is shot and shot by the rest of the team. In the morning, they head to the helicopter. So we get walking scenes.
Walking scenes.
Walking scenes.
Walking scenes.
Walking scenes.
Walking scenes.
Walking scenes.
Walking scenes.
Walking scenes with CGI volcano.
Walking scenes.
Walking scenes.
Professor needs to rest.

NAVY ATTACK! Time to hurry! Stock footage of randomly changing types of airplanes napalm the island with air-to-air missiles, even though that’s impossible. Not that giant komodo are probable, but I demand realism in the wrong places, it’s a sickness.

KOMODO ATTACK! Why not? The komodo is attracted to the helicopter, because as a lonely komodo he’s looking for some love. At least that’s all I can figure, or else he’s just following the mobile food, though why he’s always ahead of them I don’t know. Komodo is going to eat the girls, but the infected Professor grabs some C4 and has the komodo eat him, blowing the komodo to smithereens!

They head for the chopper. Drake drops his money, and takes forever to get it. As the napalm bombs drop, he keeps getting knocked down, and looks around at what’s going on. Jake gives him a long long time to get to the chopper, and finally leaves him behind. So Drake is left alone on the island with a big bag of money as it’s being bombed by the navy. Dawn has evidence to convict the military guy Foster, all of which fits on a 3 1/2 floppy. They go to the news, and Navy guy Foster does a Shawshank Warden. I like to think that the last thing that went through his head, other than that bullet, is wondering how Professor Nathan Phipps got the better of him.

Drake is still alive as well. He looks at his sack of money, full of $100 bills that have someone who is NOT Benjamin Franklin on them. In fact, it looks like Benedict Arnold! What weird world is this? No wonder things don’t make sense, this is some sort of alternate reality where Benedict Arnold is one of America’s greatest heroes! What is Ben Franklin in this universe, a mad hobo? We don’t have time to ponder much longer, as a family of four giant komodo walk up the shore and have some Drake dinner!

Curse of the Komodo suffers from its formulaic plot, formulaic characters, formulaic monsters, and formulaic stock footage. Why are there zombies? Why? Seriously, WHY? Godzilla never had Zombies. King Kong never had Zombies. Boa vs. Python never had zombies. Tarantula never had zombies. Zombies ruin all non-zombie movies they show up in. There is a reason they are segregated to zombie movies only. The worst part of this movie is that it could be a decent episode of MacGyver, just replace the pilot Jack with Richard Dean Anderson. Than MacGyver could do some MacGyver things fixing the electric fence, letting the Navy know the island is inhabited, and causing the komodo to all become vegetarians. MacGyver would have made this movie rule. Instead, we get second rate zombies. That speaks for every other aspect of this film. Second rate zombies=second rate film.

That, and everything else about this movie was second rate, unless it was third of fourth rate.

Rated 4/10 (Electric Komodo, Electric fence, c4, the generator)

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!