This won $20,000 on America’s Funniest Home Videos!
Piranhaconda is like a mix of SyFy meets the softcore bikini film. Elements of both merge together while director Jim Wynorski returns to his favorite stomping ground of Hawaii. Thankfully, we don’t have a rehash of the Curse of the Komodo/Komodo vs Cobra/A.I. Assault script, and instead have something wholly new. While parts of it may not work, overall Piranhaconda isn’t terrible and gives enough death and destruction to knock it into mid-tier SyFy creature feature region.
Piranhaconda comes from the period where SyFy had begun to run low on monsters that exist in nature/mythology and needed to just combine fierce animals together to create new horrors. Sharktopus is the one that started this trend, which has expanded to include animal/natural disaster hybrids.
Piranhaconda doesn’t waste time trying to come up with a fantastical origin of the creatures, it just throws out a line or two about how the monsters have always been there and just hibernate a lot. They even grab a supernatural name for their creature – Kepolo, a Polynesian river devil. In reality, the origin of the creatures does not matter, what matters is if things are a grand ol’ time while all the monster action is happening.
Let’s get this out of the way right now. Piranhaconda is a gigantic dong that slithers through the grass and attacks its prey, often spewing goo over the chest of female characters. I think we’ve moved a bit beyond subtext here into hilarity. The two Piranhacondas don’t like each other very well, which isn’t surprising considering what they represent, but they’ve also mated and dropped dozens and dozens of eggs. Throw that into the fake film being a slasher film, which have their own phallic symbols going on, and things reveal themselves nicely. So, yeah. Piranhaconda!
A scientist by was of Michael Madson grabs himself a Piranhaconda egg, which awakens the creatures enough they eat all his companions, and he wanders through the brush until he’s captured by some heavily armed Bad Guys, who I guess just hang out in Hawaii in case people they can ransom for money wander by. Eventually we see they do leave their base and grab targets.
The main thread follows the production of a schlock feature on Hawaii – Head Chopper 2. Rose is a producer that stunt man and masked killer performer Jack is crushing on. At current, their biggest hassle is dealing with the film’s temperamental starlet Kimmy Weston, who is the Paris Hilton of movie starlets famous for being in one horror film and suddenly getting a big head. As the film continues, various crew members get chomped one by one, usually while away from everyone else, and barely anyone notices they are missing. Softcore starlet Angie Savage is one such crew member, while Erika Jordan shows up as a botanist looking for ghost orchids and instead becomes a ghost herself when she’s turned into Piranhaconda chow.
Eventually the shoot loses its funding, which means the film is shut down. They pack up and head for home in a caravan, only to be ambushed by said heavily armed Bad Guys, who take the director, Rose, and Kimmy captive (Jack and an explosive effects guy named Gunner manage to escape) Jack and explosives guy plot to save their friends, while the bad guys argue about whether Michael Madsen’s talk of a creature that kills people is nonsense or not. Soon the rescue attempt happens just as a Piranhaconda appears for dinner and to look for its egg, and all hell breaks loose.
The Piranhacondas are lightning fast giant monsters that can chase speeding vans down the highway, deliver lightning fast killer blows to its victims, and have an adversarial relationship with their spouses. Yes, the two Piranhacondas his and snap at each other, and worse. The largest problem with
Piranhaconda doesn’t take itself seriously, but the campiness is limited. There is a Piranhaconda surf theme. There is red mist on the screen whenever blood and gore happens. Rachel Hunter’s character says “Piranhaconda” and her evil boyfriend replies “I can’t believe you just said that!” Characters act as extreme stereotypes in order to give quick characterizations, though I can’t really fault that for the minor players.
Shandi Finnessey does a great job as Kimmy Weston, whining and acting the manipulative spoiled brat all through her appearance. I only wish she had lasted longer. Ditto for Rachel Hunter, who is also barely in the film. The amount of characters who are often separated or completely apart from other actors points to a a lower budget production, but that’s not surprising at all.
One of the funnest parts is the crazy final stunt done to destroy the Piranhaconda. It’s one of those B-movie logic things that makes perfect sense until you realize it makes no sense, yet the characters do it seriously. It’s literally a stunt designed to look cool on camera, and it achieves that marvelously.
Overall, I liked Piranhaconda, it was good to see Wynorski get creative. It’s not in my best of list for SyFy, and I was sort of saddened to see the big hullabaloo that happened over the Dread Central review. I’d rather Wynorski release 1 film a year like this where he tries than 10 films a year where he coasts through production. And I’ll keep watching.
Rated 6/10 (haggard director, head dripping goo, egg goo, masked killer, Explosives guy, taking photos)
Please give feedback below!