Posts tagged "giant snake movie"

Lake Placid vs Anaconda – Franchises Battle For Your Love on SyFy!

Lake Placid vs Anaconda

Where are the buns? I was promised buns!!


SyFy is caught in a crossroads of trying to transform into a respectable source of original science fiction programming, while still having a backlog of creature feature films to unload. Even worse for them, many of these films are event films that normally would get a lot of fanfare. But true to form, SyFy isn’t promoting Lake Placid vs Anaconda much at all, and seems content for it to get swept under the rug.

The whole situation has been perplexing for the past two years. The monster movies still air a LOT on SyFy’s schedules, but they rarely add anything new. Lake Placid vs Anaconda is the first new film in months, and we won’t get more until July drops a whole week’s worth of new movies.

Lake Placid vs Anaconda is the fifth movie in both franchises, something that is surprising even as someone who follows SyFy flicks and knows about all the prior DTV sequels of both. It just seems so weird. And now they are fighting, which will hopefully make this the most awesome of all the non-J-Lo and non-Betty White entries of the franchises.

The co-CEO of a pharmaceutical company ruthless, Sarah Murdoch is determined to finish the work of her late father to find a serum capable of triggering cell regeneration; Unfortunately, in addition to an orchid, the other two elements necessary to perfect the serum is a particularly aggressive breed of giant crocodiles and anacondas, both of which Sarah is working hard to track down. However, its alteration with wildlife refuge releases both the crocodile’s and anaconda’s, that wind up threatening, among others, the daughters of a local college sorority, who went to the beach for a pledge event. With her twin brother and co-CEO Brian Murdoch actively trying to stop her, Sarah’s efforts lead to more horrible deaths, but several potential love between Brian and the new Sheriff, Reba, and many of sorority girls and their counterparts in the fraternity.

Hopefully the winner then takes on another random franchise. Or maybe we’ll get an Expendables-style team up of random franchises some day.

Lake Placid vs Anaconda is directed by A.B. Stone (his first feature) and written by Berkeley Anderson (Robocroc, Grendel, Dragon Dynasty). It stars Nigel Barber, Jeffrey Beach, Yancy Butler, Robert Englund, and most importantly —> Corin Nemec!!!!! I could watch Corin Nemec watch paint dry for two hours.

Lake Placid vs Anaconda airs Saturday, April 25th, on SyFy!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 24, 2015 at 5:21 pm

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Piranhaconda (Review)

Piranhaconda

piranhaconda
2012
Written by Mike MacLean
Concept by J. Brad Wilke
Directed by Jim Wynorski

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

This is a preview video only! Get the full movie with Membership Access of Creatures Sliming Babes.com, only $9.95/mo recurring!


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!

piranhaconda

When we put our heads together…it hurts!


Rose (Terri Ivens) – A producer concerned with work and handling the difficult actress on her film. Figures out all the dumb stuff Lovegrove is doing that’s endangering everyone.
Jack (Rib Hillis) – Jack and Rose, huh? I guess their hearts did go on! A stunt guy with the hots for Rose, Jack helps save the day while avoiding dating Kimmy.
Professor Robert Lovegrove (Michael Madsen) – A herpatologist who has spent his life studying the piranhacondas that killed his dad, and has finally proved they exist just in time to set them loose on a killing spree. What a nice guy!
Kimmy Weston (Shandi Finnessey) – Famous b-movie actress, known for the line “Suck lead, you hillbilly buttnugget!” Shandi Finnessey is very convincing on playing the spoiled brat, adding a charm to the role a lesser actress wouldn’t know what to do with.
Pike (Michael Swan) – Leader of the random heavily armed gang who kidnap several of the characters for “ransom”, despite being so weirdly incompetent their game plant makes little sense.
Talia (Rachel Hunter ) – Female member of the random heavily armed gang who sort of has a thing with Pike. Is one of the smarter members, which means she dies quick so everyone else can do dumb things
Piranhacondas (CGI) – A monster who chomps lots of people and pumps out dozens of eggs in between long hibernation cycles. Also goes in long quests for eggnapped eggs. Piranhacondas can even takes down helicopters. The origin of Kepolo, a Polynesian river devil. Like the creatures in Flying Monkeys, a mythological creature from another culture becomes a star in a Western film with a quick name change for how culture in the West would call them. There are hundreds of awesome monsters in cultural myths from around the globe, enough SyFy could make films for decades just on them alone.

piranhaconda

This happens every day on the 101-N


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 5, 2014 at 9:00 am

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The Sorcerer and the White Snake (Review)

The Sorcerer and the White Snake

aka 白蛇傳說 aka It’s Love aka Bai she chuan shuo aka Madame White Snake

2011
Written by Charcoal Tan, Tsang Kan-Cheung, and Sze-To Cheuk-Hon
Directed by Tony Ching Siu-Tung
Action Directors – Tony Ching Siu-Tung and Wong Ming-Kin

Ice Age 5: Journey to Mt. Doom!

The Sorcerer and the White Snake is a big budget effects bonanza that also doubles as a sleeping aide. Thanks to China attempting to become a major player in the movie department, they’ve begun adopting the worst aspect of Hollywood blockbusters. Giant empty special effects, bland characters, story arcs that go nowhere, and a film made as generic and non-offensive as possible to ensure the widest possible audience. Sadly, that also makes The Sorcerer and the White Snake just like so many of those big budget films in that it is not very good. Now, I can’t fault them entirely for being inspired by generic Hollywood junk, that’s most likely the films that are imported over to China that clean up in the box office. But in the race to show how China can do it too, they failed to realize what China is doing is failing just as bad.

We’ve come to avenge Ting Ting from Thunder of Gigantic Serpent!

When making The Sorcerer and the White Snake, the producers decided the most interesting part about this classic love story was a supporting character who fought spirits. My thinking is they wanted to do a familiar story but also wanted to do a film with huge action sequences. The only feasible way was to graft it onto the classic White Snake story. But it just doesn’t work. The original tale is diluted and weakened, while the Monk’s expanded story receives little payoff. This decision even further boggles the mind because they kept the title It’s Love, which hints that the film should be focused on the couple and not the monk. The biggest sin of all is the action sequences ring hollow and bland. Large portions of what should have made the film great were sacrificed for spectacles that focues on looking good over actual impact. Thousands of people at thousands of computers worked for thousands of hours to make me bored. Many of the huge battles fail to even convey a sense of danger for the combatants, even when the entire ocean is turning into giant tidal waves with giant snakes swimming around, no one seems to be in real danger.

Someone wasn’t paying attention when they read the Book of Genesis!

But are there bright spots? Well, the film certainly looks very nice. Good cinematography. Moments of the action sequences are good, but not enough. This paragraph should be longer, but I really can’t think of anything.

By that time, my mouse lungs were aching for air.

It is legally impossible to talk about The Sorcerer and the White Snake without bringing up the last well known theatrical version of this story, Green Snake. I’m serious. Lawyers will call you and yell. While Tsui Hark’s film is a masterpiece, it is a completely different story (based, in fact, on a separate work, the book Green Snake by Lilian Lee!) Comparing Green Snake to The Sorcerer and the White Snake is like complaining because The Muppets Wizard of Oz isn’t enough like Wicked. They are two different stories with two different tales, with the same narrative starting point. And this post isn’t about Green Snake, it’s about The Sorcerer and the White Snake.

I hate it when I’m in the bamboo forest and a rap video breaks out…

Let’s meet the cast, then I’ll point out some places where the film did okay and where I got annoyed.

Master Fahai (Jet Li Lian-Jie) – The abbot of Jin Shan Temple and famed demon hunter. Very arrogant and strict, though he does try to capture most of the spirits in case they want to meditate for rehabiliation. See more Jet Li in The Forbidden Kingdom.
Susu aka White Snake (Eva Huang Sheng-Yi) – White Snake spirit that is thousands of years old and has the fortune/misfortune to fall in love with a human being. Eva Huang is best known for appearing voicelessly in Kung Fu Hustle, then getting fired from Stephen Chow’s production company, and drama ensuing, then still making it in the cutthroat world of acting/producing.
Qingqing aka Green Snake (Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin) – The rowdy Green Snake, who is more emotional and joking than her friend White Snake. But she is loyal and will defend her friend to the end. Charlene Choi is also on TarsTarkas.NET in Treasure Inn, Hidden Heroes, Beauty on Duty, and Protege De La Rose Noire.
Monk Nengren (Wen Zhang) – Assistant monk to Master Fahai and he accompanies him on all his adventures. Until he’s bitten by a bat demon and begins turning into a spirit himself. It also looks like the monks don’t have much of a health care plan…
Xu Xian (Raymond Lam Fung) – A young herbalist with big dreams and posessing enough of a cool factor to catch the eye of Susu for some cross-species romance. Turns out he isn’t that upset that his wife is a snake.
So much CGI, the excitemenZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 9, 2012 at 11:59 pm

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Discount Puppet Explosion 411 – Episode 108 – Mega Python vs. Gatoroid

Discount Puppet Explosion 411 – Two teams battle to review B movies for fabulous prizes

In this episode, Team Bastards takes on the Asylum’s classic matchup film, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. Debbie Gibson and Tiffany battle using lizards as proxies in an escalating war of reptilian giantism.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm

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Grendel (Review)

Grendel


2007
Directed by Nick Lyon

SciFi Channel is worse than the monsters in the films it continues to pump out at a hypersonic rate. At least in their films, the monster dies at the end after killing off most of the cast. In reality, SciFi Channel cannot be stopped, and no matter how many of their films are taken down, the network remains strong and continues to send its armies against the good people of the world. Whenever the people are in danger, there will always be heroes who rise to the challenge to fight the monsters. Once again, the Dragon Slayers have mobilized to take on a creature sewing destruction upon the lands. In this case, that monster is Grendel, based on the epic poem Beowulf. Based on may be too kind of a word. Grendel shares some of the same character names as Beowulf, and some of the same plot. The details change, a lot. To the point that one wonders if they read the original poem, or even the Cliff Notes. Heck, had they watched the Star Trek Voyager episode about Beowulf they would have been more accurate. Instead, we have some sort of super-crossbow that fires explosive rockets.

A few brief notes on the literary wonder that is Beowulf. With events taking place in the late 5th through early 6th centuries A.D. Beowulf gives a glimpse into a period rich with battles, heroes and epic lore. One of the few surviving epics in Old English it is often referred to as, "The Oldest English Epic". Beloved by scholars it inspired Tolkien (who was an authority on the text) and many another author. It has, surprisingly seen little attention on film, the Christopher Lambert film of the name was a futuristic SciFi piece with little relation to the epic. 2005’s Beowulf & Grendel reworked the source material to tell a moralistic tale with Grendel as a misunderstood primitive. It received mixed reviews (Iain says, "I liked it for the most part"). A motion capture adaptation is to be released in 2007, this appears to be attempting to stick within the vein of epic.

TarsTarkas.NET and FantasyFilmscapes.com are doing another tag-team review. As usual, the opening segment is collaborative, after that, we will be alternating every 15 minutes of film between Tars Tarkas from here and Iain Norman from FantasyFilmscapes.com. Once you have gone through this version of the review, be sure to drop by FantasyFilmscapes.com’s version, with different pictures, different formatting, and plenty of other content on that site as well. Now let’s begin:
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 4, 2007 at 2:06 am

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Bruce Lee in New Guinea (Review)

Bruce Lee in New Guinea

aka She nu yu chao aka Bruce Li in New Guinea

1978
Starring
Bruce Li (Ho Chung Tao) as Chang Wang-li (aka Bruce Lee)
Chan Sing as Great Snake Wizard Guru
Danna as Ann Kawa
Chin-kun Li as Chin Sang
??? as Tu Yung – one of the guides (shorter)
??? as The crosseyed guide
??? as Cheng Pow
Directed by C.Y. Yang

Bruce Li is Bruce Lee is Chang Wang-li in Bruce Lee in New Guinea, part of Bruce-ploitation Mania of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Bruce Li (real name Ho Chung Tao) was one of the dozens of Bruce Lee imitators renamed Bruce Something or Something Lee in the wake of the death of the King of Kung Fu. Bruce Lee ended up doing all sorts of wacky things once every other movie coming out of Hong Kong was patterned after him to make a quick buck. This is not as wacky as some of them (The Clones of Bruce Lee anyone?) but is still pretty silly. The real question is, would the real Bruce Lee bother going to New Guinea? I think not! Bruce Lee (Li) does end up on Snake Worship Island, I don’t want to give away what they worship there, but it isn’t King Kong. Let’s just say Wacking Day would be a sacrilegious event. It’s important to note that Bruce Li is not supposed to be Bruce Lee, but some guy named Chang Wang-li, an anthropologist who is not a former 1970’s martial arts star, thus the “Bruce Lee” in the title is a complete lie. Not that the producers would care after they got your hard earned money. Sometimes this film is more truthfully titled Bruce Li in New Guinea. Co-starring is the lovely Danna as the Princess, who was being pushed as an international sex symbol at this time, but soon faded to obscurity. Much like this film, except it was never pushed as anything more than a cheap buck, and it shows that, in spades.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 7, 2006 at 11:46 pm

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