Phoenixs B-Movie Review V: Megasnake
THIS JUST IN: Okay so my secret internet sources have informed me that at a recent convention Michael Shanks confessed to signing up for a movie without having actually, technically, ever having read (or even skimmed) the script.
He did this to try and help get a Visa to work in the American Film Guild. So he had his reasons for this horrible movie. See what acting can do to your sense of right and wrong?
Mothers, dont let your babies grow up to be Actors.
The chocolate ice-cream was in my mug, the husband had been banished to the basement (where the other TV is), and it was only seconds until Megasnake was about to premier on the sci-fi channel.
A perfect night for some B-movie fun! Ive been waiting on this one for months, and it did not disappoint.
I give you Megasnake with Michael Shanks.
The movie begins in 1986 in Tennessee. You can tell that its a flashback because it is filmed through what I believe was a cheese cloth so that everything is fuzzy. Young Les Daniels (Shanks) is hiding in a closet. Not because hes gay, but because his parents are about to drag him and his more willing brother to church.
Not just any church, a church where they handle venomous snakes to prove they are Gods children. There are people who actually do this.
Poor little Les is terrified and when they force him to hold a snake he goes to drop it. Which his father catches, and is bitten by. Les starts screaming for someone to help his father (who must also be allergic to snakes because hes going down hill faster than an Olympic Luge). However no one will help him.
Less father is dead in seconds.
It would appear that his father was killed by a Eastern King Snake...non-venomous. No one would help him because it was Gods will that he got bit. It was Gods will that he died. I believe it, since clearly God must have suddenly made the snake venomous.
Jump twenty some odd years to the present. Les and his brother Duff (yes... Duff Daniels) are still living with their mother in the woods of Tennessee. Les is now a paramedic, Duff collects snakes for the church.
Brief side now. Its true: accent is everything. Michael Shanks is not half as sexy with a fake southern accent (something no Canadian should ever try). Okay, Ill be fair, hes probably three fourths as sexy. Hes definitely lost about a quarter sexiness.
Anyway, life is not exactly good for Les. His brother blames him for their fathers death and loves to torment him with snakes. His girl Erin a Park Ranger has left him for a guy named Big Bo. Big Bo is a serious jerk and apparently the sheriff.
Bo? Youre leaving me for Bo?
Thats Big Bo to you, Pinky.
No one calls me Pinky anymore.
Personally I cant believe anyone ever did. I really want to know more about this Pinky business, but nothing more is said about it.
Okay, thats the ground work. Now on to the Megasnake. His name is Ooteca he is a curse from an angry Native American God (although I thought they believed in spirits, not gods, but whatever).
Actually Ooteca is a baby corn snake in an ornate jar full of dirty water.
Duff has gone to the only Native American in town to buy some pygmy rattlesnakes. Cause we all know that all Native Americans vendor dangerous snakes. He asks about the Ooteca and is told that it is the last of its kind and its kind has killed hundreds of his people. But it is harmless as long as you follow the rules:
Never out of the jar
Never eat living
Never fear the heart of the snake
Duff wants to buy it. Screaming Eagle wont sell it. So he steals it.
Back at home Les is not amused to have a snake in the house, in a jar, on the kitchen table. He threatens to tell Momma. So Duff goes to get the jar, knocks it off the table, and it breaks.
Les jumps up on the table like a 1930s housewife who has spotted a mouse. On the floor the snake suddenly doubles in size.
Christ! It grew! Les cries.
Dont be stupid.
Yeah, Les, dont be stupid...like this movie.
Anyway Duff puts the snake in Tupperware, takes it to his bedroom, and goes to sleep. Of course the tiny snake escapes and takes its first victim. Which starts the blood fest! The first meal came as a surprise to me.
Goriest kitten kill...ever.
Yes, a kitten! I dont think Ive ever seen a kitten death in a movie. And for some reason when this snake gets a hold of something there is a spray of blood. Kitten blood.
The snake is now about 6 feet long. Meaning that in several hours it has increased in size by more than 600%. Meaning its very hungry. Which leads us to:
Goriest chicken kill ever.
The snake goes out the dog door, across the yard and into the chicken coop through what appears to be a chicken door. The mother goes to check out all the noise. In the coop there is blood *everywhere*. There is one survivor: Becky the chicken.
I swear, she calls the chicken by name and the chicken is Becky.
The snake is now 12 feet long and it has had its fill of chicken and kitten. It knocks the mother down, bites each hand, then rips off her thumb.
Meanwhile Les is at the bar trying to drink away the pain of this movie, but its not working. His female paramedic coworker is all over him and after only nine beers later shes got him. Mainly cause Erin and Big Bo came in and he wants to make her jealous.
The scene jumps to the next morning, he and the coworker are waking up in the back of a pick up truck (His? Hers?). They blink, yawn, look around confused. Les turns bleary blue eyes on Fay:
Get piss ass drunk and screw for hours on end under the moonlight?
Les strikes out again. Its only seconds before Erin in her Park Ranger truck arrives. He tries to tell her that this isnt what she thinks. Amazingly she doesnt believe him.
Back to the snake. Duff doesnt seem to care that his mother is missing. He finds the snake outside. Unconcerned that it is now fourteen feet long he safely picks it up with a hay fork and places it in a cage.
Duff decides that he should consult some experts on the subject of snake killing. Enter the Redneck twins. These overall wearing sages give him the following advice:
Shoot it, burn it, or stab it.
We go for the stabbing with a crowbar and a kabob skewer. Which oddly enough leads us to the:
Goriest snake kill...ever.
Duff violently kills the snake, there is blood everywhere. He then buries in the yard and calls it good. Still unconcerned that his mother is gone, along with the chickens and the kitten.
With that taken care of it is time to drink. Les comes home and agrees to go out to the bar with him. He too is unconcerned that his Momma is no where to be found for the past 17 hours.
The amount of alcohol consumed in this movie is incredible. My theory is that the actors were actually drinking. I think its the only way they could get through this movie. There is a brief, klutzy fight between Les and Duff when Duff accuses Les of being afraid of everything, particularly commitment.
Not your average brotherly argument, but whatever.
They get thrown out and refuses to give his brother a ride home. He says hes too drunk theyll have to walk. So at least he walks home when hes drunk...unless hes got a girl. Then hell drive off drunk to not have sex with her.
Meanwhile back at the farm the family dog digs up the dead snake. The snake comes back to life and leads to:
Goriest dog kill...ever. Izzy.
Duff stumbles home to drink more beer. Its always on hand.
Snake hide and seek. Drools venom into a bucket of good old fashion southern comfort food (bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken). Which leads to:
Goriest brother kill...ever.
Les Daniels does not go home. Drunk, bleeding, and apologizing Daniels stumbles to Erins apartment. Amazingly she resists this and leaves him to sleep on the street as the alcohol wears off.
He spends most his time either drunk or hung over. Once again I mean the actor, Shanks, not the character Les Daniels. Erin is not impressed and sends him home where he finds the couch and the chicken coop covered in blood. In an unprecedented event in a horror movie:
Daniels calls the police!
This does not go well, cause the sheriff is Big Bo who thinks hes behind the killings. In a huff he storms off. Erin, feeling sorry for him goes with him. They are stopped on their way to no where by a some man leading to.
Goriest goat kill...ever.
A whole heard of goats has been killed and left in quivering piles. There is one semi-survivor: Gertty. Sadly she has no skin. So Ranger Erin shoots her. She also instantly concludes that this is the work of a giant snake.
Even though there have been no sightings, no rumors, no nothing about snakes. She just says that this is how they hunt. Although I dont recall any snake skinning anything...ever.
Big Bo has a better idea. He thinks Daniels did it and arrests him.
Locked up under false charges of killing his family and a herd of goats by the guy stealing his girl Daniels only remark is: Theres no shower in here!
Trust me Daniels, were just as disappointed as you are. I mean now the prison shower scene is never going to happen. Sigh.
Meanwhile a small family is having a BBQ and the snake now 50 feet long comes to eat them. The father beats back the snake with a spatula, then umbrella for: the Red, White and Blue. He fails, the rest of the family is in the car. The snake beats him to death against the windshield and then battles its way in. Leading to:
Goriest car kill...ever.
Law enforcement is very calm about all of this. Bo think that perhaps the occupants just got in an accident (that crushed their car on all sides) and went looking for help. Although there is no reason to go look for them, or treat this like a crime scene.
Erin insists that the large marks on the car are snake fangs. She wants everyone alerted and the County Fair.
Cancel the fair?!! No way, not for a giant snake. Bah. By the way Erin has a PhD in zoology suddenly.
So off into the woods she goes. There she finds a gigantic snake skin, the first hes shed despite his enormous growth. She goes to the local jail, breaks Les out, shows him the skin and they leave.
They also leave the snake skin. Which two cops and Bo find. So the get their ATVs and guns to go kill the now 70 foot snake. They fail, which leads to:
Goriest cop kill...ever.
Bo, also known as Ranger Dick, gets away with a badly torn arm. He roams about ten feet and is somehow magically at a house. The hillbilly pair! They are drunk and pissed. I mean piss drunk. He asks for help, but they dont and he dies.
They decided to kill the snake. Sadly they dont have any more dynamite or plutonium. But they do have a Grill. And a flame thrower. The build a tank with the grill and the flame thrower and go after the snake. They fail, which leads to:
Goriest hillbilly kill...ever.
The snake pins one to a tree, and wraps around him. His head pops, and something Ive suspected all along happens. Blood gushes out, but no brains.
Best death so far!!
Daniels and Erin learn that Screaming Eagle originally owned the snake and ask him how to kill it. He responds: to kill the snake you must do so from inside. I think Mr. Daniels is about to be in great need of a shower.
Meanwhile the fair is starting. On the stage the mayor introduces a man in shiny suit called Sea bat?, at least thats what it sounds like the crows is cheering. Hes going to teach the kids about electricity safety at the county fair. Which happens to be where the snakes lair is.
At the fair we are quickly given a look at:
Goriest hippie kill...ever.
Kitty, kitty is what he has to say as he offers the snake his zippy. His friends think the snake is hilarious. Perhaps some drugs are involved. They are quickly eaten.
Goriest couple having public sex death...ever.
Goriest amusement ride deaths...ever.
Goriest secondary love interest death...ever. (Fay is eaten)
Time for SeaBat, who is actual named Feedback the super hero to fight the off snake. He is more successful than anyone else. But in the ends he saves some kids and runs away.
Les and friends arrive at the fair and see the 100 foot snake. Les has this to say:
Oh yeah, thats great.
Erin is quickly swallowed by the snake. Daniels decides that its time to leave (not even a Noooooo!) before they are next to be eaten. That is until she makes a radio call from inside the snake to him
In the final scene Les agrees to let the snake swallow him whole. Hes holding a really big knife and cuts his way out. Which is the only way to kill the snake, to cut its heart out from the inside. He and Erin are pulled out, covered in slime, and blood. Both gagging, but alive. Which leads to:
The scene switches. Suddenly Les has a son and I suppose Erin as his wife. They are living in his mothers house and then...
The movie ends.
No baby snake? What the fu... Dont they know the rules?!!!!! At the end of every large animal, or animal gone awry movie there is supposed to be a baby killer!!
I guess the figured Les...err....less was more.