There was a time before we got for granted monster movies about giant hybrid animals, but still after the 70s and 80s brought along any kind of killer animal, even slugs.
It was the new millenium, the 90s just ended and what that meant for b-movies is that now it’s fairly cheaper thanks to computer graphics, not that it’s necessarily that easier, but for the cheapo companies that banked on pumping out crappy monster movies for the TV or home video markets, it meant not having to bother anymore with animatronics or puppets or that much more in the way of practical effects for the monster or animal you wanna make the movie about.
Not that you couldn’t use both practical AND digital effects for the creature, but it was never much of a concern anyway for movies like these and the companies that made them, which – let’s be honest about this – gladly welcomed the new, cheaper tools now available, as they meant larger profits to be made.
And Python has indeed all the marks of a classic cheap bad B-movie, you can tell even without seeing a single frame of the film, as its the usual case of roping some familiar faces into it alongside the B and/or C list actors (including one of my favorites, John Franklin, well versed in playing character that gaze at corpses) to attract more viewers, so we have horror legend Robert Englund AND Casper Van Dien. Not that surprising now, since Englund did have small roles in other movies like these, clearly WAY above his ability, but he’s definitely a good sport about it and pretty much embraced his legacy in the genre, even if that also meant being in movies like the final entries in the Lake Placid movies, or stuff like the hilariously bad The Midnight Man.
Regardless, it’s always nice to have him in your movie, even if the movie happens to be about a giant mutant python that was accidentally released (aka the military helicopter carrying it crashed, gotta be a plane crash or something stupid AND senseless like that) on a small American town.
The locals have to deal with this man-eating menace, but worry not, there’s a pre-packaged snake scientist that knows ALL about the animal and will help them stop it.
That said, Robert Englund’s character is in the movie a lot more than you would expect, not just 5-10 minutes of screen time and half-way through he’s uncerimoniously killed off, he’s in it until the very end, and i’m glad because he really brings some class to some very stupid lines, he’s great even in these cliched roles, even without him adorably petting the small pet snake he carries around.
There’s not much to the plot, as you can tell by how quickly i cared to go into any detail, but Python surprisingly delivers as a bad movie, as it’s full of fun, likeable or quotable dumb ass characters and hilarious scenes, like the hysteric real estate yuppie that picks up a sword from his house and start shouting like a madman at what he thinks it’s Billy, a random ass kid that almost grazed his car, the county officer that has his face permanently frozen in a “beaver smile” of uncertainty, and so on.
Also, it serves as a fun time piece of the really late 90s/dawn of the 2000s, you can easily tell from the music selection, the opening credits scene featuring a dude running very fast in a BMX (because extreme sports we’re rippin’!), the dude with violet hair dyes that says “dude”, and i guess from the lesbian sex opening sequence, it’s a B-movie, we gotta have some tits out, regardless.
Even more surprising, the effects for the snake are almost… good, almost, given the budget, the era, and seeing The Asylum decades later still pump out movies with notably worse CG than the one on display here. I mean, sure, the acid effects are crap CG, but you can actually forgive them easily since this is a low budget TV movie from 2000, and the practical gore effects are quite competent.
It’s a bit longer than it needs to, but it’s a cult b-movie in its own right, dumb as a brick but likeable in its light-hearted stupidity, quite fun and funny all the way through.
Trashy, good dumb fun.