Things lead to things, and so i accidentally started out a Tibor Takacs mini-retrospective of sorts. It just kinda happened, i guess.
And sadly, no, he never made a TV movie about killer frogs or slugs to complete the “asian rock-paper-scissors” trifecta or the “Aesop fables’ bingo”, but he did direct this for SyFy the same year as Ice Spiders, and that would the last creature feature from him until Spiders 3D, as he preferred to do more disaster movies about tornadoes (regular ones) and christmas-family movies, which is – in a way – quite usual for older genre directors to end up doing in the later years.
But today is snakes, or at least one singular Mega Snake, and it’s a bit more interesting than Ice Spiders, more ridiculous but also less by the numbers, even if it’s another Nu Image joint shot in the Bulgarian capital for the same reasons already discussed in previous reviews, as it’s quite cheap.
Mega Snake is the tale of Les Daniels, a boy with the fear of snakes that during a snake handling ceremony (which i guess are a thing) accidentally hesitates in passing the animal to his father, so the snake has just enough time to bite the boy’s father in the arthery, causing him to die in minutes.
20 years later, Les still fear snakes, even more as he feels guilty of being partially responsible for his father’s death, and his older brother Duff (OH YEAH) “teasing” him about it doesn’t help.
This obviously leads to Duff visiting a Native American snake wrangler, Screaming Hawk, in order to get Les over his phobia (i think), Hawk showing him a small snake – called Unteka – inside of a jar, explains that Unteka is actually the last of his kind and can exponentially grow in size if its owner doesn’t follow three Gremlins-like rules.
Not sure why he tells him that as he wasn’t gonna sell Duff the magic killer snake to begin with, but it doesn’t matter since Duff steals it anyway, doesn’t follow the rules, the snake keeps growing, etc.
It’s that kind of dumb ass plot, one where the characters aren’t completely stupid (for the most part), but that’s not gonna stop the script to have the giant monster still do what it supposed to. Or insert the “major” (here looking a bit Trumpish) subplot from Jaws, only in a county fair, just ‘cause.
Hard to blame the snake when these fuckin religious christian weirdos don’t even intervene when Les’ father is bitten, better keep that fear of God going in the hope the lord will provide, instead of going to the fuckin hospital. The ones that aren’t straight up typical b-movie stereotype rural dwellers, or the incredibly non-native american looking local Native American. Gotta have that one.
Also, a comic book character called Feedback (the winner from a superhero reality show called “Who Wants To Be A Super Hero?” i never even heard before, played by Matthew Atherton) was supposed to be the star of the movie, it was even originally advertised as “Starring Feedback”, but in the finished product he’s just a minor character that has a short bit towards the end of the movie.
At least he got his own comic book by Dark Horse and not just this cameo appearance.
This is TV movie garbage, but it’s entertaining, dumb as hell but in almost a “cute” way, as there is some fun to be found in the way director Takacs swims through the seas of old b-movie cliches, especially if we’re talking about backwoods bullshit, with drunken, barely clothed middle aged hicks weilding shotguns as they emerge from their crumbling shacks, dickish police officers, and TV actors (with the lead played by Michael Shanks of Stargate fame), funny goofs, and fairly cheap CG -with some ok practical effects once in a while – for the snake.
It’s serviceable and not that sluggish to get through, despite the usual padding given by the token romance subplot, etc., but i do like the climax taking place in a “haunted mine” attraction in a fair, very cute.