Anaconda 3: Offspring (2008) [REVIEW] | Hit That Hoff #snakesofjune

As previously discussed, the Anaconda series did prosper… ok, “continue”, as this third installment was a made for TV movie that originally aired on SciFi, instead of a theathrical release.

And to save some extra buckaroos, you film two shitty TV killer snake movies in some Eastern European country for the price of one, as both Anaconda 3 and the sequel Anaconda: Blood Trail were shot back to back in Romania. I guess Nu Image claimed their “turf” for cheap shooting in Bulgary, so Stage 6 Productions did their business in the other closest country there.

While it’s described as a sequel to The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, the only thing that provides any slim bit of continuity is the name of the pharmaceutical company, Wexel Hall, there’s no returning cast from the second one, heck, not even any returning character. Plot involves an industrialist named Murdoch – played by John Rhys-Davey looking strongly like Pavarotti here – having an anaconda captured from the Amazon River and brought to the company’s Romanian branch to experiment on it a serum made from the Blood Orchid.

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King Cobra (1999) [REVIEW] | Dropkick Cobras with Pat Morita #snakesofjune

Due to the overabundance of snake movies, distributors had improvising their own method of flute chanting to enthice people, in this case by slapping on the cover Pat Morita’s name, and with special effects curated by the Chiodo Brothers of Killers Klowns From Outer Space and Critters fame.

Well, that sure would have gotten my attention, but even the funny Erik Estrada cammeo wouldn’t properly mask how this is the squintillionth Jaws rip-off.

That’s literally it.

I know i did eventually described the same plot over and over since lots of b-movies ripped off Jaws in everything, you wanna know the context that lead to a giant snake hybrid breaking loose? Fine.

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Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid (2004) [REVIEW] #snakesofjune

Let’s go back to a slightly older time, not implying it was a better time per se, just saying that back in the late 90s – early 2000s you still could make B-movies about snakes with good effects and released widely in theathers, and this is true for Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Archid.

Though worry not, even if you didn’t see the original Anaconda (which we covered sometimes ago), this is a stand-alone sequel with a completely different cast and a completely separate plot, with directing duties handled to Dwight Hubbard Little (Marked For Death, Free Willy 2, Halloween 4).

Aside from proving than indeed what it’s old it’s eventually new again, there’s the fact that today this kind of sequel would never reach theathers, heck, not even the first/original movie would.

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Ice Spiders (2007) [REVIEW] | Ski Spiders

As promised in the review of Spiders 3D, here’s the review of the spider creature feature TV movie Tibor Takacs directed before the 2013’s Nu Image/Millennium Film one that happened to pretty much be a remake of the 2000’s movie Spiders, produced by the same company.

You might argue i maybe should have done this before Spiders 3D, and you would be correct, but i didn’t even find out Ice Spiders existed before doing research for the other one, so here we are.

I should have guessed that a movie like this would exist, because i do believe this type of genre B-movies (especially if made for TV like this one) will eventually fall victim to what i call the “Pokemon Singularity”, with desperate filmakers mixing and matching animals with a random element/type, and if we can have sharks made of ice, sand (so “earth”), fire (atomic), even ghostly “dark” sharks, sure as shit we can have a movie called Ice Spiders. Possibly about literal spiders made of ice.

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[EXPRESSO] The Swarm AKA La Nueè (2021) | Zorak Disapproved

The international localized title, The Swarm (the original being “La Nueè”, which can be directly translated as “The Plume”), threw me a bit off, as it’s the same one for the older 1978 movie with Michael Caine, but this recent Netflix exclusive movie it’s not about killer bees, it’s about locusts.

Ok, more Locusts: The 8Th Plague. Or The Exorcist II: The Heretic, i guess.

Plot it’s a little less hockey than one would assume, as it’s about a single mother that raises locusts for a living, but just isn’t able to make them breed, until she discovers that the animals react well to human blood…

Obviously, this happens as an accident, and you can tell this isn’t an american b-movie because it’s not actually just about killer locusts, but the drama of a single mother desperately trying to make ends meet, ready to do many sacrifices for her family.

Still, it’s a bit unelegant the way in which the locusts acquire this bloodlust, or how the narrative it’s both too slow moving and forced in various points, because you were kinda promised a swarm of killer locusts rampaging, so here’s a character doing an obviously stupid thing for the sake of setting that up. Except… not really.

And even so, there’s no real pay-off or much in the way of horror until the last 15 minutes, most of the movie it’s spent with these…. kinda detestable and unlikeable characters, not much happens in general, so it’s really drawn out and when something does happen it’s way too brief, often feels forced or done more out of obligation than anything else.

There are worse movies, but this is so disinterested about its subject material and such a slow moving, boring pile of pointless that i would simply suggest skipping it.

Arachnoquake (2012) [REVIEW] | Phantom Uses Rollout

In a sense, i’m way overdue for reviewing this, not that i was getting emails about it, but because i realize i should have seen and reviewed this before Lavalantula and the sequel, 2 Lava 2 Lantula, especially the first one, who in hindsight sound a lot like a parody of that one, but featuring the bus driver as lead instead of the washed up celebrity played by Steve Guttenberg (and yes, that movie realized the irony in that casting), just taking place in New Orleans instead of California and this time the spiders are coming out due to an earthquake caused by fracking, instead of being long lost cousins of Phantom incased in magma for millions of years that woke up and started the eruption.

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Alligator (1980) [REVIEW] | Don’t flush the reaper

Ah yes, Wally Gator’s origin story. Or maybe not.

This one actually has sort of faded into obscurity, but it shouldn’t because it’s arguably one of the better “killer animals” film of the 70/80s, and also is a “Jaws rip-off” of sorts, in the same way as the original Piranha, to be precise, since the script is also written by John Sayles, and it’s a good combination of straight killer animal flick and light-hearted, affectionate satire of the B-movie clichès. It definitely has a sense of humour, not just by downright having P.O.V. shots of the gator with the soundtrack playing almost the Jaws theme, by having people selling merchandise of the “monster”, but also by basing an entire movie about that urban legend. 🙂

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Kaw (2007) [REVIEW] | Mennonite Paradise

YES, another one i was cojoled into watching and reviewing quickly because Amazon Prime Video reminded me they we’re gonna take it off their service in 5 hours. And since i’m still semi-quarantined at home, might as well watch it and review it.

This time it’s about killer birds, crows instead of general “birds”, because clichès.

And like a good chunk of these movie i’ve been “coerced” into reviewing by Amazon Prime Video removing, this is another TV movie for Sci-Fi Channel/SYFY, and it’s somewhat fitting that most of these movies about killer birds were made for TV, since the apocryphal The Birds II: Land’s End in 1994, a movie so good the director Rick Rosenthal (the original Halloween II, Bad Boys, American Dreamer, Halloween Resurrection) asked to be credited as Alan Smithee instead, was also a TV movie.

The title also echoes the “famous” snake creature feature “Sss”, you lure people into watching your movie better with this simplistic attitudine, so KAW is it. I love that in the italian release they added a subtitle with the intent to specify the ravens are not just your common, bargain basement ravens…. but if i were to translate it to english it would literally read “Attack Of The Common Ravens”.

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The Killer Shrews (1959) [REVIEW] | Dogs & Rugs

Since i’ve more than mentioned this movie during the review of Deadly Eyes/Night Eyes, what the hell, let’s pay some respects to what it’s now a cult classic, especially for the more seasoned cinema buffs from the U.S. Side, as the movie was featured on Mistery Science Theather 3000 (alongside his double-feature debut companion, The Giant Gila Monster, also directed by Ray Kellogg), becoming one of the favorite episodes from the fans, and it can’t be denied this movie had some impact, as it was also featured or referenced in some way in other shows about bad movies.

It also managed to spawn a direct sequel in 2012 (63 years after the original came out), Return Of The Killer Shrews later with James Best reprising the role of Thorne Sherman, and a remake/parody in 2016, Attack Of The Killer Shrews. A lot for a movie made on a very low budget and serving as a perfect example of the decline of the “nuclear era” monster movies, because even for the time the idea sounded silly, and showcased how desperate you must have been to go with “shrew” as the scary mutant killer animal for your monster movie.

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Deadly Eyes (1982) [REVIEW] | Game Of Rats

I would like to thank Canada for asking the question: can we remake The Killer Shrews and make it less crap, despite also making it about rats?

I mean, especially if you’re a fan of MST3K it’s hard not to think of that, not because the mutated animals are shrews, but because they did the same trick of dressing up dogs (daschunds here) with special effects to make the rats, alongside some puppet props.

To be fair, of course this movie was bound to have a bigger budget and be better given how notoriusly low the budget was for The Killer Shrews, how it was pretty much a “regional” drive-in flick with actors that were hard to understand due to the accents and dialect… and it’s a better movie all around. The old trick of using dogs masquerading as rats actually works here, because they do have better budgets for the effects, instead of just putting moss and bad wigs on the poor canines, so you don’t really notice they’re dogs while watching, and the rats puppets and props are actually decent-to-good in quality, so the answer to the question posed at the beginning is already “yes”.

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