Boa vs Python (2004)

title boa python

Directed by David Flores

Written by Chase Parker and Sam Wells

Run Time: 92minutes

Tagline: Get Ready To Rumble…

Not too much to discuss here, so this review is going to be a bit shorter than usual. I was excited to watch this Bulgarian quickie-production when I first saw the DVD cover proudly displaying 2 giant snakes locked in mortal combat while Apache helicopters blast away at them.

Oh, but this never happens. So don’t, like, expect anything that exciting to happen.

Open at an airstrip somewhere in Bulgaria, oh, I mean Pennsylvania, where some soon-to-be snake snacks struggle to secure the doors of a large tractor trailing carrying, hmmmm, I wonder what.

Dramatically cut to a professional wrestling match (the combatants are named "Boa" and "Python", how very, very ironic), where local Big Shot, Broddick, and his main squeeze, Eve, enjoy the show while awaiting word from the airstrip regarding the delivery of his prized snake. (You can tell Broddick’s a big shot because he smokes a big stogie and he has front row seats in the VIP section, helpfully indicated by the paper "Reserved" signs scotch-taped (!) to the bottom of chairs behind him.

Rich Guy Broddick

Meanwhile, back in, <cough>, Pennsylvania, the snake wakes up and begins thrashing around in its container. Needless to say, the plan to calm the beast requires fully opening the doors to the snake’s container so that another dose of tranquilizers can be administered. Why? Oh, why, can’t anybody show any competence in these movies? <Sigh>

I’m hope you’re not too shocked when I tell you that the SNAKE GETS OUT AND EATS EVERYBODY! I DID NOT SEE THIS COMING! Anyway, all the dudes hired to deliver the snake are eaten, or torn apart, or something, and the snake escapes into the wilderness.

The next day, Broddick and Eve board his personal Jumbo 747 and fly to New Jersey so he can take possession of his giant snake. (He still doesn’t know that his prize reptile has escaped.) Oh, and kudos to the director for a gratuitous bathing/soaping scene onboard the plane, complete with slow-motion squirting of gel-soap onto onto a sponge that looks like the ones I wash my car with.

Sexy sponge

Anyway, Broddick eventually receives the bad news that his snake has gotten out of its cage (so to speak). It’s now revealed that the reason Broddick bought the snake in the first place was so that he could charge a bunch of rich hunters a gazillion bucks each to hunt the damned thing.

Meanwhile, "24 Miles Outside Philadelphia", the cops are poking around the scene of the snake’s escape. Why some people are wearing HazMat suits while others stroll around in their Dockers is not really clear. Whatever. Local reporter, Kent Humphreys, from, er, "Action News 15" is on scene, pumping local spOOk, Agent Sharpe, for information. Sharpe, the steely professional, dismisses the irritating news hound and notes a gigantic snake scale laying in the wreckage. Gosh, I wonder where that came from…

Snake escape Sleazy news reporter

Ah, yes, there’s also a pair of damaged steel doors which lead down into a labyrinth of tunnels towards the local water treatment plant. Although the size of the hole is in NO WAY big enough to let the snake sneak through, I guess we’re to assume that’s just what it did, so, meh, let’s just go with it. Sure enough, just like clockwork, a call comes in over the police radio reporting the recent ingestion of 2 water plant workers at the ‘hands’ of a giant snake.

Giant snake scale Doorway to water works

With all the puzzle pieces falling into place, Sharpe decides to dig up a couple of old buddies to help him capture the beast. First on the list is a gorgeous marine biologist named Monica SomethingOrOther.

Monica Newspaper headline

Yes, being the responsible scientist, Monica is chugging beer and taking part in breath-holding contests in the swimming pool. Because of the size of her, um, lungs, Monica easily whips all challengers and walks away with a nifty wad of cash in the process. Just another day in the life of a marine biologist, eh?

Anyhoo, in walks Agent Sharpe who somehow convinces her to accompany him to "Longreen Snake Reserve". Yeah, that one. Upon arrival, Sharpe introduces Monica to the nation’s leading snake expert, Emmett, who Just Happens to have a captive giant boa. Man, what are the odds?

To make a long story short (you’re welcome), Monica explains how she’s spent the last so-or-so-many years developing a head-set that can be surgically implanted into dolphin noggins so that the Navy can have access to underwater cameras or something. The plan, yes, is to implant the same type of headset onto the giant boa and send it into the tunnels to find the python.

"I’m dying to know what kind of situation could possibly require the use of his boa and my implants?" Monica asks in a line that must have been meant as tongue-in-cheek, but is delivered completely deadpan, so, wow, who knows. But it was pretty funny. Well, after 30 minutes of this movie I’m grasping for anything enjoyable.

Meanwhile, Broddick’s poachers start arriving for the big hunt. The typical cookie-cutter characters drive up one-by-one:

  • The first guy to arrive is the requisite Redneck, named…wait for it…"Tex".
  • Next guy to arrive is referred to only as "the military’s greatest sniper"…but I have to wonder if you’d really need a sniper to hit a 60-foot snake?
  • Right on time is Odious Comedy Relief played by nerdy Mr. Danner and his reluctant son, James.
  • Last but not least, the Native American, Littlefield, also referred to as the "Master Huntsman". You see, Littlefield hunts with a crossbow and has "Indian" music played on the soundtrack whenever he comes onscreen because, well, he’s spiritual or something, which is way he’s out hunting a giant snake with a crossbow.

Hunters

Anyway, with the snake’s buffet lined up and ready to be devoured, our disposable cast members hop aboard Broddick’s CGI jumbo jet and fly off to the starting location of the next day’s snake safari.

Meanwhile, back at the Snake Lab, Agent Sharpe convinces Emmett to allow them access to his snake. (You know what I mean.) In a scene that I’ve never seen the likes of before, the gargantuan snake is anesthetized, and laid up on a huge table where Monica attaches a perfectly fitted rig to the reptile’s head that contains microphones, cameras, and GPS (just in case they lose track of an 80-foot boa?!) Anyway, the surgery is a success and Monica manages to implant her, uh, implants into the python. As the snake recovers from the procedure, Emmett gives a little boring back story about how he’s on a life-long quest to develop a "universal antivenin." (Well, maybe you should try researching on snakes that actually have venom! Pythons are constrictors, you idiot!)

While all this other non-stuff is happening, the Bad Snake has squeezed through a manhole (!) and happily eats a young teenage couple making out in their car on Lover’s Lane. In a rather crass scene, the girl doesn’t notice the boy being eaten because she’s in such ecstasy, and then…and then….well, let’s just call this The Scene Too Stupid To Be Described. (You can see it for yourself at the end of this review if you really want to…and you do want to, don’t you?)

Anyhoo, Emmett releases the Good Snake into the water treatment tunnels in order to hunt down the Bad Snake. Just why they think the "good" snake simply won’t eat even more people is not clear. (OK, there was a throw-away line about how it’s territorial and will hunt down and kill other snakes…whatever.) Agreeing to try and take both snakes alive, Sharpe, Emmett, and Monica (dressed in a revealing halter top and tight pants, natch), accompany a gaggle of soldiers into the tunnels armed with tranquilizer guns and a variety of heavy ordinance…Just In Case.

Because this film doesn’t deserve too much introspection, I’ll summarize the next half hour or so as this:

"Hey, let’s split up!"

"OK"

(man/woman/soldier/poacher gets eaten)

"Hey, where did he/she go?"

"I don’t know. Let’s split up and find him/her."

"OK"

(man/woman/soldier/poacher gets eaten)

[Repeat until all but main characters remain]

Giant snake Cigar

OK, now that everybody is dead after some predictable "thrills-n-chills" (the camera mounted on the snake breaks down, they lose the GPS connection, the computer freezes up, blah, blah, blah, zzzzzz)…the 2 snakes are flushed out of the water pipes and end up slithering into a local nightclub.(!) I’m really not kidding.

Giant snake Giant snake

So like I was saying, everybody is just soooooo into the music not a one of them notices the gigantic snake crawling around the dance floor. Yeah, that’s pretty believable. In a relatively humorous scene, the DJ interprets the crowd’s screams as cheering and instead of running for his life, continues to play music as the snake coils up behind him and gulps him down. (This scene represents one of the more clever parts of the script. Scary, aint it?)

Giant snake eating DJ Flame thrower

Anyway, as the dancers finally notice the giant reptile in their midst and flee the club, Broddick shows up out of nowhere with his flamethrower and starts torching the place because, ya know, he’s a bad ass and that’s how he rolls. He also torches a few soldiers, so I guess Broddick has gone nuts; God knows I have. With Monica and Emmett trapped in a cage (yeah, it’s one of those kinds of dance clubs, I guess), the 2 snakes finally square off…and man, it’s been a looooong time coming.

Trying to stay awake here….

With Broddick ripped in half by the snakes (one snake grasped his head, the other his feet, and then they simultaneously yanked him apart like a party-popper, typical snake behavior I guess), the scene is set for the FX crew to use up the rest of their budget. Unfortunately, the "action" takes place in a darkened night club which really pissed me off because I wanted some screen shots for you. (Never mind the fact that the movie’s bogus cover is totally misleading!!! Where are the helicopters?!)

Boa, or is it python???, slithers down the stairs into the subway station below. (HUH?!…subway station?! Weren’t we just in a night club?)

Giant snake hit by subway

Blah, blah, Bad Snake gets hit by a subway train. (Apparently the authorities didn’t deem it necessary to shut down the mass transit system despite the fact that it’s infested with giant snakes.) In the ensuing chaos, Good Snake manages to sneak away (How?! HOW?!) leaving Emmett and Monica to join forces and start tracking her down as a team. Cut to closing credits as they jump back into the tunnels…oh no! does this mean…gasp!…a sequel?

Dennis Grisbeck (April 2010)

Afterthoughts

A Direct-To-DVD cheapie with a terribly misleading cover and enough CGI to choke a 40-ft boa. Although the predictable plot won’t leave you wondering what’s going to happen next, the film makers do give you tons of shots of people getting eaten by giant snakes, so if that’s your thing…here you go.

 

Things I never knew:

Big snakes growl like lions while normal sized snakes make squeaky mouse noises.

A leading herpetologist could think that a boa is venomous.

80-foot pythons are good at oral sex.

 

Warning: Here is the “scene” that was so stupid I couldn’t describe:

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