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Boa vs Python (2004)

From the people who made Python and Boa, which are ignored in a script that makes only a tangential mention of the plot of Python II, BvP sets out to be the ultimate shot-in-Bulgaria-pretending-to-be-America CGI snake-hunt. Unethical, buff, cigar-chomping businessman Adam Kendrick (and his red-streaked cutie Angel Boris) import an 'eighty-to-a-hundred foot' python to be let loose on a preserve and hunted by well-off nutcases, but the damn thing escapes and takes refuge in and around a huge power and water plant, occasionally eating young lovers or obnoxious TV reporters. Kendrick calls in his psycho buddies – none played by actors who can really fill one-note but colourful roles – to start the hunt early, while the G-Man (Kirk B.R. Woller) in charge of solving the problem teams up dolphin-hugging bikini babe boffin Jamie Bergman with unshaven herpetologist David Hewlett to unleash Betty, a genetically-engineered boa constrictor who can be told apart from the python by a different scale colour and an electronic control headpiece. The idea is that the good snake will track down the bad one, which is daffy enough to be almost fun – and even weird developments as the python basically rapes the (pregnant) Betty and further ticks her off by eating one of her new-laid eggs are done tastefully enough not to feel too crass.

All the characters wind up wandering around that familiar decommissioned Soviet era industrial installation, picked off one by one by the bad snake, the good snake, trigger-happy hunters or sudden floods. In the end, boa and python tussle in a subway and python is decapitated by a passing train. Along the way, there are funny-gruesome bits: the hot Boris (who has the unsubtle character name 'Eve') is constricted to death, a girl whose boyfriend has just been eaten mistakes the python's probing tongue for unusually-skilled cunnilingus, Bergman's ability to hold her breath underwater is crucial for a suspense bit, and Kendrick goes into to complete lunatic villain meltdown. The CGI is frankly inadequate, and the best snake moment is the sex scene with the scientists and federal agent doing different reactions to a video hook-up of a mating that we crucially don't see. Nonsense, but just wacky enough to be amusing. Directed by David Flores.
KIM NEWMAN

First published in this form here.


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