Picture the scene – you are Jim Wynorski. You’ve made “Piranhaconda”, and you’re sat in Hawaii swigging a cold beer when your producer calls you and tells you that you’ve got a week’s rental left on a helicopter, a disused factory, and some land with a road on it; also, actor Rib Hillis is still hanging round the hotel and doesn’t look too busy. Do you:
1. think “ah well, such is life, but I’ve got a home to go to”
2. “hot-diggity, I can make another film in that time!”
Although I might have got the order of the films confused, I’m pretty sure that’s how it happened, and Wynorski picked option 2. The script for one film was tweaked the absolute barest minimum and became the script for the other, and we get this film.
There are a lot of people in this film, and I couldn’t figure out why initially. Then it came to me – I’d lay good odds on these being the people who funded it, like he had some “pay $100 and be in a movie” deal going on. There’s no other way to explain the presence of people who get built up as if they’re actually going to be important to the film and then almost immediately get eaten. So there’s a playboy actor and his two model friends; a loving couple; a tour bus full of retirees; and several private security teams, all of whom are introduced like a normal film would introduce its second and third bananas, only to be meat for the beast.
What this film needed was Shandi Finnessey, who starred in “Piranhaconda”. She was bubbly, beautiful and more importantly funny, so you believed her as both the romantic lead and the comic relief. Watching this dull mess made me realise how lucky that film was to have her in it (and how bizarre it is that her career seems to be going nowhere – she’d be perfect for a show like “Suburgatory”).
There’s a secret science base which is working on genetically-engineered food, then evil boss David Carradine (in one of an extraordinary 8 films released after his death) gets them working on animals. Now, the film goes for confusing right away – as well as never naming the two beasts, their introduction is a bit confusing. They look pretty similar, and when Dinocroc comes out second, straight through a wall, a reasonable viewer might just think “is that Super-Gator on his hind legs?” Well, a reasonable viewer wouldn’t be watching this, but you know what I mean.
After the creatures munch their way through scientists and anyone else wandering about the woods of Hawaii, Carradine calls in his heavy hitter, “The Cajun” (Rib Hillis, the star of “Piranhaconda”). He teams up with a government agent and a local Conservation Officer and they come up with the idea to get the two creatures together so they can kill each other. Oh, spoiler I guess? Ah, who cares.
If you were on the internet or watched “The Soup” around the time of this film’s premier on the SyFy Channel, you’ll have seen Jerry the Pool Boy and his now-famous performance. Here it is, enjoy!
In between laughing at that and the other less-than-stellar performances, I was trying to convince myself I was watching a new film and not just the last one with a few tweaks. They literally use exactly the same sets, in mostly the same order, and I guess the only way they hoped to get away with it was through indifference. So here’s my INDIFFERENCE THEORY – SyFy Channel need material cheap enough to allow them to make a profit from selling advertising. They absolutely don’t care what it is or if it’s any good or not, and nor do the advertisers. Wynorski has a set amount of time and money, and knows that if the film’s good, bad or indifferent, it makes no difference to him. People watching it are either like me (hipster scumbag film reviewers) or people who saw the title and thought it would be marginally better than staring at a wall for 2 hours. And thus the Indifference Theory creates another film enjoyed by no-one (not the people who made it, paid for it or watched it) and which will disappear without a trace, save a footnote in a few academic treatises about how stupid film titles got for a while, back then. I will hopefully have forgotten it in a few days, and this review will drift into the ether, to the delight of no-one.
Rating: thumbs down