Okay...so to even write a review of this movie is completely unfair.
I mean, come on…it’s a Syfy Original Movie (Score!) about genetically engineered snakes (Score!) overtaking a place called Eden Island...which doesn't actually seem to be an island (Score!). It’s stars Corbin Bernsen and Tara Reid (Score! and SCORE!) and, to top it all off, I found it in a bin of $3 DVDs at Wal-Mart sitting right next to the Renny Harlin/Geena Davis disasterpiece Cutthroat Island (Ding Ding Ding Ding Jackpot!!!!!).
So, we already know that Tower Farm is going to love this movie and give it four or five fingers. Hell, I might even amend our rating system and give it six. There’s just no way this is going to be a letdown. But, just because you’re all nice enough to visit us, I’ll play along and pretend that I’m putting some effort into this review.
So, Vipers opens in one of those classic Syfy Original Movie laboratories…you know, the ones that are introduced by name with the 80s-computer font across the screen (see above) and a stock shot of an island somewhere off the coast of Peru or something. In this case, we get the creatively-named “Universal Bio Tech Research Facility” – which inside looks suspiciously like a crappy warehouse jam-packed with a bunch of old office cubicles and bad florescent lighting. Anyway, it seems the Universal Bio Tech Research Facility plays host to dozens of vipers genetically-engineered to kill people and eat their flesh. I’m a huge fan of the vipers, which escape during a botched robbery attempt and look about as real as the kind of snakes that come popping out of peanut brittle cans:
Next up – are you ready for this? – we travel to the Universal Bio Tech Headquarters (!), where we learn that the snakes were being bred for their venom, which can...ummm...cure cancer. Apparently, in speeding up the snakes’ development, scientists turned them into slithering killing machines. And now, of course, they’re on the loose. Oops! Why does it seem like in every animal attack movie I review for this site, it’s always the “intelligent” scientists’ fault? Do scientists actually do anything important – or just constantly screw things up? Being that we at Tower Farm believe everything we see in the movies, I'm thinking the latter.
Anyway, finally we settle into Eden Island...well, according to the back of the DVD box it's called Eden Island. The movie refers to it as Eden Cove, which may or may not be an island somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. We're quickly introduced to the cast of locals, played by an astonishingly generic grouping of Canadian actors save for the wonderful Tara Reid as a local greenhouse worker. Tara is given a rare chance to display her acting chops in scenes such as this one, where she repeatedly practices her "angry face":
Before long, the vipers are slithering through town, attacking a little boy and later an adulterous couple (an awesome scene in which the snakes don't even appear to be in the same dimension as the actual actors!). The shots of the snakes slithering through the grass are equally wonderful, as not a single blade of grass actually moves under the "weight" of the vipers.
Anyway, blah...blah...blah...the snakes terrorize the locals (who, by the way, keep taking shelter in small, enclosed spaces rather than just getting the hell out of town) until the Bio Tech crew shows up. These a-holes, of course, only serve to make things worse, shooting up people and letting it slip that, "Our orders weren't to save you! We were to gather a few of the vipers and bring them back!" Well...hell hath no fury like a pissed-off Canadian, and soon the villagers have rigged up some homemade flame throwers and are making plans to load up on boats and hightail it outta there.
Amazingly, after managing to escape from a lab and then find their way to a human-populated area, the snakes are stupid enough to fall for the oldest trick in the book -- being lured into a greenhouse and then blown up all at once. But, as fast as you can say "Oh, thank God, it's over" (and yes...someone does actually say that, thereby begging to be attacked again), one surviving snake attacks evil corporate giant Corbin Bernsen in his limo. The end!
This little gem leaves me in the familiar quandary of having so much to write about that I feel my review is actually doing an injustice to the movie. This is one that must be seen to be completely understood...and thanks to the fine folks as Wal-Mart, you can see it for the price of a Big Mac. And while this is a natural place for me to make a joke about both containing lots of "cheese"...I'll instead just throw out my...