Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid
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Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid



There are times when something can be so bad it spins around the quality continuum clear around to the point of being accepted as good. A clear case of this phenomenon are the quick and cheap made for cable flicks produced by the SyFy Channel to fill the regrettable void in original programming devoted to the Saturday night prime time programming slot. The so-called Saturday night specials have created a cult fan base that relishes some of the lesser aspects of production. A few of the poorer examples of their special effects have been featured on comical clip shows like ‘The Soup’ highlighting the tongue in cheek appeal these films are gaining. A lot of this attention is coming from the kids today who are just discovering the joys of the ‘B’ flick’. If nothing else you can watch them with some friends and play ‘Mystery Science Fiction 3000’, the home game. For those of us that have experienced a few more summers these movies bring us back to our youth watching flicks very similar to this at the Saturday afternoon matinee. This was the height of ‘B’ cinema with creature features some bad you would spit out your soda laughing at the obvious visibility of the costume’s zipper or a hand almost off set pushing the ‘monster’. The movies shown by the SyFy Channel are certainly no worse than the ones we were entertained by so long ago and in a few cases they are even a touch better. One recent example of this is the nostalgically titled ‘Mega Python vs. Gatoroid’. Sequels pitting creatures from different movies were common place for matinee and grind house flick so this movie, based on characters and creatures developed for previous SyFy movies is perfectly consistent with the ‘B’ legacy these films follow. It is also reassuring that it looks like the producers are in on the joke and that the similarities with the classic fifties ‘B; flicks is not coincidental. In order to get the most out of a movie like this you have to let go of contemporary expectations and allow the inner seven year old to take over for awhile. Yes, the effects certainly could be better, the story more polished and the acting less wooden but these elements are exactly what make this flick a really fun pop corn movie. To those out there demanding perfection in a creature feature; lighten up. Sometimes it’s enough to just have a little fun.

The author of the teleplay, Naomi L. Selfman, has suitable experience in flicks like this. She penned a few movies for the SyFy Channel including another mash-up flick; ‘Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus’. If the modifier ‘Mega’ is in the title along with ‘Vs’ you can be reasonably certain it debuted on SyFy. This story is basically the typical one monster fighting another, a trend that started way back in the forties with showdowns between the legendary Universal Studio’s monsters such as ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Dracula’ and the ‘Wolf-Man’. You know, back when monsters were frightening not bad dating choices. A theme like this not only fills the niche for monster movies it taps in to age old enjoyment of gladiatorial combat to the death removing any potential moral misgivings for such spectacles by having inhuman combatants. When this was first shown on cable the SyFy Channel had a little bit of fun in the way the presented the movie. Harkening back to the old local TV stations creature feature programs they had hosted segments during the commercial breaks. This was done for the initial airing of this movie in recognition of the pair of eighties pop singers featured in this movie and the flicks that spawned it; Deborah Gibson and Tiffany Darwisch. They echoed the rivalry depicted on screen between their characters with a mock argument and one upping each other. Dr. Nikki Riley (Debbie Gibson) is an animal rights activist who, along with like minded people, break into a laboratory to liberate a group of pythons back into the wild; the Florida Everglades. Due to circumstances that can only arise in a movie of this nature the snakes rapidly grow to astonishing size. This immediately disrupts the delicate eco-system of the area by gobbling down several dozen alligators. The official response given by Park Ranger Terry O’Hara (Tiffany) is to issue permits for a controlled hunt but as we all know the only ones being hunted with any degree of success are the humans otherwise known as ‘brunch’. One entrée on the menu was Terry’s fiancé, Justin (Carey Van Dyke), providing the plot device to make what follows personal. Terry’s retribution manifests with the strange response of dumping a sizable quantity of anabolic steroids into the dinner recipe. Unbeknownst to Terry the mélange of drugs include one that has the twofold effect of neutralizing the natural restrictions on growth while greatly increasing aggression; just what you want as attributes in a batch of killer snakes. This little chemistry experiment has the side effect of mutating the alligators into equally ravenous creators called Gatoroids. There is a party nearby with a tasty buffet of guests including one included as a nod to the eighties music theme; Micky Dolenz, as himself.

The flick hits every single element required by the ‘B’ creature feature playbook. There are plenty of carnage perpetrated by the individual monsters culminating in the over the top carnage inflicted by their main event battle royal. The CGI effects are primitive even corny but that does make for a lot of the fun here. Too bad the disc doesn’t offer the original banter that would have been great. As it is this is a trip back in time to when a movie was more about a few laughs than technical proficiency. Just put this in the player, call some friends over, pop a bag of popcorn and enjoy. Reality will still be there when you’re done.

Posted 06/13/11

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