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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snake Island (2002) Horror Snakes

Snake Island (2002) - Wayne Crawford wrote, directed and starred in this simple horror story about a bunch of tourists and safari workers trapped on an island of deadly snakes. He may not have many credits but is noteworthy for writing the 1983 somewhat popular film Valley Girl. Unfortunately this is not a great film it is more a 'Gag me with a spoon" film. Okay that's a cheap shot sorry. Crawford and co writer Arthur Payne fail to create a story with much of a plot. It is a simple survival story with reptiles as the antagonist, then throw in every variety of snake known to man and suddenly make then more aggressive than most and you have a fight for survival.
  Like I said the story is simple of a safari tour boat is cruising around South Africa looking for animals. They have to stop off at Snake Island to drop off writer  Malcolm Page (William Katt) doing research on snakes for a book and the wildlife resort crew that has recently purchased Snake Island. Headed by Eddie Jones (Russel Savadier) a former finance guy who gave it all up to run a resort on his newly purchased Snake Island. The other safari crew is Capt Jake Malloy (Wayne Crawford) hands Lisa (Dawn Mathews), Ronnie (Nicola Hanekom) and Righteous (Japan Mthembu). They with their tour passengers, newlyweds Carrie (Milan Murray) and Lance (Jason Kennett), and Lawyer on vacation Heather Dorsey (Kate Conner) have the misfortune of having to make the stop that ends up being the end of most of them.
  While Jake is helping Eddie unload gear to the resort, a snake on the boat creates enough rustling and chaos that the gas tank is punctured and the entire group has to spend the night on the island. Through some early scenes of coworkers of Eddie, and POV of snakes stalking them we know the damn things are everywhere. Not only that but they seem to be seeking the humans out.
  There are a bunch of shots to establish characters, Jake hitting on Heather, Ronnie hitting on Malcolm, the newlyweds being, well newlyweds, Lisa getting drunk and dancing topless with Ronnie, Heather stripping down for some swimming pool sex with Jake. Eddie getting blasted and not getting any of the women. Also some nice safari pictures as they take some time to see the island. We learn the island was once a peninsular but a levy break during some flooding turned it into an island. Because of that there is not only a large population of African animals but also an really high count of snakes that had taken to the peninsular's high ground in the rain. This all before the hissing biting fun starts.
  When the group breaks up for the night there are multiple scenes of death and mayhem.Since the bungalows appear to be pretty spread out the snake deaths start but those not involved never know that people are dying. Lisa gets bitten in the show, another gratuitous nudity shot. Heather has a close call, and so it goes. Malcolm doing his research on the island teaches us that for years the snakes have been hunted on the island and so they have evolved over time to seek out and kill humans. Yes evolution makes the snakes killers. Although it is one of the weakest theories and totally not how evolution works, it is the one the writer chose to go with.
  When everyone that is left finally figures this all out, the plan is to split up and try t get to the small boats parked on either side of the island. They are not sure they are there and the snakes who now know the humans are there are on the prowl between them and the boats. I told you this was a simple survival story. This is the whole plot. Someone will make it to the boat you just have to watch to find out who. Okay since William Katt was the Greatest American Hero on TV you can be pretty sure he will be a survivor. But who else?
  In the end there is not enough good action, compelling story or cool twists to get me to recommend this film. The splashes of nudity feel like they were needed to try to sell this to the predominately male horror audience but they are only flashes to tease the teens. The acting is not bad with some very believable performances so that should not stop you from seeing this film. Be warned though if you don't heed my skip it recommendation that you will probably be a bit disappointed. So make up your own mind, hell if you are trying to see every snake movie ever made this won't be the worst you can do, it just won't be the best.
Rating (4.0) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others.

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