|More Fun Monster Hybrid Nonsense|
Piranhaconda (2012) directed by Jim Wynorski
It's SyFy monster movie time once again! This time out it's 'Piranhaconda' another hybrid monster movie from the furious pen of the writer that brought us 'Sharktopus' and one which, like many hybrid monster films, is something created solely around how cool they think the name sounds at the time before they get too involved with the details of the how exactly the thing came about and all those pesky details involving a basic plot. But like much of the details of history, things are so often forgotten too quickly and modern haters forget that old monster and horror films were frequently created in much the same manner and thus us aging fans of sci-fi/horror who lament the loss of late night and Saturday afternoon TV shows featuring such things can enjoy them once again...through science! ...oh and marketing shares.
The victims of the piranhaconda are two groups that eventually merge as they come into conflict and then are once again separated...by fate! The first group is a film crew busily creating a low budget slasher movie who are shooting uncomfortably close to the hunting grounds of the piranhaconda located at a remote location in Hawaii. They fail to notice a few of their folks that go missing due to their production suddenly grinding to a halt when an investor pulls out forcing them to temporarily suspend the shoot. They are however unable to get too depressed over their suspended shoot as they are subsequently kidnapped by a nearby paramilitary group secreted in an abandoned factory that I recognize as a location from the director's previous film 'Dinocroc vs. Supergator'. The rogue militants intend to ransom the director and his actors for some serious cash as their small studio has recently been picked up by a major studio with deep pockets.
These plans of course all go to hell when the piranhaconda figures out where they are and the reason he figures out where they are is because one of their kidnap victims is Professor Lovegrove (Michael Madsen) who is something of an amoral rogue professional himself who has stolen a piranhaconda egg and boy oh boy does that thing want it back! Even if he has to kill pretty much kill everyone listed in the credits...which he pretty much does as you might expect.
Piranhaconda suffers from many of the typical pitfalls of a SyFy channel monster flick in that it has truck-sized logic holes in its script, the monster is far too indestructible, there's no attempt to create practical effects to make the killings more horrific and visceral, and worst of all the monster kills too many people too frequently which all but drains the film of any sort of tension it attempts to build and makes it difficult to develop any empathy or derive enjoyment from any of the various folks being slaughtered. But despite these typical issues the film was still a bit easier to enjoy mainly due to the actors being...well pretty much all being actual professional actors of varying levels of skill instead of the somewhat common practice to just have a "star" or two and then fill out the cast with non-acting production folks to save costs. The result is bad guys who were fun to watch and good guys who you were unhappy to see get killed. The two name stars imported for this production -- Michael Madsen and Rachel Hunter -- really contribute little to the film making me think they were just around for a day or two tops. But like I said the other actors were fine for once and so I ended up not really caring although I did find it rather curious especially having Rachel Hunter as the main bad guy's tough talking moll which was a big missed opportunity of fun. Ah well.
All things considered I found the movie typically faulty but fairly enjoyable overall although I suppose I would caution any of the uninitiated that I'm a big fan of these types of films and as such I'm really weighing it against other movies typical of this genre, a point which may sound something like a cop out but hey...at least I'm honest about my taste gauge when it comes to these types of films. Lots of wasted opportunity and a few too many logic problems, but the monster was fun if perhaps a bit too fast with his kills and the smaller actors all hit their marks with sufficient effort.