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Case Number 14663

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Vipers

Genius Products // 2008 // 89 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 3rd, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson and man-eating vipers don't mix. Never forget that.

The Charge

"These aren't terrorists! These are snakes!"
—Tara Reid

Opening Statement

Hey! Watch out for those snakes! They're going to bite you to death and then eat your quadriceps! Like snakes do!

Facts of the Case

Everyone, repeat after me: a whole bunch of genetically mutated man-eating snakes escape from the laboratory and make their way to the populated area of the island and start killing and eating people, ultimately forcing the residents, including a plucky blonde girl (Tara Reid) and her boyfriend, to band together and devise a clever way to escape the snakes' bloodlust and save the world.

The Evidence

"After the slither comes the slaughter."

"The hiss of death."

Those were taglines the marketing team behind this film drummed up to stick on the case. Pretty creative, I think. Also, much more amusing than anything that you'll find pressed to this disc.

All preconceived notions you have about dopey Sci-fi Channel original productions of half-baked CGI creature features apply here. Vipers does nothing to distinguish itself from the overbearing number of shoddy wannabe deranged beastie horror movies. And of all the non-human antagonists to throw at your heroes, is there any creature that has been so over-used than the snake? Boas and Anacondas and Pythons and Boas versus Pythons and Cobras and Cobras versus Pythons versus Boas. And now vipers.

What's the deal with these vipers? That they've been f—--—around with genetically is a given—all of their cousins in their own movies had their DNA tampered with in the name of science. But instead of growing to incredible dimensions, these vipers turn into vicious dickheads that have developed an insatiable taste for human flesh. My limited knowledge of reptilian biology tells me it would be difficult for a snake to chew up pieces of flesh like your average bear or dingo or…other animal with teeth and an esophagus but that's the beauty of the genetic engineering plot device: creatures on the receiving end are capable of doing whatever the script requires. Here, they're required to swarm around people and carve up their bodies like a Thanksgiving Butterball.

And so they do that, over and over and over, until the heroes of the film come up with the ingenious idea of spraying them with fire extinguishers. This non-excitement culminates in an even more unexciting finale where the Viper Fighters drive slowly in a truck then eventually crowd in a greenhouse that they eventually explode.

So yeah the movie sucks, but because I recently got a raise at work, I'm in a generally good mood, so we'll end this on a couple of positive notes.

What Vipers Has Going for It

1. Bloodshed. At least the production crew didn't hold back on the gore as there is plenty of screaming and chewing and spurting and after-the-attack goopy corpse work.

2. R-rated conventions. Unlike many of the other made-for-TV horror flicks, Vipers embraces its rating, slathering on the aforementioned gore but also tossing in a debauched make-out scene in a tent (which of course ends in a slaughter) another love scene with Buffy-alum Mercedes McNab and her body double and another round of viper slaughter and at the very least you have something that makes its R-rating count.

That's all I've got.

A no-frills release for a no-frills movie: a solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital surround and no extras.

Closing Statement

I suppose if you can't get enough of poorly rendered CGI snakes terrorizing C-list actors, then Vipers should be your next purchase. For everyone else, spend your money on groceries.

The Verdict

Guilty. Sentence: to be devoured by a CGI mongoose.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 85
Extras: 0
Acting: 60
Story: 60
Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: Genius Products
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genre:
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








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