Boa vs. Python

If you go into a movie titled “Boa vs. Python,” what do you expect to get out of it? Presumably, if you’re like me, it’s a battle between a boa constrictor and a python. That happens twice in the movie, although the first time is a bit of a cop out, because it’s actually a wrestling match between two men who are named after the snakes. The second time comes near the climax, where the two creatures finally fight for a couple of minutes before their battle is ended by humans. That’s right. We don’t even get to find out who would win without outside interference.

What about the other 80 minutes? Well, surprising me, there’s a loose idea of a plot. A millionaire, Broddick (Adam Kendrick), decides that bringing a bunch of other rich people to hunt a recently captured giant snake sounds like good fun. The snake escapes. The hunt goes on anyway, presumably because of the “good fun” I just mentioned. So, that team hunts the python. Another team — led by an FBI Agent (Kirk B.R. Woller), a marine biologist (Jaime Bergman) and someone who happens to own a lab that has the giant boa (David Hewlett) — uses the giant boa as a tracking dog to hunt the python, too.

The majority of the film takes place in tunnels, because that’s where giant snakes would go when night falls and it gets cold outside. It also means there are a lot of bends so that the awful CGI only has to render a tail as the snake goes around another bend. It also means that we don’t need a lot of lighting, which can help further hide the terrible CGI. Did I mention that the CGI is horrendous? This is a direct-to-video film about giant snakes, so I don’t know if you expected the visuals to be anything resembling “good.”

Essentially, we just wander around tunnels and sometimes forests for 90 minutes, all while people from the first team get picked off and those from the second team do absolutely nothing of value or interest, which leads up to a five-minute battle between the two snakes, during which we barely even see them, because we’re still far too focused on the humans.

It’s funny seeing the shortcuts used in order to avoid spending a lot of money. Characters shoot at things off-screen and we never see if they hit anything, because that would mean filming something costly. The snakes are rarely shown in their entirety, and look absolutely dreadful when they do. I don’t even know if some of the characters in the movie are played by real actors. There isn’t enough information on some of them to find out if that’s the case.

If they are real actors, they should be ashamed that they appeared in this project. If they’re not, they should still be ashamed. Nobody turns in a performance that anyone would call good, or even passable. It’s hilarious watching these people try to act. This isn’t helped out by the cinematography, either, which is terrible. The camera is often too close in scenes that don’t require it, it’s sometimes out of focus or held off-center for absolutely no reason. There was one camera they used that made a bold, black outline around every object, but it was only used for a few shots. Why? I have no idea.

The only joy that one can get out of a movie like Boa vs. Python — both of which are established franchises, by the way, although there are few, if any, references to either — is to make fun of it. I’ll admit that I laughed at the terrible filmmaking, the lack of sense, and the awful looking snakes. This is a so-bad-it’s-good movie that you can watch with friends for a good chuckle. That’s it. Looking at it in any other light will lead you to disappointment and alcoholism.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. The DVD cover artwork, which depicts better looking versions of the two snakes duking it out in a city, while a helicopter shoots at them from the background, is drawn quite nicely. None of that happens in the movie — the only helicopter footage this crew could afford was a singular stock footage shot of a trio of ‘copters flying; that’s all we see of them. It’s a nicely crafted cover, and it does a good job of completely misleading its audience.

You probably know what you’re getting into when you pick a direct-to-Video movie about giant snakes. It’s going to be stupid. It will look awful. It won’t make a lot of sense. This is all expected. I just wish the basic premise, promised in the title, would have been acted on a bit more. It’s disappointing to only get the snake fight in the final few minutes, and even then you barely see it — and when you do, it’s not all that exciting. It’s ultimately not worth sitting through to find out who wins, either, because outside interference plays a role in determining the victor.

Boa vs. Python doesn’t live up to its title. If it did, perhaps it would be worth seeing. Yes, it is still funny because it’s absolutely terrible, but only if that’s the mindset you enter it with. If you even start to think that it’s a movie you should take seriously, you need to slap yourself. It’s a terrible B-movie that is only truly fun if you can convince a few friends to come over to laugh at it with you.

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