Vipers (2008)
By: Craig Villinger on October 3, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Genius Products (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. 89 minutes
The Movie
Director: Bill Corcoran
Starring: Tara Reid, Jonathan Scarfe, Aaron Pearl, Claire Rankin, Don S. Davis, Genevieve Buechner, Corbin Bernsen, Mercedes McNab
Screenplay: Brian Katkin
Country: USA/Canada
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
Snakes ahoy! Tara Reid takes a break from starring in ads for internet service providers to tackle something far less sociable than your average Dodo – a bunch of genetically enhanced, elongated serpents! Now, call me crazy if you must, but on paper at least that sounds like the kind of movie I'd enjoy watching…

The all important back-story is established in the opening scenes - a shady bio-tech company has made a major breakthrough in the treatment of breast cancer at its high tech research facility by tinkering with the genetic structure of the deadly Horned Viper snake, and wouldn't you know it – said research involves making the snakes faster, hungrier, and more venomous!

Naturally, with those nuggets of info out of the way events that see the facility's containment measures breached quickly transpire – in this case a botched robbery attempt - and with the vipers freed from their laboratory confines they quickly slither on down to nearby Eden Cove, an isolated island community with no cell phone coverage but a well stocked collection of residents just ripe for the snacking. Without further ado the rapidly multiplying hordes of reptiles begin tucking in to the town's human buffet, and it's up to the newly arrived Doctor (Jonathan Scarfe) and a local horticulturist of sorts (Tara Reid) to round up the quickly dwindling population and fend off the scaly interlopers until those friendly bio-tech researchers are able to show up and save the day. Or kill everyone in town to ensure the vipers can spread no further. Either way, people will die, which is always a good thing.

Vipers really should have been a tongue-in-cheek cheese-o-rama, but unfortunately the film rarely has a sense of its own absurdity and is played out like some sort of melodramatic soap opera instead. While things do move along at a steady pace and the snake attacks occur at regular intervals, we are forced to spend far too much time with the characters in-between the bursts of mayhem as they mourn the death of close friends, or dredge up unpleasant memories from their pasts, or babble shit simply for the sake of babbling shit. Can you say padding? The script is saddled with far too much sappy filler material, and the abundance of overly emotional character moments seemed hopelessly out of place in what was, presumably, supposed to be a creature feature.

The pedestrian screenplay isn't made any more palatable by a collection of half-assed acting performances either, and I doubt anyone will be surprised to hear that Tara Reid is among the offenders. Reid actually showed some ability in earlier films like The Big Lebowski, Urban Legend and yes, even American Pie, and for a while I rated her quite highly as a sexpot, but here she shows no interest in her craft and hides her over-partied bod behind several layers of winter clothing for the entire movie (bare flesh enthusiasts be warned – she even wears one of those giant knitted beanies that covers her ears!). Luckily for her though no on else seemed to care much either, so her awfulness doesn't particularly stand out. The late Don S. Davis, best know for his role in the Stargate TV series, is one of the few performers to add any sort of credibility to the flick, and while a smattering of recognizable faces do pop up, including semi-regular Buffy cast member Mercedes McNab and Corbin Bernsen, they are given little to work with.

The snake attack sequences themselves actually aren't too bad. Despite some very crappy CGI that makes the snakes look like slithering blobs of gas the blood and gore is splashed around generously, with the Vipers' appetites resembling those of your average Fulci zombie! These guys don't just dart in for a quick bite – they stick around and tear chunks of flesh from bodies, and in some cases devour their victims completely – bones and all. Don't go expecting any white knuckle tension though as the snakes aren't the least bit convincing, or scary, and a great deal of the splatter is also computer generated, which lessens its impact.

If nothing else Vipers might be one of the goriest killer snake movies ever made, however, adequate as they may be the snake attacks simply aren't enough to make Vipers worth recommending. Despite the fact that the scale of the flick is slightly larger than your average made-for-cable jaunt it still looks like an awfully cheap production, and the bad acting and clunky scripting – along with a few painfully contrived romantic moments between Reid's character and the heroic Doc, who have zero chemistry together - quickly manage to negate whatever entertainment value the film may sporadically deliver. With its tongue planted firmly in its cheek and Reid throwing out a line or two about "Motherfuckin snakes!" with a sly wink this could have been hilarious, but sadly Vipers frequently forgets what genre it's in and serves up too much ham with not nearly enough cheese.

I suppose I could sum up the movie best by saying it delivers everything the average movie watcher could reasonably expect from a killer snake movie starring Tara Reid…
Presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement, Vipers scrubs up reasonably well on DVD with no annoying artefacts and a clear, colourful picture. The sharpness is hardly anything to write home about though, but given the films made-for-cable origins this is probably as good as it could ever look on DVD.
The 5.1 audio is adequate, but I really can't say much more than that. Dialogue and sound effects are always clean and clear, and the generic score resonates well enough, adding to the unnecessary melodrama. I noticed the rear channels being used for a grand total of about 2 seconds though, so essentially this is little more than a 3.0 track.
Extra Features
Absolutely nothing except for ads for the Sci-fi channel and the Maneater Series (a dubious collection of movies featuring various killer animals) that play at start-up.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Vipers isn't competent enough to be considered enjoyable by any stretch of the imagination, and it's not quite bad enough to be a truly comical so-bad-it's-good experience. Slap that on a DVD and with no extras and audio & video quality that is passable at best and you've hardly got a package that will have everyone reaching for their credit cards. Put yours away and save it for something with a little more....errrr... bite.

comments powered by Disqus

>SHARK WEEK (2012) DVD Review

>DANGEROUS MEN (2005) Blu-ray Review

>UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (1992) Blu-ray Review

>THE LAST WARRIOR (2000) Blu-ray Review

>DIAMOND DOGS (2007) DVD Review

>BONE TOMAHAWK (2015) Blu-ray Review

>LET US PREY (2014) Blu-ray Review

>MACHETE (2010) Blu-ray Review

>THE MECHANIK (2005) Blu-ray Review

>DIRECT ACTION (2004) DVD Review

>NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review

>MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review

>CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review

>POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review

>DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review

Post Apocalypse Discussion Forum
Waxwork Records by MaxTheSilent
Phantasm V??? by McSTIFF
Inside (└ l'intÚrieur) by MaxTheSilent
Red Christmas - new local horror by brett garten
Zack Snyder's JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017) by Rip
BLAIR WITCH (2016) by Dr. Obrero
11 Guests, 0 Users
Latest Comments
Last 20 Comments
Most Read Articles
CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review 1. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review
POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review 2. POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review
MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review 3. MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review
DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review 4. DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review
NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review 5. NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review
Contact Us
Australian Horror News and Reviews
Digital Retribution aims to bring you the latest news and reviews from the local genre scene. If you see or hear something that might be of interest to our readers, please get in touch!

For promotional and advertising inquiries, feedback, requests, threats or anything else, visit our Contact Page.