***Please welcome guest recapper DarthHater with Mega Python Vs Gatoroid!!
This cover art looks better than any of the CGI in the actual movie.
It’s tough to hate on movies that know they’re shitty, and just go all out. Knowing that a giant fucking python and [SPOILER] an alligator on steroids [/SPOILER] fighting each other is pretty much your whole storyline and basically giving it all away in your title is a dead giveaway that you’re not trying. But here’s the deal – making sure you mention at every opportunity that Debbie Gibson and Tiffany are going to have a good old fashioned hair pull basically ensures the public that you know you’re not putting up engaging drama, but you just want 35 year-old adolescents to tune in on their 55” plasma TVs to see a wet dream come true. Syfy has been putting out movies like Sharktopus and Mega Piranha for a while now, but never before with such fanfare. They even introduced the movie with Tiffany and Debbie Deborah Gibson setting up the action with some fake bitchiness, and references to who they used to be just in case you forgot. All it really does is show you how much they are no longer nubile spank material.
The movie opens with some rejected True Blood opening credit footage. I guess we’re in bayou country. I dunno. Maybe it’s B-roll from Swamp People. There’s a minor breaking and entering montage, with a hot Asian girl, Deborah Gibson, and some dude. They steal some snakes. Deborah fails at being sexy with one for 3 seconds. They trip the alarm, and for some reason, have a car chase through Griffith Park, in L.A. (not LA). But you don’t have to fear the cops, because “Nobody’s going to prison tonight” as long as there are trees to pull the old’ Road Runner/Coyote Gag – which they do, with a Jeep Wrangler. I swear they could’ve played the Benny Hill Theme behind this and it would’ve made it easier to watch. It makes ANYTHING easier to watch. Anyway, they take the same turn about 4 or 5 times, and then they get away. So a little more exposition, and Dr. Riley (Deborah Gibson) turns out to be a PETA hard-on with a hatred for Man’s Law and a love for snakes.
We cut to the next day, where Zeke is hunting out in the bayou with his dog Bubba, and we’re treated to our first bad CG Giant Snake, which promptly eats Bubba. Zeke has an acting moment where he momentarily laments the loss of his beloved Bubba, with tears, even. Later, Zeke shows up at the local game warden/ Ranger’s (were still not sure, but she looks like she’s wearing an extra Reno 911 costume) office because he’s hunting gators but he still hates snakes, “’I don’t like snakes. Killed Bubba.” Ranger Terry (Tittsany Tiffany) isn’t giving out any gator huntin’ permits this season, though, because the “gator population is down.” Oh, and we’re in the Everglades, not Louisiana. These are Ranger Tiffany’s Everglades, to be exact. Ranger Tiffany’s “Barney Fife” is played by Mrs. Landingham of West Wing fame.
We’re treated to a shot of Ranger Tiffany’s leg, where she has some poorly thought out tattoos,
Zeke and his buddies go out into the woods to drink a couple beers and shoot some shit since they cannot legally obtain permits. They start shooting at random eye-lines and yee-hawing, which attracts Dr. Deborah Gibson’s attention as she’s driving by – because if you’re driving around and hear gunshots, the first thing you do is hop out and walk towards them through the swamp. She tries to save this snake they were shooting at, and they see a gator and a snake fighting in poor CGI. She tries to attract the snake away from the fight with some pheromones.
Dr. Deborah Gibson leaves, and passes Ranger Tiffany on the road, and they almost hit each other head on. First Bitch call out: 0:11.
Dr. Deborah Gibson sticks her butt out while looking through her trunk, and somehow attracts Ranger Tiffany’s fiancée’s eye. As he’s leaving, he runs over a python, in an effort to save Dr. Deborah Gibson’s life, and she chews him out for it. He shows up at where Ranger Tiffany is listening to Zeke tell her why he had to kill the snake and sees if he could get laid by bragging about running over a giant python to save Dr. Deborah Gibson’s life. She makes it clear that she wants all these snakes dead, because they’re ruining the delicate balance of her Everglades. She says it’s open season on snakes.
At the Ranger station, we’re shown the importance of “pithing the head” of one of the pythons by Deputy #2: RJ, because their heads can stay alive up to 1 hour after being cut off (foreshadowing). Dr. Deborah Gibson and her college students (as evidenced by their hippie dress, and T-shirts with clever prints like neckties and collars) protesting the new decision to allow hunting of snakes. Mrs. Landingham looks bored. Dr. Deborah Gibson walks up to Ranger Tiffany for their first face-to-face conversation of the movie.
Second Bitch Call Out: 0:16. “Ooh. Somebody had bitch for breakfast.”
They lay out the thin plot of the entire movie: Pythons are eating everything, and Ranger Tiffany thinks the gators are their only hope while, Dr. Deborah Gibson thinks they pythons are the natural top of the food chain, and everything will balance out.
We cut to Deputy #3: Hank getting eaten by a giant horribly CGI python before we go to commercial.
The producers flaunt how much they don’t care how bad the movie is, by having Tiffany and Deborah host bumpers in and out of the movie during commercial breaks. We get another Bitch Call out, but they don’t even try, as it’s just a repetition of the “Bitch for breakfast” line at 0:21.
Mrs. Landingham gives Ranger Tiffany a message that the PR person hired for their charity event is bringing a monkey. The hunters are out in the woods being hicks. They do, however, have an impressive arrangement of toy guns painted black to look real. Ranger Tiffany’s fiancée kills a giant python with a knife, making sure he “piths the head”.
RJ finds Hank’s dismembered body on the ground after finding a clutch of eggs, and his hunter friend is eaten by another giant python.
More giant pythons are seen around the area. But Ranger Tiffany is more worried about her fiancée – Justin. He’s okay. He’s just out with another unnamed hick hunter, and they decide to take a break. They find another giant python and while Justin’s fighting the giant python, and big alligator eats unnamed hick hunter. Justin manages to kill the giant python, but in doing so, is pinned underneath its massive body. When he wrestles the carcass off of him, he radios back to Ranger Tiffany, and they have a tender moment. We think he’s okay, but then it turns out he’s surrounded by giant pythons. We have a somewhat tender moment, when he asks Ranger Tiffany to tell him how great the wedding’s going to be, as he is devoured by at least 3 giant pythons.
Ranger Tiffany, RJ and Mrs. Landingham head out to look for Justin, and Ranger Tiffany makes a lucky strike with a knife, and manages to slice open the giant python just right, so that Justin’s radio falls out, as evidence that he has been eaten. She’s devastated. We’re gifted with some yelling that passes for acting. Deborah Gibson comforts her by saying “I think you’re alone now” during the commercial break outtro.
Yelling passing for acting.
As we come back from commercial, we’re treated to some shots of the NYC red carpet premiere of Megapython VS Gatoroid featuring such notables as: Allan Thicke, Dustin Diamond +1, and Downtown Julie Brown: wubba wubba wubba. I wouldn’t normally mention these bumpers, but they do serve as evidence that the producers of this movie are wholly unapologetic about how bad the movie is.
This is pretty much as sexy as it gets.
Mrs. Landingham uses one of her contacts to refer Ranger Tiffany to a scientist/Indian/shaman from the “Appalachian Indian Tribe” (c’mon, guys – you could’ve googled an actual Indian tribe from Florida, couldn’t you?) that might be able to help. Ranger Tiffany isn’t having any of that. She needs a bigger gator. Because, you know, that’s the logical solution. Well, Mrs. Landingham has contacts for that too.
Dr. Deborah Gibson is conferring with her hot Asian TA, and her non-descript white male TA, and they’re going to put cameras in the everglades to watch Ranger Tiffany.
Ranger Tiffany is introduced to one of Mrs. Landingham’s seedy underworld buff contacts for some anabolic steroids – including an experimental drug that removes all limitations to muscle growth. Hey, it’s experimental. And these are steroids. Nevermind anything you might wonder about with the steroids being for human mammals and their plan to feed them to large reptiles. They inject all this stuff into some dead chickens, and they feed them to the wild gators. No, the dead chickens don’t become buff or reanimated, though they should by the logic so far.
They get back to the ranger station, where we see Dr. Diego Ortiz for the first time. He can tell from the plants in the area that the animals are getting bigger and more hostile.
GATOR MONTAGE! The gators are getting bigger and their cells are mutating, but more importantly, we’re treated to a new snake related single by Debbie Gibson – “Snake Charmer”! And holy crap! As the gators are mutating into GATOROIDS, the giant pythons are eating their eggs and mutating into MEGA PYTHONS!
Sometime later, as evidenced by the number of time lapse sun and moon shots in the montage, Dr. Ortiz is out in the swamp, and he see our first MEGA PYTHON VS GATOROID battle! (It takes longer to read that line, than to watch the battle.)
He goes back to the ranger station to tell her, but it’s a bad time, because tonight is the big fundraiser with the monkey. Ranger Tiffany thinks everything is okay, because no one has been eaten in the last six months. We’re treated to the best acting moment of the whole movie, with Mrs. Landingham’s patented “you’re shit outta luck” response a la the West Wing.
Dr. Deborah Gibson and her TAs find a MEGA PYTHON skeleton in the swamp. As they turn to get out of there, her hot Asian TA is eaten by a gator. Too bad.
Dr. Ortiz finds a bunch of GATOROID eggs – about the size of large watermelons, and they sound like water balloons when he shakes them. He asks for some explosives, but Ranger Tiffany won’t give them to him, because this is what she wants.
Dr. Deborah Gibson and her TA are still being chased by a GATOROID and Dr. Ortiz at some point got into a helicopter, and finds them, dropping a rope ladder down in time for Dr. Deborah Gibson, but unfortunately, not fast enough for her last remaining TA. Dr. Deborah Gibson pieces together what happened in the helicopter as they fly away. Because, you know… she has all that evidence.
Back on the swamp, Zeke and Tommy are drinkin’ beers and talking about the big hoity toity benefit going on that night, when something big bumps them out of their motorboat. They manage to get back in, and as they’re trying to get moving, they decide to get some dynamite to flush out whatever it is. A MEGAPYTHON comes out of the water and eats Tommy. Moments later, the MEGAPYTHON’s head explodes, as Tommy apparently had time to arm an explosive before getting eaten. Zeke drinks a beer to toast his dead friend.
At the benefit, Tiffany is awakened in the VIP lounge by the PR manager, who introduces her to the monkey. Or, more accurately, a Monkee (see what they did there?): Mickey Dolenz. I thought he was dead. At any rate, he makes a reference to his last comeback 20 years ago, and they laugh and laugh.
Dr. Deborah Gibson finds the video footage she needed to take Ranger Tiffany down for feeding steroids to the gators. She makes a copy of it to show people.
Dr. Ortiz is out trying to blow up GATOROID eggs. He blows some up under a bridge, and finds a bunch more in a cave at a quarry that will become important later.
We go to the benefit, and Ranger Tiffany and Mrs. Landingham are working the crowd of background actors. Dr. Ortiz calls and tells Ranger Tiffany to send everyone home. Mrs. Landingham sends RJ out to keep Dr. Ortiz out of the party. Dr. Deborah Gibson drives up to the party in a mustang blasting Tiffany’s brand new snake related single, “Serpentine”. RJ stalls Dr. Ortiz at the front lawn, and then goes off to get eaten. Dr. Ortiz gets into the party, and once again tries to shut the party down, but Ranger Tiffany gives a really poor speech about how they always dreamed of having a party where people got drunk. Then, she wanders off to find out Dr. Deborah Gibson in the VIP area, and she’s confronted with the incriminating footage. Ranger Tiffany makes a reference to “Only in my dreams”, Deborah Gibson’s big 80’s hit, and that’s when the slap fight starts!
As close to a childhood dream as you'll get.
It’s really not as sexy as any of us had hoped when we were twelve. We cut between the actual pop stars, and some stuntmen, back to the pop stars, and back to the stuntmen for a while. Tiffany’s cleavage looks pretty impressive for a bit, and then they start with the whip cream all over each other. At some point, Dr. Deborah Gibson fills Ranger Tiffany’s cleavage with whip cream.
Dr. Ortiz is out in the dark trying to find RJ, but only finds his bloody uniform shirt. Meanwhile, Dr Deborah Gibson and Ranger Tiffany are still rolling around in the grass fighting, and calling each other Bitches. At this point, I’ll stop pointing out the “bitch” count, because they’re already getting into it. They roll into the water. Dr. Ortiz sees a bunch of MEGA PYTHONS and GATOROIDS heading towards the benefit. He runs to the party, and gets everyone in a panic.
Undaunted, Mickey Dolenz introduces “One of his biggest hits, from the sixties!” and promptly gets eaten. I guess that’s how you can avoid paying royalties for Monkees hits. Dr. Ortiz tells everyone to pull out their guns, if they have them, and every single person at the party pulls out their gun.
We find Dr. Deborah Gibson and Ranger Tiffany still rolling around in the water, and they stop fighting long enough for one of them to say “I think we’re alone now”. Then, a GATOROID comes out of the dark, and they run. Meanwhile, Dr. Ortiz and Mrs. Landingham have begun to make motolov cocktails out of beer bottles and tampons. They are holding off the MEGA PYTHONS and GATOROIDS as best as they can in the party tent. Dr. Deborah Gibson and Ranger Tiffany get back to the party, and they all pile into the truck to get out of harm’s way.
During a commercial break, they appear again only to take away the joy of the Mickey Dolenz scene where he gets eaten by acknowledging that the reason he was eaten so abruptly was so that they could avoid paying the royalties for the Monkees song. And then they proceed to sing their own hits overlapping each other (probably also avoiding the royalties on those songs).
We come back from commercial, and Dr. Ortiz, Dr. Deborah Gibson, Ranger Tiffany, and Mrs. Landingham are all still in the car, heading towards Miami, which looks surprisingly similar to Burbank, and not at all similar to Miami. MEGA PYTHONS are eating trains, GATOROIDS are chomping though malls (which prompts Mall Queen Tiffany to mention how much she hates that mall) and the production company even snuck in a little brand placement with a shot of a MEGA PYTHON biting into a blimp, emblazoned with the ASYLUM logo.
They come up with a plan to use pheromones to lure them all back to the quarry, and blow them all up along with their eggs.
They end up between a MEGA PYTHON and a GATOROID, and have to drive under the GATOROID to escape. It follows them, and Mrs. Landingham starts shooting at it, sticking herself out of the open sunroof to get a better shot. She kills the GATOROID, and celebrates for a moment. Then, in a greenscreen effect that reminds me of chimpanzees filmed doing things people can do, Mrs. Landingham dies, eaten by a MEGA PYTHON.
They decide that Dr. Deborah Gibson is going to go to the quarry and set the explosives, while Dr. Ortiz and Ranger Tiffany lure all the monsters to the quarry by crop dusting them with pheromones from a plane. WAIT! When the hell did they get a plane?! Nevermind. It’s almost over anyway.
Dr. Deborah Gibson goes to set the charges, and the eggs start to hatch. Meanwhile, Dr. Ortiz and Ranger Tiffany are skywriting with reptile Spanish fly. Ranger Tiffany’s cleavage looks good again. They move lower, to make sure they get the scent. While flying so low, they’ve got the presence of mind to point out the Turkey Point Nuclear facility. They also make a point to say they have to steer clear of it. Also, water is wet. Well, while flying so low, a MEGA PYTHON strikes at them (in poor CGI, I should mention) and the plane goes down.
Tiffany and Deborah Gibson take us to commercial by reading off comments on the Syfy channel website. This is just a blatant lack of effort by the network, as they are now filling time with random remarks from the website.
Dr. Deborah Gibson finishes setting the charges, just as the baby gatoroids (the size of really big alligators) finish hatching, and they follow her towards the mouth of the cave.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ortiz is pinned inside the plane, which is teetering on the edge of a freeway overpass. He tells Ranger Tiffany that she has to lead the monsters away from the nuclear reactor. As Ranger Tiffany speeds away in a car with the pheromones spilling out of a bottle in the trunk like gunpowder from a barrel in a Tom N Jerry cartoon, Dr. Ortiz gets himself out of the plane. Ranger Tiffany leads the monsters through a part of Miami that looks strangely like Glendale, and Dr. Ortiz blows up a couple GATOROIDS by shooting the fuel soaked plane with a shotgun.
Ranger Tiffany and her cleavage arrive at the quarry just in time to save Dr. Deborah Gibson from a GATOROID by lighting a fuel can on fire in the car, aiming the car at the GATOROID, and jumping out at the last second.
The two pop goddesses from the 80s make up. They’re in this together, they say out loud. The place is getting crowded with MEGA PYTHONS and GATOROIDS and baby GATOROIDs. They lock themselves in a trailer filled with explosives, and they both try to take blame for what has happened. Just when they would begin making out, if we were watching porn, the Helicopter with Dr. Ortiz shows up to rescue them. Dr. Deborah Gibson makes it aboard. Ranger Tiffany does not, and she’s eaten by a GATOROID that can stand on its hind legs.
They fly off, and blow up the quarry. The shockwave knocks Dr. Deborah Gibson out of the helicopter, and right into the water. MEGA PYTHON chunks begin to rain down from the heavens. Dr. Deborah Gibson is almost out of the water, pushing chunks away as she just about makes it to shore. Too bad she wasn’t listening to RJ earlier, because one of the still alive MEGA PYTHON heads bites her in half. (Remember RJ’s foreshadowing earlier? I know you do.)
The film (cough) finishes with a dedication to the two women that saved the park (also, the same two women that caused the whole thing, and the same two women that sang two very poorly conceived songs about snakes, during the movie.) I poke out my eyes.
Box art that looks like porn.