Eye For Film >> Movies >> Mega Snake (2007) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
There are three rules you need to know in dealing with the unteka. One: never let it out of the jar. Two: Never let it eat anything that's alive. Three: Don't fear the heart of the snake. These instructions have been handed down to Screaming Hawk (Ben Cardinal) by his ancestors and they give him the confidence to keep an unteka as a display only item in his snake shop. Then, one day, a white man steals it. Chaos ensues.
Said white man is Duff (John T. Woods), whose father died in a religious snake-handling rite and who has learned nothing as a result. His brother Les (Michael Shanks) has learned to be afraid of snakes, which makes him the hero, of course, because it gives him something he must overcome in order to save the day. Everybody else just has to overcome being hunted and eaten by a creature that swiftly grows from a kitten-munching stripling to a 15 metre monster capable of swallowing whole families and still wanting more. The situation is made all the more urgent by the fact that the town is about to hold its annual fair - a giant monster magnet if ever there was one.
The acting in the central roles is not too bad here and just about overcomes the blandness of the characters enough to make us root for them, though it's a shame Todd Jensen's sleazy police officer gets an underwhelming comeuppance. There are a few satisfying scenes of people being sucked slowly into the snake's deadly maw, even if, overall, too little is made of this. Some oddities about the beast are perhaps explained by its legendary status, though it still seems strange that it should have teeth like a Piranhaconda and tripartite jaws like the Cloverfield creature given its supposedly natural origins. It moves well, with CGI work above average for the genre, and there are nice touches that reveal the characters' familiarity with snakes, such as when it first goes missing and Duff looks for it in his bed.
Supporting performances are very variable, with lacklustre work sometimes wasting characters with good comedy potential. Whilst the leads approach the film with the enthusiasm it needs, some of the bit-parters look as if they're just filling time. The script is a mess. Beyond what it steals from Gremlins, it badly lacks direction and feels like a series of sketches clumsily linked together and awkwardly padded out. Whilst most of these fail to achieve much, however, there are one or two fun moments, including an ending that foreshadows a key action sequence in Sharknado.
One for the completists and those with a particular dislike of kittens.Reviewed on: 11 Apr 2014