action, horror, Maneater series, movie, movie review, sci-fi

April 25th, 2018 Movie – Vipers

vipers

Another snake movie starting with the letter V? It seems to be some sort of trend going on here. Man, I am a little sad about today’s movie as it means I am almost done with the Maneater series of films. These were always fun to watch when they would show up on Syfy and I am glad I picked them up on DVD, especially the triple feature packs. I had actually bought today’s movie as a single movie but bought the triple pack that had it so I could get the other two movies. So is this movie that good that it was worth buying twice? Let’s find out as I watch today’s movie, Vipers.

The plot: At a Universal Bio Tech research facility, John Staffen enters the specimen lab and is shown the genetically modified horned vipers that they have been using for their experiments. The vipers were slated to be destroyed after an incident where they attacked and killed their handlers and some guards but Staffen and his security detail shoot the doctor and the security guards. As the security detail move to switch the lethal gas with knockout gas so they can transport the vipers to a new facility, one of the security guards, who was just wounded, shoots the glass cage the snakes are in. The escaping vipers begin attacking everyone and Staffen manages to escape and close the door, watching the snakes feed on the victims before he leaves. At Universal Bio Tech’s main facility, Dr. Collins is giving a lecture on how horned viper venom has been used to treat breast cancer. After her lecture, she is approached by Universal Bio Tech’s owner, Mr. Burton, who tells her that there was an incident in their lab and the genetically modified vipers escaped. Collins is upset about Burton’s messing with the snakes, calling it unethical and how everything assigned to the project reflects on her but Burton says that he needs her help to before the snakes reach a populated area. Meanwhile, the vipers are shown to have eaten all of the bodies in the lab and escape out the ventilation system, heading out into the water. On the nearby island of Eden Cove, a honeymooning couple is fooling around in their tent by the lake when they are attacked by the vipers. The next day, former Marine medic Cal  Taylor arrives in town and is met at the dock by Hank Brownie, who gives him a ride into town. As they are driving, they spot the wrecked campsite and investigate it but find no sign of the owner so Hank uses his CB to contact Sheriff Hendricks. Hendricks heads to the rental agency, catching Georgie, the owner, fooling around with Jack Martin and as Georgie goes to get the couple’s information, Jack tells him that he and his wife Ellie are separated so there is no need to go blabbing about what he is doing to her. When Cal and Hank arrive, Hank hands Hendricks the ring they found and Jack, who owns the local inn, takes Cal there to check in. They get there just as Jack’s daughter Maggie goes storming off, yelling at her parents for their separation and Ellie tells Jack they need to talk. Cal goes to see Dr. Silverton, revealing that he was there at Silverton’s request due to his being friends with his sone Joey, who died in the service. Cal hands Silverton Joey’s personal effects just as they are called away to Nicky Swift’s flower shop, where Maggie had broken in and smoked some of the marijuana Nicky grows. Cal joins Silverton and they find Jack and Ellie there with Maggie and Nicky and as they wonder who Cal is and why he is there, Silverton explains that he is planning on turning over his practice to Cal. Nicky realizes that Cal knew Joey and when Ellie comments that Nicky is the reason Joey enlisted and was kileld, Nicky punches her. Suddenly, they hear screaming coming from outside and Cal rushes out to find a young boy was bitten by a snake. Cal grabs the boy and Nicky drives him over to Silverton’s office, where they give him some anti-venom to stabilize him. Silverton decides to fly into the city with the boy, asking Cal to take care of things for him till he gets back. Meanwhile, Burton tells Collins that they got a report of the snake bite and asks what contingencies she has to offer and Collins tells him she has a gas that can stun the snakes but isn’t sure if she has enough to handle a large quantity of snakes and any other poisons that would be useful on the snakes would also be lethal to humans. On the island, Hendricks has Nicky arrested for assault then goes to the sheriff’s office, where Cal is tending to Ellie’s jaw, and tries to get her to drop the charges. When Ellie says he always defends Nicky ever since they were kids, Hendricks tells her that he wants to be with her, not Nicky. Silverton calls and tells Cal that the boy took a turn for the worse and he is staying overnight to ensure he is ok. After he gets off the phone, he is approached by Collins and Staffen. Back on the island, Georgie meets up with Jack and says she can step back if need be but Jack insists that he wants to be with her. The two head to the inn and have sex and afterwards, Jack goes to take a shower when the vipers enter the room and kill Georgie. As Hendricks takes Cal to tend to Nicky’s hand, they are met by Hank, who wants Hendricks to check out something on the dock. Cal checks Nicky’s hand and as he examines it, they talk about Joey and Cal explains that he and Joey talked about her a lot. Cal says it isn’t broken, then leaves to get some ice and Nicky uses his scalpel to pick the lock of the cell, only to find Cal waiting outside for her and he chooses to accompany her as she runs some errands, mainly delivering pot to some residents that are suffering from cancer. Suddenly the hear Jack screaming out and find him coming out of the room with blood on his hands. As Jack checks on him, Nicky looks inside and sees the vipers swarming over Georgie and Cal kills one that approaches her, then quickly shuts the door. At the docks, Maggie runs off after another argument with Ellie just as Hendricks and Hank show up when all of a sudden, vipers start attacking people on the docks. Hendricks tells everyone to head up to the hotel and has Hank get Ellie into his truck and leave, and Ellie cries out as Maggie is unable to reach the truck and runs off with some snakes chasing her. Everyone makes it to the hotel and they start barricading it to keep the snakes out but Ellie and Jack rush out to try and find Maggie. Ellie finds Maggie as she tries to cross a bridge to reach the hotel but when the vipers cut her off, Hendricks grabs her and takes her to the sheriff’s office, locking her in the cell but the vipers kill him. Ellie and Jack enter the station but are unable to reach Maggie and Jack drags Ellie out of there, where they are met by Cal and Nicky, using a fire extinguisher to ward off the snakes, and they take shelter in a nearby food truck. Nicky hotwires the truck and they pull up close to the door, then Cal heads into the station to get Maggie and takes her to the truck. When the truck won’t start, they decide to make a run for the diner but Ellie is killed before she can escape the truck. As night falls, Silverton, Collins, Staffen, and two security agents arrive on the island, using gas grenades to stun the snakes. One of the agents is killed by the snakes but the others manage to reach the hotel, as well as Cal and the others. Once inside, Collins tries to keep everyone calm but Jack and several of the residents want to use the cover of the gas to escape to the boats. Jack is shot by the security agent but several of the islanders leave and Collins wants to use the last of the gas to give them a chance but Staffen refuses to let the agent use it, dooming the islanders to being killed. Inside, Cal and Silverton try to save Jack’s life but are unable to and as Silverton consoles Maggie, Cal gets upset at being unable to save Jack’s life. When he sees Collins crying, he accuses her of what happened and Collins said she had nothing to do with what happened, as Burton was the one to create the snakes. When the security agent reveals that a rescue isn’t happening and the island will be bombarded with C-12 gas, Cal comes up with a plan to lure the snakes away from the docks so that Silverton and the other islanders can get to safety, as Silverton is the only person able to call off the air strike. Rigging up some heaters to Jack’s truck and making some homemade flamethrowers, Cal, Nicky, Collins, Hank, Staffen, and the security agent head out and start luring the vipers away from the hotel and boat, and Silverton leads the surviving islanders out of the hotel but as they reach the boat, Maggie runs off to help Cal. Cal and the others reach the greenhouse and are joined by Maggie but the security agent is killed by the vipers. Inside, Nicky starts up her generator to start producing heat while Cal and the other’s work on gathering the ingredients necessary to make an IED. When the snakes start breaking in, Staffen is killed by the snakes and they discover that he had a satellite phone and another way off the island. When Burton tries contacting Staffen, Cal grabs the phone and pushes a few buttons before handing it to Collins, where she responds and argues with Burton over his actions. As more snakes appear, Hank shoots at one but ends up hitting the greenhouse roof, weakening it to the point that it breaks and he is killed by the falling shards of glass. As snakes start pouring in from the ceiling, Cal has everyone head out as he lights a flare and runs, blowing up the greenhouse and killing all of the vipers. As they recover from the explosion, they see the planes for the air strike approaching but then they veer off and they realize that Silverton got through to the authorities. Some time later, Burton is speaking at a shareholders’ meeting when his recorded conversation he had with Collins is played over the loud speakers, just as Collins arrives with the police to arrest him. On Eden Cove, Silverton and Maggie listen to the news of the arrest on the radio then head off, leaving Cal and Nicky to get better acquainted, as they had grown close during the night. Back on the mainland, Burton gets in his limo after leaving the police station but as he is on the phone, he discovers a viper in the back with him which attacks and kills him.

This is an ok movie but I was a little disappointed in it. The acting was ok, with Tara Reid doing a surprisingly decent job as Nicky, while Jonathan Scarfe (Cal) Corbin Bernsen (Burton) and Don S. Davis (Silverton) doing good jobs as well. The story was interesting, although did feel a bit similar to Venomous in some regards, mainly the whole destroying the town to cover up the secret experiment aspect. The special effects with the snakes were honestly a little disappointing, looking a lot more fake than some other movies that came out in the series. It’s a good way to kill some time but I wish it could have been better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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