February 2009

Boa vs. Python

Boa vs. Python

The Sci-Fi channel has a lot to answer for. Much could be said about the risible awfulness of this piece of cable-TV dreck — much, in fact, has been said. It seems a bit unnecessary to nitpick the errors in biology in a movie where a giant python orally pleasures a woman with his tongue (!!!), where the logical response to a giant python loose in a major city’s water supply is to release an equally large boa — and where the giant boa and giant python are almost never seen in the same frame until the last few minutes!

Nevertheless, nitpicking is our business, and I have taken copious notes. Onward!

  1. The giant snakes sound like slavering beasts: they growl, snarl and carry on like the Looney Tunes Tasmanian devil. A young boa constrictor chirps. You do know snakes are deaf, right?
  2. Giant snakes are apparently impervious to gunfire, flame throwers, and ordnance capable of levelling small villages in Bulgaria (which is where this atrocity was filmed). That crossbow will totally work, though.
  3. The FBI agent finds a giant individual scale. Snakes don’t have individual scales like fish; they’re an unbroken part of the skin.
  4. Snakes don’t have prehensile tails and don’t use them as weapons, the way, say, iguanas and monitor lizards do.
  5. Betty is a “scarlet queen boa,” which of course does not exist.
  6. “Most snakes are territorial, especially the big constrictors.” No; very few snakes are territorial.
  7. No snake has a heart rate approaching 300 bpm.
  8. Snakes swallow their food whole; they don’t bite, chew or otherwise rip it apart.
  9. They handled the whole inter-species mating and immediate egg-laying thing reasonably enough, but snake eggshells are leathery, not brittle.
  10. Glowing eyes?
  11. Um, guys, pythons can swim. You won’t get away that way.

In a word, yuck. Thank God for the wholly gratuitous nudity 10 minutes in.

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