- Year: 2008
- Format: Movie
- Buy It at Amazon.com
- View the IMDb Listing
- Categories: Animation and Animatronics, Biological Impossibilities, Snakesploitation Movies
- Posted on March 19, 2010
“This isn’t terrorism; these are snakes!” — Tara Reid, Captain Obvious.
Another truly bad entry in the snakesploitation movie sweepstakes, Viper is a movie that combines poor computer-generated effects with lame acting and frankly ludicrous biology, one whose brief nudity is insufficient to save it. As usual, snakes have to be genetically enhanced to pose any threat; even incredibly deadly snakes, after all, shy away from a direct confrontation if they can.
Amongst the errors are such diverse elements as the following:
- Horned Vipers (Cerastes cerastes) do not look like that: for one thing, they’re a lot smaller than that (they’re about two feet long); for another, they’re a lot paler in colour; for still another, their horns aren’t right.
- The snake in Jessica Steen’s slideshow isn’t a horned viper; it looks like a young cottonmouth or some South American lancehead-or-other.
- As I said in my look at Boa vs. Python, snakes don’t bite and chew like that; they swallow things whole or not at all. They certainly don’t rip big meaty chunks out of their prey like an allosaur. The chomping and feeding — and spurting blood — is utterly stupid.
- The movie makes a certain deal out of heat and cold and the fact that snakes are ectotherms; it’s worth mentioning, though, that Horned Vipers, which are found in the desert climates in North Africa and the Middle East, would have a real problem with the Pacific Northwest climate: too cold and, for snakes that derive their drinking water from dew that collects on their own scales, way too wet.
- Snakes are escape artists, but they’d be hard pressed to get inside a tent, much less a building that was properly sealed. Honestly, you could secure a room by stuffing bedsheets along the doors.
- Snakes don’t growl. Nor do they disconnect phone lines, in my experience.
- Antivenom is administered intravenously, not via a syringe. And it usually takes more than one vial. Lots more.
- At one point they’re called pit vipers; they’re actually true vipers — no heat pits.
- According to my resident marine biologist, fish heads don’t float — especially not that high on the water.
On the other hand, they did get the garter snake, which appears at the beginning, right — it looks like, or is at least consistent with, a female Puget Sound Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis pickeringii).