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Dustin Putman

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Capsule Review
Vipers  (2008)
2 Stars
Directed by Bill Corcoran.
Cast: Tara Reid, Jonathan Scarfe, Genevieve Buechner, Jessica Steen, Aaron Pearl, Claire Rankin, Stephen E. Miller, Don S. Davis, Corbin Bernsen, Mark Humphrey, Mercedes McNab, Michael Kopsa, Anwar Hasan, Edwina Cheer.
2008 – 89 minutes
Rated: Rated R (for violence/gore, some language and sexual content).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, October 2008.

Nicky Swift:
Homeland Security?! This isn't terrorism, it's snakes!

"Vipers" is a fairly standard animals-run-amok picture, the type expected to see premiering on the Sci-Fi Channel (indeed, it was at one time scheduled to air there before it was decided to go straight-to-DVD). When deadly genetically-enhanced snakes escape from the Bio Tech Laboratories, they slither, swim and jump (yes, jump) their way to the small Pacific Northwest town of Eden Cove, where the residents' lives are already one big, tangled soap opera. With the quickly mutating reptiles invading, biting their victims and then chewing them up, it is up to a band of survivors, including nursery owner Nicky Swift (Tara Reid) and new medic in town Cal Taylor (Jonathan Scarfe), to make it out alive. Director Bill Corcoran too often relies on chintzy CGI rather than practical effects to bring the snakes to life, but "Vipers" does get points for its lightning pace, its somewhat truthful look at the mourning process of a young woman whose boyfriend has been killed in Iraq, and its use of Pink Floyd as a story device. The film is icky rather than scary, however, and the performances are mixed—Tara Reid (2005's "Alone in the Dark") gives the realest performance, while Genevieve Buechner, as teenager Maggie, is so bratty and amateurish the viewer wishes her character dead immediately. It's a mixed bag, to be sure, but in the right frame of mind it gets the (limited) job done.

© 2008 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman