The most frightening thing about MEGA PYTHON VS. GATOROID is knowing how many of its viewers are forty-year-old men sitting home in their underwear fast-forwarding to the Debbie Gibson/Tiffany catfight scene. The only reason this movie exists is because former teen pop singer Gibson (“Only in My Dreams”) had starred in The Asylum’s MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS, and you know somebody at the studio or at SyFy thought, “Hey, wait a minute…what if we hired the other late-1980s teen singer, Tiffany (‘I Think We’re Alone Now’), to co-star in a sequel?”
Since both women had already posed nude for PLAYBOY, putting Tiffany and Debbie together in a cheap monster movie does, honestly, seems like a good way to attract eyeballs to SyFy on a Saturday evening. To little surprise, when MEGA PYTHON VS. GATOROID premiered on SyFy in January 2011, it drew more than 2.3 million viewers. That probably means we can expect Kylie Minogue to fight a giant Gila monster in the next Asylum sequel.
Debbie is Nikki Riley, an eco-terrorist who releases a bunch of pythons into the swamp, where they grow to massive size and start eating people. Tiffany is Terry O’Hara, a park ranger whose genius idea to fight the snakes is to feed steroids to the alligators, so they’ll grow to massive size and eat the snakes. How well do you think that plan works?
Both stars get to wear tiny shorts, sing on the soundtrack, and call each other “bitch” (many, many times). They’re also pathetic but game actresses who wink their way through the script’s in-jokes about their musical careers. No one is taking this movie seriously, particularly the visual effects supervisors, who crap out half-baked CGI work that looks like a six-year-old did it in Microsoft Paint and is less convincing than the Reptilicus puppet of the 1960s. Really, whoever created these effects should be embarrassed.
So should director Mary Lambert, who once was something of a big deal (PET SEMATARY), not that you would guess from her clumsy staging here. Surprisingly, veteran soap star A Martinez (SANTA BARBARA) is working hard to create a performance, and THE WEST WING’s Kathryn Joosten provides wry humor. Micky Dolenz, playing himself (!), is beyond being embarrassed by this point in his career. It was a nice surprise to see Kristen Wilson, the slinky host of Comedy Central’s ‘90s series STAND-UP STAND-UP, make an appearance. Griffith Park, the L.A. Arboretum, and Bronson Canyon play the Everglades.