Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monster Snakes And Sexy Tee Shirts

I haven’t seen a movie worth talking about for some time. Amazingly, Tuesday a new monster snake movie (with David Hasselhoff!) came out on DVD and it wasn’t awful! In fact, I really enjoyed it.

It is “Anaconda 3: Offspring.” Now, the first “Anaconda” was a genuinely good movie. The second, “Anacondas - The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” was a genuinely bad movie, nothing worth seeing at all. This one stakes out a kind of middle ground—it doesn’t try to be good good, it just tries to be a fun, enjoyable monster flick. And it does okay.

First of all, Hasselhoff gets top billing, but he really doesn’t have a big part, thankfully.

Second of all, the special effects aren’t all that great. A few months back I wrote about my two favorite monster snake movies and they both had better special effects than this one.

However, the director here, Don E. FauntLeRoy, is a cinematographer (ASC and everything!) and when camera guys or editors get to be directors there is almost always something worth seeing in their work. (With the exception of Peter Hyams, of course, who is always just wretched and unwatchable.) And in this film the director seems to lavish something like Hitchcockian attention to his leading lady’s wardrobe.

And it makes the film worth watching!

The real star of this film is an actress I know nothing about named Crystal Allen. I’ve never seen her act before, but she is a big step up from the Tara Reid lab coat/glasses/clipboard approach to being a woman scientist. Crystal Allen is reasonably convincing as a herpetologist [!] in charge of keeping a couple of monster snakes alive for a dubious scientist working for a dubious rich guy. (John Rhys-Davies plays the dubious rich guy, essentially the same role he played in “Sabretooth.”)

It’s good that Crystal Allen is a reasonably good actress because the best thing about this movie is watching her . . . very closely.

In the opening scenes, the setup, Allen wears a sexy black tee shirt over some kind of yoga/jogging pants.

When the film gets into the plot-plot-plot scenes, with businessmen talking to scientists and everyone walking around going golly-gee at the high tech lab, Allen wears random working-around-the-lab clothes.

But when the snakes wreck the lab and escape and everyone has to team up and go hunt the snakes, Allen changes into her basic herpetologist outfit: tight blue jeans and sexy white tee shirt.

Now, during the first couple of chase scenes she wears some kind of floppy army vest on top of her sexy tee shirt. But when the snake chomps down on the guy next to her, it splashes blood on the vest, so, of course, she has to take off the vest . . .

Then, after the first couple of chases and snake fights, there is a quiet scene that sets up big climactic chase and snake fight. During that quiet scene, Allen washes off the mud and puts on a clean pair of tight blue jeans and an even skimpier sexy white tee shirt.

So, she is looking very good in the final scenes where there are pleasant, slow motion shots of her walking toward the camera, away from the abandoned building and waiting for the Big Explosion.

It’s not great stuff, you know, it’s not cinema. But it’s a lot of fun. Everything’s adequate and Crystal Allen is an actual actress. And she’s very pretty.

So, it’s a fun monster snake movie.

And, I see at IMDB that “Anaconda 4: Trail of Blood” will be out soon, with the same director and Crystal Allen will reprise her role as Amanda, the sexy herpetologist. I’ll be watching!

No comments: