SSSStop me if you've sssseen this before
It's another Creature Feature Saturday. I've been putting off seeing Vipers for a few weeks now, mostly because Tara Reid is starring in it. It's nothing really against her, she just hasn't had a stellar few years. Throw in a ridiculous SyFy channel movie about killer snakes and the heart doesn't exactly leap for joy at the thought of watching. That being said, I figured it had to be better than The Beast of Bray Road. Lucky for me, I was right.
Vipers takes place in a small isolated town somewhere in the Northwest (I think it's the Northwest). A group of genetically modified super snakes have been released from their medical research facility by John Staffen (Michael Kopsa, Apollo 18, Watchmen), an employee of the Bio Tech which is run by Mr. Burton (Corbin Bernsen, Psych, Major League). Cal Taylor (Jonathan Scarfe, ER, Grey's Anatomy) has just arrived to become the town's new doctor and meets Nicky Swift (Tara Reid, American Pie, Alone In The Dark). We're also treated to the ongoing troubles of separated parents Jack, Ellie (who, according to imdb, was in The Beast of Bray Road), and their incredibly annoying daughter, Maggie. The vipers are stronger and faster than a normal snake, with deadly venom and an insatiable appetite. They quickly overrun the town, biting and eating through the population. Cal, Nicky and the Martins band together and try to fight off the vipers and find a way off the island. Staffen arrives with a few security personnel and expert, Dr. Collins (Jessica Steen, Armageddon, Slapshot 2). Why are they there, why did Staffen release the snakes and will Cal and Nicky be able to survive?
Vipers is pretty much your typical low-budget creature feature you can see on the SyFy channel on any given day. The story is pretty basic; animals invade town, people die, people fight back, people escape. That's perfectly fine because I wasn't expecting this to be the next Godfather. The vipers themselves are poorly constructed CGI. I'm sure it was cheaper and safer to use the computerized snakes, but it would have been nice for some shots to use actual snakes. I think the movie would have been a bit more exciting if they kept the snakes hidden in the shadows, silently stalking their pray. At least there are some good kills throughout with a decent amount of blood.
The thought crossed my mind many times during the movie that the actors are writhing in pain from being attacked by snakes are just rolling around on the floor. It's silly to see and even sillier to think that nothing is really there. I guess that's why it's called acting. Maybe everyone in this movie should get an Oscar. Nah, never mind. The acting is pretty bad, though Corbin Bernsen does his best with what he's got. Tara Reid does fine, though she is given some stupid lines throughout the movie, but that's not her fault. You could say that she gives the “realest” performance which is a nice touch for a movie with cartoon snakes eating people like piranhas.
Ok, let's not get carried away
Vipers is better than your typical SyFy animal movie and miles better than The Beast of Bray Road. That being said, it's still not a very good movie. The vipers look very computerized and are used far too often. There are some fun kills and some blood and guts, but not enough to keep it off TV. The story is very basic and the small budget hinders the rest of the movie. The acting isn't the best, but it's passable. If you're afraid of snakes, Vipers shouldn't bother you. If you have a fear of bad CGI, then you might be terrified.