Komodo vs. Cobra (V)

36 seconds. I like a movie to cut right to the chase. 36 seconds is all the time it takes to quell your justifiable fears that this is going to be a high quality, drop dead gorgeous, groundbreaking piece of Sci-fi/Horror. Just halfway through that bag of minute rice boiling away on your stove and bam…One gargantuan Komodo Dragon stomping its clawed feet across your screen. Nevermind that it leaves no tracks, rustles no trees, and passes by with nary a bent blade of grass in its wake – I was sold from the second that snakelike tongue shot out from behind it’s toothy grin – this was gonna be one of “those” movies.

With a name like Komodo vs. Cobra you got to have a pretty good idea of the jungle of cliché’s you’ll be traversing. When your cast is made of a gang of faceless nobodies lead around by one ex-reality T.V. Star and that Eddie guy from those Crusier’s flicks, it’s a safe assumption that the budget for everything but the CGI has been tossed out the proverbial window. I’ll be willing to bet a shiny new nickel that you’ve made up your mind about this film before the first frame rolled. But, what if I told you, true believers, that this film was directed by the incomparable Jim Wynorski and as bad as it gets, it’s so freakin’ campy that it’s damn near perfect.

What do you make of the plot? – As if you really care when you know that this whole bad boy is all about some ass stompin, people munchin’ goodness.

A group of scientists are conducting government experiments utilizing growth hormone technology on some uncharted tropical isle. Some bad Gilligan’s Island references later, a group of do-gooders drop in to blow Uncle Sam’s cover. It’s not long before our intrepid crew of Greenpeace castoffs, Hard Copy rejects (including Survivor’s Jerri Manthey) and the requisite ex-military charter boat captain (Michael Pare) starts looking a lot like lunch for paradise’s overgrown reptile population.

This is Wynorski’s second foray into Komodoland, the first being the equally bad and virtually identical direct to video schlockfest Curse of the Komodo. Returning to fold, Wynorski drags his favorite buxom blond, Glori-Anne Gilbert (Curse of the Komodo & The Bare Wench Project) back to bat for another round of leaping lizards. Surprisingly, the best performance comes from Manthey who’s no stranger to tropical hellholes. She might have been the films saving grace if not for the decidedly unnecessary references to her past glories. As it stands, Survivor references keyed into the script are hardly helping Manthey make a name for herself as a serious actress. Of course agreeing to be in this kind of loveable Grade Z trash, isn’t going to win her any awards either (Razzies be damned!!!).

Understand that the mentality behind the decision to make, and or view a film, about giant lizards is hardly that which respects deep seeded film theory and you will begin to understand my predilection in telling you that this is very nearly one of the worst acted, slickest shot and notoriously “bad” films in the long and inglorious resume of one of the preeminent perpetrators of B-moviedom.

In my opinion Jim Wynorski is a beloved cult figure, a true student of Roger Corman and a man who has directed over 60 films in 20 years. That level of commitment, not to high art, but to raucous, no holds barred, mindless entertainment is exactly what is missing in so many formulaic and soulless studio films these days. If you went out and saw Snakes on a Plane and felt a little bit like you were cheated, this is the movie for you. No better, no worse, just a little more loved.

Official Score