It attests to the overall laziness of the “we have the title, so just crap it out” production. So do all the shadows that give away the day-for-night shots, and the green-screened elements sporting rough edges.
Once competitors on the ’80s pop charts, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany are competitors in this swamp-set sigh-fi thriller. Deb’s a Greenpeace/PETA-type doc who breaks laws to free pythons in captivity; Tiff’s an Everglades park ranger who’s not at all cool with that. Neither is an actress, but at least they’re game to argue and catfight like Linda Evans and Joan Collins used to do on “Dynasty.”
And, as promised by that title, the park is plagued by evolved, mutated alligators and snakes plural that eat lots of people there before moving on the city. One victim is Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, playing himself. I’d say it’s a sad cameo, but I met him once and he was a total tool, so I’m glad his career is this desperate.
“MPvG” pales in comparison to other Syfy premieres like “Dinoshark” and “Sharktopus,” which are bad but fun, whereas this is just plain bad. Those were made under the auspices of producer Roger Corman, who knows what he’s doing; this was put out by The Asylum, the “mockbuster” factory that specializes in genuinely depressing Z-level flicks. As always, their not-so-special effects are not much better in quality than “Birdemic.”
Director Mary Lambert, now a long, long way from 1989’s “Pet Sematary,” attempts to infuse some humor into the thing with fatty quips (“Ooh, somebody had bitch for breakfast!”) and in-jokes (“I think we’re alone now,” says Tiffany. “There doesn’t seem to be anyone around”), but her efforts work as well as Gibson and Tiffany’s original songs in the film — “Snake Charmer” and “Serpentine” — which is to say not at all. Where’s Roger when you need him? —Rod Lott