Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Komodo v Cobra

If I had brought my guitar, we could all sing Kumbaya. 

I love these big dopey “improbably large and hungry creature fights another equally improbably large and hungry creature”. I love the sheer randomness of the opponents. For example, are octopi and sharks really natural enemies? I think not. In this case, the title fight is between a large Komodo dragon, native of the south pacific, and an even bigger King Cobra, native of, er, India, I think. Or it may be Africa somewhere, anyway naturalism isn’t my strong point and all that matters is that it’s nowhere near the giant lizard’s natural habitat. Therefore this strikes me as unlikely that these two animals would ever face off, even were they to be trapped on a small island in Polynesia and fed nothing but cardboard for two weeks.

The film opens somewhere in the South Pacific. An attractive girl with pleasingly bouncy breasts, Michelle Borth, who played Dean’s wife in that Supernatural Episode with the Djinn (yes, I did look that up on Imdb, and I’m pleased to inform that she was also a gymnast for 14 years. Not sure what relevance this has) and two old guys are running away from an extremely shoddy piece of CGI that is, allegedly, and I’m guessing this from the clever title, an oversized Komodo Dragon. One of the disposable guys gets eaten by the terrifying piece of carnivorous CGI, then it just decides to up tail and bugger off. Michelle and the survivor decide to, because brains are clearly high on the list of skills here, make camp next to the river, when blow me down if another piece of shoddy CGI doesn’t pop out that resembles, apparently, a giant King Cobra, and unconvincingly swallows the other old guy.

"Look, up there, it's a tennis ball on a stick"

Cut to military douchebags, who are sending in a crack team to clean up. The crack team turn out to be almost completely useless and are chomped en masse. Cut again to a bar where Stoddard (Michael Paré, collecting a cheque for a change) is being recruited by tree hugging environmentalist douchebag (Ryan McTavish) his model girlfriend Sandra (Renee Talbert) and a TV crew, the most important of whom is Carrie (Jerri Manthay- who is actually a TV presenter). They’re trying to rip the lid off evil genetic modification that’s been taking place on the island and expose it to the media. Incidentally, Borth, plays, apparently, Dr. Susan Richardson, eminent geneticist and all round scientific genius, and she’s at least partially to blame for the fuck up on the island.

You see, it turns out that they were trying to cure world hunger by arseholing around with some kind of growth serum that Paré wants to steal so he can rub it on his genitals (only joking). Unfortunately this was a military funded project, so they were really interested in making (fuck knows why) large and angry animals. The army (and we’re told this through a series of flashbacks/ cuts away from the action) aren’t too pleased and have ordered the airforce to blast the shit out of the island and erase all trace of them being up to no good and anally violating Mother Nature.

Hehehehehe.

Sadly for them, our intrepid band of heroes escapes, and exposes their rank villainy to the world. But not before we get to witness the most pitiful face off between large and hungry fake CGI monsters that I’ve seen in one of these films. That, by the way, is really saying something, because I’ve seen Dinocroc v Supergator.

These films are nigh on impossible to judge from any reasonable critical perspective. The acting in them varies from the average to the atrocious (it’s average here) and the camera work etc is usually fairly good. The writers try their best to stuff the scripts full of portentous and pseudo badass lines about how when you fuck Mother Nature you don’t wipe your cock on the curtains when you’re done (I will bet that line, that I’ve just made up, appears in one in the near future), but to be honest it never really works properly, as the lines themselves tend to sound ludicrously contrived and self-conscious when delivered by the less than stellar cast. The CGI is invariably utter rubbish, lacking in depth, obviously being superimposed on the screen, and not consistent in size, and they usually, for some reason best known to themselves, indulge in both CGI fire and gunshots.

"I'm telling you, it's a tennis ball on a stick"

Given the above, it’s no real surprise to know that KvC is almost exactly along the expected lines: Mediocre acting? Check; Competent direction? Check; crap CGI? Check; faux badass script? Check (“What the hell is that? It’s something I want dead.”); and so forth. This is very much a paint by numbers 21st Century monster movie. As such, the success of these films relies entirely on how much fun you had with them.

In the case of this one, I’m sorry to report that that it is a failure because it isn’t any fun. In fact, it’s mostly boring. Our crew of environmentalists aren’t likeable characters, and as such you don’t root for them at all. Ryan in particular is a massive sack of cocks, and aside from the odd moment of comedy (the leeches) the overwhelming feeling is that this lot are just not worth bothering with. To compound the boredom, the frequent scenes with the army just break up the flow of what I’m forced to term the action. I don’t really care what a 5 star General is doing back at base, we only need to see him once, ordering the air strike, and his frequent interruptions to the story rob the film of what little momentum it has managed to generate.

In a rash moment, the cameraman adopted the defensive posture of "rolling on your back" which is known to hold off most forms of bad CGI. Most forms, but not the Cobra.

Then there’s the showdown between the two monsters. By this stage, we’ve seen enough of them to know that they look like hopelessly fake pieces of CGI, and as such aren’t invested in them as realistic threats. Secondly, the fight itself comes out of nowhere, it’s literally “look there’s a helicopter. Oh no, the giant lizard is in front of it. Oh no, there’s the cobra. They’re going to fight now”. This is staggeringly uninteresting, and a waste of a good idea. The fight itself is even more boring, as both are just totally unthreatening, and as such there’s no sense of depth or drama to it. Instead, we’re treated to what feels like two 2 dimensional poorly animated drawings snapping at each other. This is a fail.

Paré is really funny here. He's looking down Borth's top. Never mind the giant leaches, Michael, not when there are juggs around.

Overall, nope, I do not recommend Komodo v Cobra. It’s just too dull for the most part. When I watched it with a few mates, we made a load of sarky remarks about the growth serum, which was good for a few laughs, but that was it in the way of entertainment. To make matters worse, there’s no gore, and every single actress’ top remains resolutely on. This is an entirely pointless effort, and an annoying one, because there are far more entertaining big animal eating people movies out there. Basically, don’t bother, because this one honks.

Incidentally, Jim Wynorski, the director, seems to have a thing about giant Komodo Dragons as this is actually a psuedo-sequel to his original non-globe shattering Curse of the Komodo. I’ve not seen that one and am strangely drawn to it.

Until next time,

Jarv.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

55 responses to “Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Komodo v Cobra”

  1. Jarv says :

    You’ll be surprised to hear that this is shit.

  2. Droid says :

    These films are nearly always boring. The best one’s I’ve seen, like Sharktopus, are still really frigging boring. The last good giant monster movie was Eight Legged Freaks. These low budget one’s aren’t worth the time.

    • Jarv says :

      Sharktopus is probably the best of the hybrid ones. Pterodactyl was amusing, and Arachnid has some high spots.

      Generally though, they’re shit.

  3. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    I can usually find things to like about these movies but they are hard to review because they are almost always categorically crap. This is one of the lamer mash-ups because it doesnt even have the over-the-top stupidity of Megacroc vs gateroid or Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus or Dinocroc vs Mega Gator. Too many of these damn things.

    Michael Lantieri was the director of the original Komodo. I only know this because AICN made a semi-big deal of it back in the 90s because he’s a big guy in the special effects world, having worked on Jurassic Park and the like.

    Also, because the original Komodo while not fantastic is competently directed, and waves better than Wynorski could manage these days. Wynorski is the absolute basement of schlock directors. He did the recent and also terrible, but more amusing than this, Camel Spiders.

    When I looked him up he seems to have several soft-core spoofs to his name, like Cleavagefield, The Hills Have Thighs, The House on Hooter Hill, and The Breastford Wives. You see the high level of wit applied here.

    Apparently Corman uses him a lot, and he’s slated to direct Pirahnaconda, which sounds like a waste of a perfectly stupid idea.

    • Jarv says :

      Apparently Corman uses him a lot, and he’s slated to direct Pirahnaconda, which sounds like a waste of a perfectly stupid idea.

      Even that title sounds golden.

      I’ll have to check my facts about this, because when we watched it, I checked wikipedia (which is annoyingly blacked out today) and read that. I’ll check it again.

      Those porno titles are funny. A step above “The Bare Witch Project”

      • Jarv says :

        Checked it in IMDB, and it wasn’t Komodo, but Curse of the Komodo he directed, which stars the human plank of wood form MegaPiranha.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        ok, mystery solved. 1999 saw Lantieri direct Komodo, which was a passable monster movie written by the Anaconda people with some surprisingly effective fx and creatures.

        In 2004, Corman must have gotten Wynorski to do a Komodo movie–not having anything to do with the 99 film other than it has giant lizards in it– called ‘Curse of the Komodo’.

        So this film is the follow-up to that one.

        Ah, yes, he’s got Bare Wench, and as I see now, a few other howlers…The Devil Wears Nada and The Davinci Coed.

        And he’s extended the VS. theme to those movies to with Busty Coeds Vs. Lusty Cheerleaders.

  4. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    my fave of his movies is probably the ludicrously hilarious ‘Return of Swamp Thing’.

    • Jarv says :

      Still haven’t seen that for some reason.

      Those porno titles are cracking me up. You can bet The Devil Wears Nada is better than the actual film it rips off.

      • Jarv says :

        I’m weirdly compelled to see Chopping Mall, Return of Swamp Thing, Deathstalker 2, Sorority House Massacre 2.

        Is this the schlockiest director working- he works under 4 names, produces a mix of crap slashers, stupid monster flicks, porn and so forth.

      • Jarv says :

        Which reminds me, I need to rewatch Deathstalker.

        More gratuitous titties than even the average porn and PIGMEN!

        Awesome.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Im pretty sure you could say the same thing for Davinci Coed and Cleavagefield. Im sort of surprised because I didnt know there was a market for that. Does Cinemax even still play things like this?

        And in between he seems to have done syfy movies like the one I thought was a softcore but no, ‘Fire Below’ is the one about Kevin Sorbo fighhting sentient flames. No lie. I saw this a few years back.

      • Jarv says :

        ‘Fire Below’ is the one about Kevin Sorbo fighhting sentient flames.

        Oh my god. That sounds AWESOME.

        Sorbo v Sentient flames? It can’t be worse than that pish last year about Aliens that were scared of ball bearings or whatever it was that I saw the trailer to before Conan.

      • Jarv says :

        Annoyingly, I also need to rewatch Arachnid, because I can’t remember it and want to review it. Although I seem to recall it being a bit wank, and Mansquito for the same reason.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I enjoyed Mansquito.

        Did you ever see Chaw?

      • Droid says :

        GIANT PIG!!!

        Who was GIANT PIG I wonder…

      • Jarv says :

        No idea.

        I’m sorely considering doing a GIANT PIG series written by the GIANT PIG himself.

        I could watch Chaw, Razorback, Pig Hunt,

        Are there any more?

      • Droid says :

        So… you were GIANT PIG! You wouldn’t dare imitate GIANT PIG if you weren’t GIANT PIG.

        GIANT PIG!!!

      • Jarv says :

        Nah, it wasn’t me. It was funny as hell though, and I wish I had thought of it.

      • Jarv says :

        Pig Hunt was shit though. Too much messing around with hillbillies and PIGZILLA only made an appearance at the end.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I think it’s those three. The great giant pig movie still remains to be made, although Razorback comes closest. Cut the hillbillies from that and ramp up the pig antics, and you have gold.

        Pig Hunt was a really odd movie. I saw it without expectations and was surprised how well made it was, but upon reflection it was a waste because it barely dealt with giant pig til the end.

      • Jarv says :

        Also, it had the problem that the main characters were douches.

        It was well made, but nowhere near enough gargantuan bacon action. Not enough moving ham related tomfoolery at all, and the movie was called Pig Hunt, not “Weird Commune with the occasional pig sighting hunt”.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        it was amusing..I remember a scene where a girl is water-skiing and tries to avoid the flame which course corrects and follows after her like a snake trying to grab her.

  5. Droid says :

    While I chuckled at the title ‘The Devil Wears Nada’, I would rather Meryl kept her clothes on thanks.

  6. Kloipy says :

    Jim Wynorski, that name rang a bell, and yep, I knew him immediately as the director of the WORST movie ever made. Worse than Troll 2, worse than Mac and Me.
    Folks: I give you ‘MUNCHIE’

    • Jarv says :

      That’s the shitty sequel to Munchies, which is a horribly bad film as well.

      • Kloipy says :

        Oh trust me, I know. I’ve seen both, and both are terrible. Munchie however, is worse somehow. Much worse.

        I’d like to invite you to see Snake Island. There are no giant snakes, but there is a scene where snakes dance to techno music

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Oh and you nearly forgot Munchie Strikes Back, which is actually worse. I wish I could explain why I’ve seen all three movies.

        Also, aside from the title there is absolutely zero connection between Munchies and Munchie. Not a single thing, including the fact that the central critters are nothing alike or even the same kind of thing. One is a Gremlins ripoff, the other is some sort of kid meets magical creature movie. I just remember thinking it was weird that it would be Angus Scrimm waiting for you at the pearly gates.

      • Jarv says :

        Munchies is hideous:

        https://moonwolves.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/jarvs-schlock-vault-munchies/

        One of my early reviews. Complete shit. Features Munchie beating off over playboy.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        I remember my dad renting this and Ghoulies for us as kids because he thought they were like Gremlins.

        The only time that ever worked out for him was Critters.

      • Jarv says :

        Ghoulies= meh. Ghoulies 2= hateful. I can’t remember the rest of them

        Critters= great. Critters 2= good. Critters 3= shite. Critters 4= weird.

        Hobgoblin= shite.

        Munchies= shite. Munchie= Shite and I’ve not seen Munchie strikes back, thankfully.

        These gremlins knock offs just did not work.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Critters 4 was weird..not bad, but just odd. It had Angela Bassett and Brad Dourif, I remember that.

        Critters 3 was dopey but I dont recall totally hating it.

        Ghoulies II was hateful? the one at the circus? I recall sort of enjoying that one, more than the original was the usual dumb satanic claptrap of the time.

        Ghoulies III was crap, and Ghoulies IV was directed by Jim Wynorski and we have come full circle. And it didnt have the decency to have ghoulies in it, just a dominatrix chick and two midgets in masks.

      • Jarv says :

        I thought Ghoulies 2 was the one in college. Was that 3?

        Critters 4 is a funny one. It’s, in fact, a really, really strange one. It isn’t bad, and it makes sense to move them to Space, but the problem is that it’s played so straight and the Krites barely feature. So what you have is this, ludicrously overcast by the way, hybrid of Alien and Critters. It gets even weirder when you factor in Charlie (the only mentally retarded hero in a horror film series) and the return of Ugg at the end, who’s a dickhead beurocrat. There’s so much of it where you think “What the fuck?”

        Critters 3 is utter shite. Crippled by its budget. The problem is they move the Krites to new york, but they haven’t the cash to realise New York with Krites in it. So instead, it mostly takes place inside a tower block. It’s also really boring, and furthermore, it hasn’t the sense of fun that Critters 1 and 2 have. It’s a terrible film.

      • Jarv says :

        Actually, it was after I saw Splice. I didn’t like it much.

      • Droid says :

        Never seen any Ghoulies, Hobgoblin or Munchies. Saw some of Critters 1 when I was a kid and none of the others.

        Doesn’t interest me. Gremlins is awesome, but even they knew it was a one movie concept. Which is why they just went for flat out comedy in the second one. Gremlins 2 FTW!!!

      • Jarv says :

        Critters 1 and 2 both work. The rest not so much.

  7. Just Pillow Talk says :

    These movies are just utterly boring. There’s no comedy, intentional or otherwise, no boobs, and with zero budget, nearly impossible to pull off a passable movie.

  8. Kloipy says :

    I liked Ghoulies 1 and 2. But the posters still rule from those movies.
    Critters 1 and 2 are really fun
    All iterations of Munchies are horrible except for the poster for Munchies
    Hobgoblins is only good with MST3K treatment
    Gremlins 1 and 2 are great, 1 being much better.
    The 80’s and early 90’s were prime-time for small monsters
    Puppet Master series, Evil Dolls, Dolls, Elves, ect

  9. Kloipy says :

    and seriously could you pick a worse person to voice Munchie than Dom DeLuise? Was Don Rickles too busy?

  10. Continentalop says :

    You haven’t seen CHOPPING MALL Jarv? Check it out. It’s a nice slice of schlock.

  11. ThereWolf says :

    So, KvC isn’t as good as the box art then.

    They’re a right bunch of misleading swines.

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