By: Jenna Zine (Six Pack, ‘natch) –
This film is everything I’ve been waiting for: pythons, gators on steroids and a rumble between ‘80s pop sensations Tiffany & Debbie Gibson! Get settled on the couch and have the beers on ice, within reach – this Syfy special is a doozy! The premise of the film is as ridiculous as it sounds. Animal activists, including Dr. Nikki Riley (Debbie Gibson), decide to release pythons into the Florida Everglades. Unfortunately the overactive snakes kill almost 75 alligators in the span of two days. The natural counteraction, at least by Park Ranger Terry O’Hara’s (Tiffany) estimation, is to inject dead chickens with steroids and feed them to the gators so they can have the strength to fight off the pythons. What could possibly go wrong?
It’s difficult to tell what’s worse: the plot, the script, or the actors. Can we say a tie of three for three? The film kicks off with the aforementioned animal activists breaking into a lab and stealing some exotic snakes for release. They set off the motion sensor and high-speed chase soon ensues. Dr. Riley wisely notes, “Oh, my gosh they sure are coming fast!” Yes, that’s what cops do – they drive their cars at top speeds in order to capture people committing crimes. In this case it’s you, Nikki! You’re just lucky you’re not on the hook for all the sonic offenses you created in the ‘80s. It’s hard to believe Debbie Gibson had a singing career, given her noticeable lisp. And speaking of ‘roids, it looks like Debbie’s been indulging in a few, via her real-life bodybuilder boyfriend. Allegedly, of course.
Someone should tell Debbie to wear sunscreen on the regular.
Enter the bodacious Park Ranger Terry! The locals are up in arms because she won’t issue gator huntin’ licenses this year. Listen, she said “no” and the lady ain’t fixin’ on changing her mind anytime soon, so y’all can just cool yer jets. In the meantime Terry’s fiancé, Justin (Carey Van Dyke), is off to the marsh, but he’s sidetracked by a 20-foot python that’s about to attack Dr. Nikki. Upon learning there are giant pythons on the loose, Terry reverses her decision on the hunting licenses. It’s all systems go – at least when it comes to huntin’ snakes. But leave them durn ‘gators alone! Speaking of, Justin better leave Dr. Nikki alone too. You wouldn’t want to see a catfight between Nikki and Terry, would you?
Of course you would; that’s why we’ve all tuned in! It’s the ultimate ‘80s smackdown, sans Hulk Hogan. Unfortunately Terry’s fiancé is eaten by one of the MegaPythons, but not before telling Terry, “See ya later, alligator,” via cell phone. Seriously, dude – you want those to be your last words? I think Tiffany was trying to “act” grief stricken, but let’s just say “acting” is not this former pop singers’ forte. That doesn’t mean there won’t be hell to pay! Terry hatches a scheme to feed steroids to the gators (hence Gatoroid) so they can take care of those nasty pythons – but not before getting in a screaming match with Dr. Nikki. Something about being a bitch and the other one being a senseless reptile murderer.
Equally vicious throwdowns – albeit the one on top with significantly less cleavage.
Enter Dr. Diego Ortiz (A. Martinez, of soap opera fame). He tries to warn Terry that an epic battle between MegaPythons and Gatoroids will soon erupt, but his news falls on deaf ears. Listen, if Park Ranger Terry wanted to do her job she would, okay? She don’t need no fancy city doctor strolling into her office from outta nowhere and telling her what to do – especially if that advice includes cancelling her fancy benefit for the Everglades, located at the edge of the water. Seriously Dr. Diego, what could possibly go wrong? You “doctors” are so uptight! By the way, the only real actor in this bizsnatch is Assistant Park Ranger, Barbara Fine (Kristen Wilson) – Kristen’s actually acted on Broadway and it shows. What she’s doing in this TV movie is anyone’s guess – but she is hilarious.
Whelp, it’s the evening of the benefit and Terry’s, ummm, “girl’s” are out. That’s code for boobs, my friends. Hey, she may be “mourning” her fiancé but a girl’s gotta look good for a benefit. You can sit and spin on your judgment, y’all.
Dr. Ortiz wants to call in the National Guard, but Terry only wants to par-tay! She will not cancel her swanky benefit. She’s got the girls out and they aint’ going back – come hell, high water, or Gatoroids. The delicate flower that is Tiffany, err Terry, takes the stage and dips her head coyly as she says a few words about her fiancé givin’ his life to the Glades, before hoisting a glass of champagne.
Debbie/Nikki crashes the benefit – in the same outfit she’s been wearing since the beginning of the film. Girl, you are at a benefit – the least you could do is get cleaned up! Another major catfight ensues. The guests look on in bemusement as they fight; no one tries to intervene. Somewhere a forty-year old man’s dream from the ‘80s has finally come true.
Well, fight be damned – those monsters are coming to destroy the benefit, just as Mickey Dolenz (The Monkees) takes the stage. A giant python eats him and pandemonium breaks out. Somehow everyone at the shindig has a gun and the guests start shooting indiscriminately. Now this is a great party – if you live inTexas.
It’s a short hop from a benefit to a swamp. I hope they at least raised enough money to buy Tiffany a bra.
With the benefit effectively cancelled due to death, Doctors Ortiz and Riley team up with Park Ranger Terry and Assistant Park Ranger Barbara. There were a few survivors from the benefit/massacre and they happen to include the main characters, mmkay? The crew drives toMiamito get the National Guard – but it’s too little, too late; the monsters have already made it to the big city. One python even eats a commuter train, whole. Tasty!
I love Assistant Park Ranger Barbara. If one of the monsters eats Barb, there is no justice. Son of bitch! They let a python eat Barb. You whores.
The crew, sans Barb, comes up with a brilliant plan. All they need is to crop dust the pythons and gators with pheromones, which will lead the monsters away from the city and back to theEverglades. As you may have guessed, all hell breaks loose. Fires, the pheromones, and a crop dusting plane crash are a few of the problems. Terry speeds off in a rental car with a trunk full of pheromones – with the gators in hot pursuit. Sounds a lot like my prom. All does not go as planned, but the flick does end with a bang!
Will they ultimately succeed in quelling this massive outbreak? Find out, on the next episode of The Jersey Shore! Or turn on yer Netflix and add this to your instant queue.
Holy moly, if you love cheese this is the “made for television” equivalent to Chicago Deep Dish!
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: every time Debbie Gibson’s and Tiffany’s characters get in a fight.
Take a drink: every time there is a helicopter scene or explosion – or both!
Take a shot: during the disco music montage where the alligators morph into Gatoroids.
Take a shot: if you can guess what happens to Debbie/Nikki soon after she triumphantly shouts, “I’m alive!” Is this girlfriend’s first time at the faux horror rodeo?