"Piranhaconda" Part Fish, Part Snake, All Corman
· Jim Wynorski
· Michael Madsen
· Rachel Hunter
· Teri Ivens
· Rib Hillis
Television Review: Roger Corman's "Piranhaconda"
by Dennis Russo
Published: June 15, 2012
If anyone other than Roger Corman were to come up with a title or concept such as "Piranhaconda" I would say they were just trying to make a movie like Roger Corman. That is because this movie may be about a creature that is part fish and part snake, but it is all Roger Corman!
For me, putting Roger Corman's name on a schlocky movie somehow gives it validity and makes me want to watch it. Anyone familiar with movies he's produced understands that coming up with a title like this is no big deal. With titles under his belt such as "Sharktopus", "Carnosaur", "Dinocroc vs. Supergator" and "Scorpius Gigantus," what's so strange about "Piranhaconda"? It is almost as if he draws a small circle on the ground and throws a handful toy animals up in the air and the two that land inside the circle become the creature in his next movie. In reviewing this movie, I am comparing it to others of its kind -- meaning, B-movies, which I consider this to be. I don't feel it is right to judge this against other obviously high quality movies when it was not meant to be that.
The storyline is equal in stature to the movie's title! In typical Corman fashion, this movie has the two things that have always been synonymous with movies he's been involved with: Boobs and Blood! And this movie has both and plenty of each!.
The movie is about Professor Lovegrove (Michael Madsen) who, while out tramping through the jungles of Hawaii (yes, I said Hawaii) with his team of fellow researchers, stumbles across several large reptilian eggs. The professor gathers up one of the eggs to take back to the university when he discovers all too soon -- through one of his team members being eaten -- just what the egg belonged to. A large "legendary" creature that has the body of a snake and the head of a piranha. Well, the professor escapes into the jungle and the piranhaconda goes on a killing rampage trying to get its egg back.
Unfortunately for them, there is an unsuspecting film crew on the island, right in the area where the Piranhaconda is lurking, filming a B-movie exploitation "slasher" film. As they are filming, cast members start disappearing like flies. As I said earlier, what would a Roger Corman movie be without cleavage? Well, there is boobs-a-plenty here. In fact, Piranhaconda ate so many big breasted bimbos it's a wonder it didn't die from silicon poisoning!
Also in the movie are a band of ne'er-do-wells bent on kidnapping the professor (and what's left of the movie cast and crew) and holding them for ransom (such depth of story!) Funny thing though, as this movie was filmed in Hawaii you would think you would see a lot of native Islanders. However, I think I only saw one in the whole movie. After the professor and the film crew are kidnapped, the rest of the movie centers around them trying to get away from their captors and Piranahconda. It is actually one of the kidnappers who coins the name "Piranahconda" which prompted their leader to look at them and say "I can't believe you just said that!"
One thing I liked about this movie is that there is some good acting going on. Sorry, but I really don't mean Michael Madsen here. (I think he's a fine actor, this is just not his best performance.) I mean the likes of Rachel Hunter, who plays Talia, the "Famous B-Movie horror actress" and lead actress in the slasher movie being filmed, and Teri Ivens who plays Rose, a member of the film crew who appears to also have a thing for the macho he-man hero of the movie, Jack (Rib Hillis).
Many times when you watch a movie that shows actresses playing bubble heads, it is not a stretch for them and they're such bad actors/actresses they can't even pull off acting as a bad actor or actress. Rachel and Teri however are good actresses and definitely not the type of actresses they are portraying. They bring an air of freshness to their roles that makes the movie watchable.
Another thing that I liked about this movie is that you see Piranhaconda more that just once or twice, and more than just a passing glance. We get to see so much of him, in fact, it is a wonder how it could have been hidden all these years.
As you would expect with Piranhaconda eating everyone in sight, there is plenty of blood and body parts everywhere. Piranhaconda is not a dainty eater.
I liked this movie for what it was, and compared to others of this kind it's better than average. If anyone else but Roger Corman had produced this movie it would not have been as good, as nobody does this genre like he does. Don't misunderstand me: It's not anywhere near a great movie and there is still quite a lot of bad acting being committed, but it is fun, and Rachel Hunter and Teri Ivens are worth watching the movie for... okay it's also worth it for the cleavage too.
"Piranhaconda" airs on the Syfy channel on Saturday night June 16th 9:00 ET/9:00PT and is the second installment of SyFy's "Most Dangerous Month On Television".