A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this creature feature -- one in a series of successful TV movies made for the Syfy Channel -- contains a good deal of monster violence, with blood and body parts, although the special effects are quite terrible and the scenes often fail to convince (or frighten). Language is mild, though the women call each other "bitch" at least half a dozen times, and there's some mild sexual innuendo and drinking. Even if teens enjoyed the other monster movies in this series, this one is far too awful even to be a "so-bad-it's-good" guilty pleasure.
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What's the story?
In the Everglades, Chief Ranger Terry O'Hara (Tiffany) is charged with taking out a killer python after her fiancé's death. She meets opposition from animal activist Dr. Nikki Riley (Debbie Gibson), so Terry responds with a new plan: She gives steroids to the gators so that they can take out the pythons. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry; all the snakes and gators grow to enormous size and begin snacking on nearby humans. Accompanied by an expert reptile hunter (A Martinez), the women must team up to save the planet. Can they set aside their differences for this common goal?
Is it any good?
Almost every aspect of this movie is atrocious, from the sloppy visual effects to the lame jokes and lackadaisical logic. The main selling point of this entry in the Syfy Channel's monster hybrid series (previous films include Sharktopus and Dinocroc vs. Supergator) is the teaming of two 1980s pop music icons, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany (the movie includes a new song from each), as well as a female director from the era. But even though Mary Lambert is a 20-year veteran -- having made the successful Pet Sematary (1989), among many other movies and TV shows -- she comes across as a rank amateur here.
Yes, it's refreshing to see two 40-something women as the lead characters in a movie, especially since they're painted in strokes of gray: neither is the hero or the villain. But the actresses are forced through some absurd situations, from pie fights to a sequence in which Terry feeds steroid-filled chickens to the alligators. The other monster movies in the Syfy series could possibly be viewed as "so bad they're good" classics, but MEGA PYTHON VS. GATOROID too often calls attention to its own badness, which prevents an audience from doing the same. Skip this creature feature.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. Was it scary? Did it make you laugh? What do you think the filmmakers' intention was?
Of the characters played by Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, is one the hero and one the villain, or are they painted in more complex shades of gray? Does one come to see the other's point of view?
Does the movie have a clear point of view? Does it convince viewers of any particular argument?
Why do you think the two singing stars from the '80s agreed to be in this movie? What's the appeal of having them in it?
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