Snake Island (2002) – Film

“Snake Island”

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A group of tourists traveling down an African river find themselves stranded overnight on Snake Island. An island that has been practically abandoned for about 30 years which the group finds is overrun with snakes.

William Katt (of The Greatest American Hero fame) plays famous author, Malcolm Page, who is doing research for his latest book. Wayne Crawford, writer, director and co-star, (Whom I thought was brilliantly cheesy in Jake Speed. He also co-wrote Valley Girl, 7 other films, and as of 2010 was teaching Directing at Univ of N. Carolina School for the Arts.) plays the frustrated tour guide. I’d like to say that they had fun with this film, however, much of the cast took themselves way to seriously. Except William Katt, who would sometimes get a little smirk on his face that implied he knew exactly what they were making and was simply having fun. Katt and Crawford have made 5 movies together and their chemistry really does work. Their banter is natural if cheesy, their body language and actions comfortable rather than stiff.

There were details in the film that I thought were good, such as the legend of how Snake Island came to be, which Crawford tells as they’re sitting at the lodge drinking. The use of practical effects was nice, the shots of real snakes and other wildlife, as this was filmed entirely on location in South Africa, though the “dancing” snakes were utterly laughable. One WTF issue was that the island, which claimed to be mostly abandoned for 30 years, had a fully, even luxuriously, state of the art decked out lodge, complete with working plumbing, electricity, gift shop and especially bar. Apparently every movie needs a random, gratuitous scene where drunk women spontaneously strip and dance topless in front of their travelling companions. Right?

From the beginning, you want to see most of the tourists get killed off, not an auspicious start to any film. The only characters that really have any depth are, unsurprisingly, Katt’s and Crawford’s. While this is not a particularly well written movie and could be considered a vanity piece for Crawford, since he wrote, directed and starred in it, it has it’s fun moments and I thought it was worth the watch.

I give this 3 cups of something alcohol based because I did get a kick out of it for the chemistry between Katt & Crawford, because it made me laugh out loud, and in at least one place, smack my forehead at the utter stupidity and silliness.

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