January 29th people; set your DVRs because Syfy has done it again. Way back in September the horribly spelled network gave unto us Sharktopus and it was good. Okay, okay, it was eye bleedingly horrible and wonderful all at the same time. I’ve watched it a few times since. Anyway, January 29th (same night as the NHL All-Star skills competition) they are premiering the movie Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.
Made by the Asylum film studio (best known for “mockbusters” like Snakes on a Train and Transmorphers) the plot to this one is like being hit in the back of the head with a ball peen hammer. A crazed animal rights activist is stealing illegally imported exotic snakes and then to free them from captivity, releases them in the Everglades. A park ranger, seeing these invasive species growing to giant proportions injects alligators with steroids so they have a fighting chance. To quote Kelly Bundy, “the mind wobbles.” Oh yeah, did I mention that the activist is played by Debbie Gibson and the ranger is Tiffany?
Yes, that Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. Neither are strangers to Asylum movies; Tiffany had been in Mega Piranha and Debbie had been in Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. As you can imagine the cat fight between these two is getting more press then the rest of the movie. I’m excited about it and I really don’t know much about either of them. I think I could name one song each of them did and that might not be correct. I know in 95 Debbie sang background vocals on the Circle Jerks song “I wanna destroy you.” But during the time they were around I was more infatuated with Lita Ford and Christina Applegate.
So while SyFy is hyping up the cheesecake and nostalgia factor of these two 80’s ladies, I’m more amazed by the plot. Escaped exotics are a real issue down here in Florida. While there have been those people who release their snakes/lizards into the wild when they get too big; a large portion of the invasive population is blamed on when Hurricane Andrew destroyed southern Florida in 1992. A large number of pet stores and exotic animal warehouses were included in that destruction. Snakes are very good escape artists. So that is why the Everglades are overrun with species like the Burmese Python.
The problem is so serious that Florida has started listing species as Conditional Reptiles. That means if you already own one, you can keep it until it passes away, as long as you keep a license for it. If you don’t already own an animal on the Conditional list, you aren’t getting it legally in Florida. Burmese, reticulated, North African, South African, amethystine, and scrub pythons are all on this list. So are green anacondas and Nile monitors. You can also get a permit to hunt pythons. Hmm… I took an odd turn while writing this. Probably because I love these reptiles; I want them to live healthy lives in their own environments so that all the Florida reptiles can live happily here in theirs. Regardless of the real life issues, on the 29th I’ll be watching some mega pythons, gatoroids, and cake wrestling. Oh yeah, and Mickey Dolenz. He's in the movie playing as himself.