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Shankin' a Big Snake







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Megasnake!Some movie news sites get major scoops regarding anticipated upcoming big screen releases. Me, I get inside scoops on upcoming Sci-Fi Channel original movies...

A story I did for Dread Central weeks ago about the long-in-the-works Nu Image production Megasnake prompted an e-mail from someone with inside working knowledge of the forthcoming (most likely sometime later this year) giant snake flick starring "Stargate SG-1"'s Michael Shanks (read it here). An "SG-1" fansite reported that the Canadian-born actor told a fan at a convention when asked about the production that he took the role without ever having read the script for the sole purpose of getting a new US work visa, so that should tell you how passionate about this project he was.

I'd already recieved an email from one of the film's supporting actors informing me that, contrary to the grandiose artwork, the titular megasnake was not going to be Godzilla-sized. A pity.

And it was directed by Tibor (Mansquito) Takacs.

Now comes another email, and since I'm not sure if the person wants to be named or not, I'll just label it as an anonymous source. Woodward & Bernstein got an anonymous source to help them break open a White House scandal that brought down a Presidency and I got a guy spilling the beans regarding the plot to a Sci-Fi Channel movie about an ambulance driver battling a big snake. No Pulitzer's in my future.

"It's about a family of religious snake handlers in the Deep South. Two brothers watched their father die during a snake handling ritual gone wrong. As adults, one has embraced his faith, dedicating himself to the cultivation of rare snakes for his church. The other brother has denied his faith and become an ambulance driver. To this day, he's deathly afraid of snakes -- the beasts that killed his pa.

Then a one-legged, snake-wrangling, tattoo-shop-owning, motorcycle-riding Native American bad ass enters the plot with an extremely rare, extremely dangerous snake egg.

Ala Gremlins, the egg hatches and the snake grows, devouring all the animals on their family farm. It attacks families of campers, rangers and random people in the woods.

In a rousing climax, the snake attacks an amusement park, picking off innocent people as they enjoy the rides and games. To kill the snake and save his town, the ambulance driver will have to confront his life-long fear of snakes. I think it might even end in a haunted house."

That the plot synopsis of this film includes the use of the phrase "one-legged, snake-wrangling, tattoo-shop-owning, motorcycle-riding Native American bad ass" already makes Megasnake a must see.

Oh, and the role of the American Deep South was portrayed by the decidedly non-American, unsouthern nation of Bulgaria. According to Michael Shanks, it's cold there.

- The Foywonder

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