WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Where would we b-movie fans be without the Syfy channel? Stuck with the Asylum I guess, but that’s entirely beside the point. You know when they announce a new movie that it’s going to be a complete cheese factory of goodness and, whilst it doesn’t make me want to re-evaluate my opinion that the golden age of Syfy movies has past, Piranhaconda doesn’t disappoint. It raises so many questions that otherwise wouldn’t cross your mind: what exactly is swimming in the rivers of Hawaii? When exactly does a person become so blonde that they should be given a legal guardian? Do you really get b-movie groupies? And, of course, the question that stuck out in my head: who the hell would sing this movie’s theme song? Jasmin Poncelet, that’s who. Don’t worry, I haven’t heard of her either, but good on her for having the balls to do it anyway. Not afraid to rip itself to shreds, Piranhaconda is one of the best times you can have with bad CGI, a group of random mercenaries and a posse of scantily clad females.
So we’re somewhere in the middle of Hawaii with Jasmin Poncelet singing her little lungs out when a helicopter loaded with Prof. Lovegrove and two soon-to-be-eaten students descends from the sky. Lovegrove, a world-renowned herpetologist, is on the lookout for a nest of strange eggs. Now feels like a good time to break it to you that the title is misleading and the creature contains no piranha or anaconda. If this disappoints you, take solace in the fact that it’s a Polynesian snake demon. Feel better? Good. So Lovegrove finds one of the nests laden with many eggs. Intent on revealing the creature to the world he bags one of the eggs up in a plastic corn flakes container to take back to the helicopter. As one might expect the mummy piranhaconda took a while to shove that egg out and isn’t about to just let some silly human run off with it. Defying the laws of space she emerges from a body of water that couldn’t possibly hide something her size, eats three out of the four people in attendance while Lovegrove runs off into the forest with the egg.
We now switch to another part of the forest where a group of scantily clad females are being stalked by a lunatic with a meat cleaver. For a moment I thought another movie had leaked into this one, but it turns out that we’re actually following a film crew around while they make the third installment in a slasher series that I’m fairly sure is poking fun at the Friday the 13th and Scream franchises. It’s here we meet Jack and Rose (if this is some strange homage to Titanic, I don’t get it, but I’m just gonna run with star struck lovers in the face of adversity), a stuntman and a script writer respectively. The two clearly have a thing for one another but, being the gentleman that he is, Jack just won’t let the movie’s slutty star Kimmy go without a thorough sun tan lotioning. This irritates Rose so much that she’s gonna tie that sarong so tight blood won’t flow to anything below the waist. Intense oiling up in the Hawaiian sun, however, is about to become the least of this little group’s problems.
Not from the piranhaconda, mind you, but rather from a random group of mercenaries that have also been running around the Hawaiian jungle. They’ve already managed to kidnap the professor and now manage to grab a hold of Rose, Kimmy and the movie’s director as well. Jack and his explosives buddy have managed to make a daring escape into the undergrowth that took splitting up, running frantically from side to side and tripping over every piece of wood they could find to get right. When they miraculously manage to make their way back to the road they think it best not to go back into town and alert the proper authorities and settle on the decidedly more manly method of taking on a hostage situation with no weapons other than a bag of plastic explosives. But, dear viewer, let us not forget the angry mother piranhaconda in hot pursuit of her missing egg and the many humans she’s prepared to nom through to get it back…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Piranhacondas are known to secure their eggs with anti-theft ooze.
- Nobody truly appreciates how difficult it is for a b-actress to be a sex bomb at 5 in the morning.
- $50 and some spare change is enough cash to secure a university professor’s safe release from a hostage situation.
- Mercenaries just prowl Hawaii’s forests kidnapping any random fool who walks by.
- Bands of rogue Hawaiian mercenaries are really just would-be directors and cameramen.
- Sometimes all a b-movie actress’s career needs is a hostage situation and threats of a violent death.
- Men sweat like pigs, sluts sweat like pound puppies.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
What’s not to love about a good movie made for the SyFy Channel? They’re guaranteed to be b-grade, they’re guaranteed to be made on a low-budget and they’re guaranteed to be a good laugh. The Hive is no different; based around an island under attack by a swarm of man-eating ants the audience is subjected to an hour and a half’s worth of so-so acting, horrible CGI and a plot that’s so far-fetched I recommend it for nothing else other than the ‘No, they didn’t just do that!’ factor. Read on, dear reader, if you would like to know just how far the animal kingdom can be pushed by a company out to make a tremendously b-grade sci-fi / horror combo!
Something’s very wrong on a little island in the middle of the Pacific. One night, high up in the sky, a strange light was seen descending and disappearing behind a hill, and ever since then the ant population of the island has been going a little awry. It would appear that they are no longer content to simply invade the locals’ picnics and make off with whatever scraps are available to them – they’ve now got their sights on a much bigger prize. It all begins simply enough: one night, in the middle of the jungle, a woman is busy tidying her house while her baby gently rocks itself in a little hammock. Outside, the ants are preparing for their first attack. Hundreds of thousands of them descend on the house, making intricate structures on the roof by bunching together. Having gathered into formation they begin falling from the roof and, in a matter of seconds, devour the woman and her child and leave nothing but piles of bones and clothes. Soon most of the island’s population is on the run as the ants begin to spread out and attack entire communities, leaving nothing but death and destruction in their wake.
With the island on the brink of collapse it’s up to Team Thorax (I shit you not), a group of highly trained insect killers, to try and sort out the problem. They’ve come fully loaded: suits to stop the ants getting to them, high-powered ant-killing laser guns and a state-of-the-art communications centre to keep in touch with those brave souls out on patrol. All of these things are necessary since the ants are displaying incredibly aggressive behaviour, are swarming in never-before-seen numbers and have developed the ability to run at about 90 km/h. Where the ants plan on striking next is also proving to be very difficult to track and the combined forces of Team Thorax and the island’s military are being stretched rather thin trying to contain the outbreak. Oddly enough though nobody seems to think that millions of ants swarming together and eating people alive is particularly strange behaviour. Obviously Team Thorax has seen its fair share of ant-related atrocities in its time and this is really just another day at work for them.
Since eating every human in sight doesn’t seem to be impressing Team Thorax overly much the ants decide to go all-out and display even more bizarre behaviour in a desperate bid to get some attention. Firstly the humans discover, when they take a sample from the ants’ frontline, that the swarm is made up of a number of different species of ants, something very strange since ants usually attack ants of a different kind (racism is still very much an issue in the ant community). Nobody seems to think much of this, so the ants then start to mass together and form floating tentacles with all the ants at the front staring forward so that they can investigate their surroundings. The tentacles are also good at breaking things when the ants get angry. This doesn’t seem to impress Team Thorax either, so the ants decide to take the leader and his scientist girlfriend into their lair. Here we find that the ants have turned themselves into a computer (again, I shit you not) capable of controlling the swarm and assigning tasks to the various different ant species to ensure the optimum killing power of the swarm as a unit. The ants then begin to communicate with the humans, telling them what it is they want and why they’re doing what they’re doing. The humans must then decide if they’re going to give the ants what they want or declare all-out war.
See? Watch it for nothing other than the sheer ridiculousness of its plot. Even by SyFy standards this one was rather far-fetched.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- A great way to seduce a woman is to insult her field of expertise on national television.
- There’s an entire industry dedicated to making enormous weapons for killing ants.
- Speculating about mass intelligence in insect swarms is hardly mainstream science.
- Women hate it when you grossly overstate the purpose of their PhD thesis.
- Ants are incredibly eager hosts and want to show off the home they’ve created.
- Ants are open to entering into territorial negotiations.
- Ants are very knowledgeable on the workings of the human brain.
- Ants are very good at using humans as ventriloquist dummies.
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