August 15, 2012

Craig McGee

Written by:  Mike MacLean  

Directed by:  Jim Wynorski  

Starring:  Michael Madsen, Rachel Hunter, Robert “Rib” Hillis, Terri Ivens, Shandi Finnessey



After an arousingly catchy BEACH BLANKET BINGO-style opening theme song warning us to “Look out, look out – PIRANHACONDAAAAAAAAA!!!” by a band I’ve since become a fan of – The Cheetah Whores – we’re treated to Mr. Blonde himself as a University professor trying to bring an egg or four from Hawaii back to the mainland to study, even though we know he’s got ulterior motives since he admits he’s been tracking these creatures for over 20 years since his Daddy went missing.   

From there we get introduced to more main characters than a Frank Herbert novel – an entire low budget film crew shooting a slasher flick, an army of mercenaries led by an awesome dude who looks like a buffed-up Sean Connery and a still hotter than doughnut grease Rachel Hunter who kidnaps the rich and holds them for ransom till they gets paid, a scrawny movie geek and his big-boobed-blonde girlfriend, and a GORGEOUS female doctor looking for the legendary Ghost Orchid along with her trusty assistant and a female guide.   

Meanwhile, our title creature is chomping up main characters and tourists and extras faster than I was shoveling my homemade special recipe Deluxe Fatass Nachos into my piehole loving the shit outta the major cheese I was watching on my TV screen!! And all this is happening in Hawaii??  MAGNUM P.I. definitely left the seamier side of the island out of his stories, I take it…  



Why such a huge cast for a SyFy Saturday premiere, you may or may not ask?  The answer is, of course, easier than my first wife – when you’ve got a couple 100ft fish-snakes (Finakes?  Snish??) trying to track down their missing eggs, that’s a hellabig workout and they get hungry.  They’re out for vengeance AND sustenance, so many, many characters are needed to feed these suckers and chew up the running time.
That being said, there are writers out there that I will admit I have huge admiration for that in a couple of cases even borders on worship and envy – Joss Whedon, James Gunn, and Todd Farmer immediately come to mind.  But when I want to sit back and chill on a Saturday night with a big glass of rum and enjoy a bloody, funny, schlock-filled cheesefest of a SyFy Saturday creature feature there’s only one name that comes to mind, and that name is Mike MacLean.
Mike MacLean speaks to me.  Not in real life, but this is the first time that a writer has been so in tune with my Saturday night needs that ALL of his movies are in constant rotation in my house.  Let’s do a headcount – DINOCROC vs. SUPERGATOR; SHARKTOPUS; PIRANHACONDA.  And I’m positive that his next effort, debuting in late-August on the Epix Network – ATTACK OF THE 50FT CHEERLEADER – will be even MORE epic (nope, not doin the pun… too easy) to me than any of his previous work.
Never in my side job reviewing movies nor in the history of SyFy Saturdays has one writer knocked it out of the park for me every single time. To be quite honest, they usually piss me off more times than not. So when I praise this man’s genius, it’s not kissing ass – we’ve never met, we don’t know each other personally, he doesn’t call me at home, I’m not getting anything from him in return; it’s just a professional respect from one writer to another.  Plus in this case, this is one writer who also moonlights as a horror movie reviewer so I get to throw my voice out there to be heard and spread the good word.  A sample, you say?  Sure, like this exchange between three mercenary characters:

“It’s like an unholy union between a piranha and an anaconda.”
“You mean, a Piranhaconda??”
“I can’t believe you just said that.”

Or my personal favorite that I have taken to using on several occasions over the last couple of months:

“You guys are cuckoo for Psycho Puffs.”

See what I’m saying…it’s like he’s writing specifically for my sense of humor!  Apparently, I AM his target audience!!

Syfy Original Movie – Piranhaconda – YouTube.

I love how the miraculous healing powers of the Ghost Orchid will never be known.  I love how the old “I’ll be right back” trick was used to perfect effect and I still laugh my ass off every time even though I knew what was gonna happen the first time.  I love my new drinking game, The Stumbling Leilani, which is where you take a shot every time two characters say Leilani’s name in just one four minute scene – use the bottle, you won’t have time to pour shots into a glass, trust me heh heh heh.  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ending… well played, Sir.  It’s all part of the magic that makes this movie very special to me.  Mike MacLean, your mission is simple… write more movies NOW – my SyFy Saturday crew needs you!!
No word on the DVD release date yet, but you can bet your sweet schlock-lovin asses I’ll keep you posted.  One word of warning though – if you didn’t like SHARKTOPUS, chances are you’re not going to have your tongue planted anywhere close to firmly enough in your cheek to truly enjoy PIRANHACONDA, and that’s alright – it’s not for everyone.  Speaking of that, last year when I wrote that SHARKTOPUS was “full of kickassitude” and “cheesy goodness covered in awesome sauce”, I totally meant it.  But PIRANHACONDA goes way beyond that… it’s like a ginormous ball of cheese deep fried in awesomocity and is in full-throttle kickasstastic mode from start to finish and never, never, NEVER lets up on the gas or gives you a chance to breathe, and that’s just the way I like it!!!!

– Craig McGee






  1. I’ve seen one SyFy movie: “Jersey Shore Shark Attack”. I don’t watch Jersey Shore. This movie made my wife and I laugh so hard in some scenes that we missed the following scene. SyFy has got some writers that really seem to get their cult following style viewers.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes the ball is not just dropped, but shattered, like with “Bigfoot” or “Boogeyman”, but when it comes to creature features they usually know exactly who they’re playing to and for the most part they get it right. LOVED “Jersey Shore Shark Attack” as well. I need to throw up a review for that one too.

  3. Reblogged this on craigmcgee.

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