Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent (2008)

Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent (2008)

Terror Unearthed

Sick and tired of his father beating him and his mother, young Adam stole an ancient stick from a voodoo priest and drew a picture of a snake-like creature biting the head off his father. Little did he realise that the monster would come to life and kill his father. Years later, Adam is now married. But when his wife is killed in a hit-and-run by five friends, he digs the stick back up and draws the monster again to take revenge.

 

The film is basically a rehash of Pumpkinhead, only with a different creature taking revenge for some misdeeds. The setup isn’t too bad in all honesty, especially if some innocent person is the victim of a tragic accident because at least there’s a character to sympathise with. Unfortunately this film has no clue about to handle that story and what we get is yet another really crappy low budget creature feature with a snake. CGI snakes are so oversaturated now and Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

There’s little in the way of proper script as some really stupid contrivances happen simply to further the plot. The most notable one being the fact that no one in the car realises they have just ploughed through a woman crossing the road despite the huge thud she makes off the bonnet. I mean at least have one of them realise, stop for a moment to get their act together and then just drive off in fear of what may happen if they are arrested. But they just drive on, blissfully unaware of the storm that is about to head their way. Is it a little harsh for the guy to wish revenge on them in light of this? It’s not like they knew what happened. They could have pleaded ignorance but I doubt that would have stopped the monster. If they had realised and stopped to help, would that have helped matters?

The rest of the film involves the characters doing typical teenage stuff (smoking, drinking, having sex, wandering off outside in the dark, etc) whilst the monster makes an occasional appearance to eat someone. The finale falls short of delivering anything although it’s not like the rest of the film promised a big pay-off. The CGI snake looks as crap as the rest of them. It’s funny that despite being one of the first films to feature a CGI snake back in 1999, Anaconda is still the daddy of the snake flicks. The rest of them, mainly from the Sci-Fi Channel, have featured appalling special effects. They should be getting better and more convincing over the years, not progressively worse. This snake has a big crocodile-like head which makes the whole thing look silly as opposed to scary. It’s not particularly well fed either which was a great disappointment. The attack scenes are typical of these snake flicks which means that the snake will rear up for a moment, pause and hiss, allow its victim to stare in horror for a moment before being swallowed whole. I much prefer people being chewed up, bitten or slowly constricted and attacks to last more than a brief moment. Milk the deaths, draw them out a bit to make the audience feel the pain of the victim and empathise with them in their moment of death.

DMX gets top billing but it’s almost a glorified cameo from him. Expect some gruff delivery, lots of weapon handling and some pretentious ‘bad ass’ dialogue from him and little else. The other actors are bland and just not really with it. Wanting them to get eaten is a blessing in disguise. You know a film has failed to deliver even the smallest mercies when the only worthwhile reason to watch is for the hot chick to get her top off – and when that fails to materialise, you know you’re in trouble.

 

Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent is one of the poorest Sci-Fi Channel features out there but when you’ve got company like Raptor Island, Warbirds and Lake Placid 2, then it’s not really hard to be any worse.

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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