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King Cobra
1999 - PG-13 - 93 min Mins.
Director: David Hillenbrand, Scott Hillenbrand
Written By: David Hillenbrand, Scott Hillenbrand
Starring: Noriyuki Morita, Hoyt Axton, Joseph Ruskin, Courtney Gains
Review by: John Ulmer
   
I didn't know this was a sequel to the 1997 sleeper "Anaconda" until I looked it up on IMDb. Needless to say, it's worse than the original.

"The Karate Kid" star Pat Morita (yeah, the Chinese guy) stars as a snake hunter who must track down a genetically-altered King Cobra python-whatever when it escapes its super-duper high tech prison: a tin cage. Wow, the government must really be cutting down on containment these days. Anyway, Pat goes after the snake with the help of Scott Hillenbrand (also co-director of this journey) and Casey Fallo, who do, of course, fall in love and kiss right after a snake is about to chomp their heads off. But that's okay - it's in the script.

There are countless things in this film that are truly laughable, including the scene where Pat Morita tells Hillenbrand that he injects himself with snake venom to acquire an immunity to it. You can see the regret in Pat’s eyes. He knows this is a stinky movie, and he hates having to say what he’s saying. He’s been around in the Hollywood circuit long enough to know that saying that kind of thing can get a film - and an actor - killed. But directors can be very picky about their films. I just thought of something that rhymes with “picky,” as well.

Pat Morita is in the low-point of his career. Actually, let's face it: He doesn't have a career. He got lucky off a few “Karate Kid” movies, and his fame disappeared instantaneously. He tried to get back in the acting showbiz with “The Next Karate Kid,” but his plan backfired, and his apprentice in the film became the one to gain worldwide recognition AND an Oscar (Hilary Swank). Too bad for Pat.

Scott Hillenbrand is like scraping the bottom of the barrel. His acting talent is niltch. He can’t direct or act, which leaves me to wonder...how did he get his big break? I can’t imagine he gained anything from the 1997 thriller “Hostile Takeover”.

David Hillenbrand, Scott’s brother, is the other co-director of this film. And quite frankly, they both share the family gene specialty, which is being manager at a McDonald’s somewhere out in Oklahoma. That’s their specialty, and they should stick to it.

Saying this movie is bad is like saying "Anaconda" was sort of bad. The original was awful enough, but this sinks even lower in the depths than the original.

Sure, it's great for a Friday or Saturday night when you've got nothing else to do. But in all honestly, I'd rather waste 93 minutes of my life on something good than something below-average, even if it has a campy quality to it (and not much at that!).

Worth avoiding at all costs. Well, almost all costs. It’s hard to keep a straight face when Morita says he injects himself with snake poison. What a pathetic way to make the hero immune to venom. B-A-D is written all over this straight-to-video flop.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Unwatchable.  One of the worst of the year.  Skip it.
  0.5 out of 5 stars

 
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