It’s 11:02 pm
So Dollar Tree has yet again dropped a massive DVD/BluRay sale on us. Not only did they drop their sale,they did it for two weeks in a row which of course made us film buffs and collectors very happy.
This included the cheetah and myself as I traveled to our two local stores and found a small treasure trove of goodies and also some very,very bad movies (This Old Machine,I am talking about you). Of course that is the beauty of the Dollar Tree sales,you never know what you might find and if you come across a catpoo movie like “This Old Machine”,you can donate it to a good pal like we’re doing.
But honestly,I find a lot more gems then I do catpoo movies and many of them make their way here onto the blog (Jay and Sean……see??) to be reviewed.
One of the coolest trends in these Dollar Tree sales is seeing many older creature feature films that used to pop up on the SyFy Channel. Bad shark movies,Nature Amok and of course those beloved monster movies that used to be shown on Saturday nights.
One of the bigger producers of films for the SyFy came from the Maneater series that was developed by RHI Entertainment and distributed by Vivendi Entertainment. The series started in 2007 and as of 2015,has released over 25 films in the series. The cheetah and I reviewed one of the films,”Behemoth“,which we scored at the Dollar Tree.
During this latest sale,I managed to score two more films of the Maneater series,”Sea Beast” and a film I actually watched on the SyFy Channel when it premiered in 2009- “Sand Serpents”.
Now normally here is where I go into a several paragraph explaination of what happens in the movie up to a certain point and leave you with a non-spoiler ending. But the fact is,Sand Serpents,is so paper thin plot wise that I really can’t stretch it out that long.
The plot has a squad of US Army soldiers in a remote part of Afghanistan being led by Lt. Richard Stanley (Jason Gedrick) who has never led troops into combat.
Stanley plus 7 other infantrymen are escorting Captain Henle (Tamara Hope) on fact finding mission. This will be the squad’s last mission before heading home so all the soldiers are on edge,there will be no reinforcements or quick retrieval if they get in trouble.
We meet each soldier including the resident malcontent,Pvt. Andrews (Elias Toufexis) who is second guessing Lt. Stanley’s every move.
The group comes across what appears to be an abandoned Taliban base but its not so abandoned as the Taliban ambush our heroes,killing two soldiers and wounding another while capturing the rest of the team. Lt. Stanley,who speaks Afgani,tries to calm their captors down but the Taliban kill the wounded soldier and tie up the rest. (The US team didn’t hit a single enemy soldier!!).
Suddenly the ground starts to shake violently and the Taliban troops rush outside of the building thinking its a earthquake….but it turns out to be huge Sand Serpents who were awoken by the fighting and are pissed out. The Sand Serpents eat the Taliban before going back underground.
Pvt Ano (Michelle Asante) manages to get free and unties her squad while they all wondered what is happening. They can’t call for help because they lost all thier gear which included their radio. Lt. Stanley mentions there is a refugee camp a few miles away and they can hump it there and use their radio.
They gear up using the weapons the Taliban had dropped in their struggle not to become dinner for the Sand Serpents. They start hiking towards the other camp when Andrews spots movement coming towards them,the Sand Serpents are attracted by sound and now are coming back for seconds. The group retreats back to thier original building but losing another soldier in the process.
The group is near panic mode as they have no coms and no transportation…until someone notices a beat up truck. Pvt Ano (who used to boost cars which is how she ended up in the army) manages to hotwire the truck and the group all jumps in and they race for the refugee camp. The Sand Serpents try and attack but Lt. Stanley manages to kill one with a IED device they found at the Taliban camp.
As they approach the camp,a small girl walks onto the road causing Pvt. Ano to crash and leaving her pinned under the truck despite the best efforts of Lt. Stanley to save her. They have to retreat and Ano is swiftly eaten by a Sand Serpent,the team is down to 4 members now.
The camp is nearly empty,the Taliban have come by and kidnapped all the males,leaving only the mothers behind along one male named Amal. Andrews makes several remarks his way,he doesn’t the guy. But when Captain Henle says they will have to go BACK to their original position in order to fix the radio….it may be too much to ask these soldiers to do. Caught between Sand Serpents and another platoon of Taliban,Lt. Stanley is going to have to make the right call if he wants to get his shattered team home safely…….
Well I’ll be…..I actually was able to write a full review. So did the cheetah and I like “Sand Serpents”?? Yeah,we did!! We thought “Sand Serpents” was fun and cheesy.
The CGI was bad,the US soldiers were the worst shots in movie history and the locations looked like the film was shot entirely in a quarry but it was still fun.
Like in “Behemoth” and other Maneater films,the casting is much the same….have one well known name which would be Jason Gedrick plus a cast of relative unknowns. Now I knew who Elias Toufexis was because of his past work including the excellent horror/sci-fi film “Decoys” but the rest of the cast was…who are you??
The plot was thin but director Jeff Renfroe smartly focused on the characters and as a viewer,you found your invested in hoping that these troops would make back alive. We never found out anything about where the serpents came from or what the team was doing out there vastly unsupported (I notice details like that) and with a whole team on short time.
“Sand Serpents” has a run time of 86 minutes and would considered a PG-13 rating. There are no special features. You can visit most any Dollar Trees and find several different Maneater titles. The cheetah and I will be back with our review of “Sea Beast”. We both gave “Sand Serpents” a thumbs/paw straight up!!
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