Direct-to-DVD Showdown

THE MATCH-UP

Anaconda 3 Cyborg Soldier Kill Switch
Adversary Giant snakes Genetically-engineered super soldier Serial killer
Has-been anchor David Hasselhoff Tiffani Thiessen Steven Seagal
Has-been support John Rhys-Davies Bruce Greenwood Isaac Hayes
Who got fat The snakes Tiffani Thiessen Steven Seagal
Hot chick Crystal Allen Tiffani Thiessen Some naked Russian girl at the end
Location Nondescript Eastern Europe Small-town America Memphis, Tennessee
Run time 91 minutes 84 minutes 96 minutes
Rating R for bloody violence R for violence R for strong, brutal violence, language and some nudity
Violence level Decapitations, dismemberment, impalings and general snake-induced mutilations Lots of shooting Creepy serial killer and fat-guy martial arts

ANACONDA 3: OFFSPRING aka “Jaws of the Jungle”

What it’s about: A private drug company is using its secret lab in Eastern Europe to study a serum that can lead to cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The only problem is that it’s toxic to anything but snakes. After the serum is tested on deadly anacondas, the snakes grow to enormous size, escape from their cages and go on a killing rampage.

What was good: The movie knows that it’s a direct-to-DVD sequel (which is more than can be said for its predecessor, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid). It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it has some great kills by the snakes. The hot, blonde scientist in the tight workout shirt throughout the film doesn’t hurt, either.

What was bad: The effects are even worse than the original Anaconda, and David Hasselhoff is a poor substitute for Jon Voight.

Release Date: October 21, 2008

CYBORG SOLDIER aka “Private Super Duper”

What it’s about: A genetically-engineered super-soldier (Rich Franklin) escapes from top secret facility and goes on the run. Lindsay Rearden (Tiffani Thiessen) small-town sheriff’s deputy becomes his hostage only to learn more about him. Soon, she helps the soldier get revenge on the scientists that stole his life.

What was good: The gunplay is nice on a Showtime After Dark level. Bruce Greenwood, while he looks like he just woke up with a hangover through much of the film, still brings a level of gravitas to the project.

What was bad: The story is rather silly, and Tiffani Thiessen is looking mighty rough. She really needs to reconsider wearing George Lucas-style flannel shirts throughout half the film.

Release Date: October 7, 2008

KILL SWITCH aka “Fat Boy Grim”

What it’s about: Steven Seagal plays Jacob King, a frightening obese homicide detective is on the trail of a brutal serial killer that is terrorizing Memphis. King uses his “brutal delivery of street justice” (a quote from the cover-box… honestly) to bring the killer down.

What was good: The film was in focus. And Isaac Hayes got a paycheck out of it.

What was bad: Lots. First, this was written by Steven Seagal, and it shows he should stick with his greater skill of acting. Seagal attempts a cool southern accent but ends up sounding like a child-molesting Muppet. He’s packed on so many pounds that the editor had to drop frames from the action sequences to make him look fast. And finally, there a nonsensical ending which features Seagal’s character ready to get it on with a half-naked Russian chick who doesn’t even look old enough to drink.

Release Date: October 7, 2008

AND THE WINNER IS…
Anaconda 3: Offspring — It’s David Hasselhoff fighting giant snakes. Who can’t find at least some entertainment value in that?


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