I love horror movies. Especially horror movies that contain just enough of what appears to be the truth in their otherwise convoluted plots, to make you wonder if it could really happen one day. The latest made for television movie, Silent Predators, qualifies as just such a movie. In this made for television movie an overly aggressive tropical rattlesnake escapes into the California countryside after the truck taking him to the zoo crashes. This overly aggressive foreign snake then interbreeds with his more laid back California cousins. This of course produced offspring that are highly aggressive killer snakes. Twenty years later, land development set this new breed of overly aggressive, highly toxic snakes abuzz. After watching this movie, I became curious about a few things and decided to do a little online research concerning tropical rattlesnakes.
The fact is, there really are tropical rattlesnakes. They are considered by some to be the most dangerous species of rattlesnake. Their venom is largely neurotoxic. So, if you had a truck tip over and introduce such a snake into the California ecological system, it could possibly mate with its more laid back kissing cousins. That however, is about all that is factual or feasible about this movie. The villain, the obligatory blonde, and the troubled hero, were the usual one deminsional cardboard cutout stereotypes. Though I'm happy to report that the blonde wasn't the biggest dummy in this movie. But, as in many horror movies, necking proved to be hazardous to the health of at least one young man.
The majority of the people at risk from overly aggressive rattlesnakes in this movie, appeared to be either oblivious, or unconcerned, about said risk. Take the necking scene. The one where that young couple wanders off into the woods to play their own little game of pet of the trouser snake. The buzz of a rattler is suddenly clearly heard. But the young man appears to have never heard the buzz of rattlesnake before. Get real! Even if the kid had never stepped foot outside a house until that day, he would have heard that distinctive buzz, and seen pictures of the triangular head and lethal fangs which are attached to the other end of that natural noisemaker, at least a dozen times on television by the time he was twelve. National Geographic runs a snake special at least once a year, and that program always includes a segment on rattlesnakes. I'm not even going to comment on how unreal it is that only two people, one of which was a blonde, seemed concerned about the fact that the victim had apparently died within SECONDS of being bitten by a snake.
Then you had that scene where that woman drives into her garage, and gets her ankle bit. Now earlier, she and another woman had in fact been seen discussing the fact that the woman who eventually got bit, was going to be staying at a Bed and Breakfast Inn that night because her house was going to be fumigated for overly aggressive rattlesnakes. Yet she pulls up in her garage, and steps out of her vehicle without even glancing down. Now city dwellers may find nothing odd in this behavior, but to a person who lives in west Texas, and who has found as many passive rattlesnakes in her garage as I have, this behavior isn't just silly, it is patently suicidal. The good news is, it was an oblivious brunette and not a 'dumb' blonde who failed to look before she leaped, or in this case stepped, to her untimely death. As I watched this oblivious brunette step smack dab into the middle of her untimely death, Morris declared with glee as he pulled hanked the lobe of my ear, "Hey blondie! There is one less oblivious brunette that is going to be contributing to the gene pool! And with luck, dear old dad will marry a blonde now, and give that brunette's kids the stepmother they deserve!"
And by the way, if you are going to make a movie about overly aggressive rattlesnakes, why call it Silent Predators?