The law of diminishing returns is clearly in evidence in this third installment of the Canadian-made SNAKEEATER series, which began in 1990 as a showcase for former TV heartthrob Lorenzo Lamas.
Adapted by John Dunning (who co-wrote and produced the first two entries as well) from a novel by Glenn Ducan, SNAKEEATER III has virtually no plot. Cop Jack Kelly (Lamas), who confusingly only goes by the name Soldier (as the robust title tune proclaims), is suspended from the police force for
his Dirty Harry-like antics in breaking up a diner robbery. He is hired by the distraught parents of Vivian (Tracy Hway), who ten months earlier was abducted by a gang of bikers she infiltrated, gathering sociological data for a college thesis, and used as a sexual toy, then stumbled back into
civilization reduced to a nymphomaniacal, nearly vegetative state. Now she's back with the bikers again, and Jack sets off to rescue her, aided by private investigator cohort Cowboy (Minor Mustain), ex-biker gal now topless dancer Fran (Holly Chester), and Jack's girlfriend Hildy (Tracy Cook).
The film, like the first two, directed by George Erschbamer, has so little plot that it has Vivian running away twice, forcing Jack and his pals through a repetative skein of fist, gun and kung-fu fights with evil hoodlums led by Goose (Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow) and Turk (Chip Chuipka). This is
weak-kneed by-the-numbers action stuff, with stunts choreographed by Jim Dunn, and it's mostly cartoonishly staged. The best action set-piece, in which our heroes are surrounded in a cheap motel room and escape by blasting through the flimsy walls of the units next to theirs, is embarrassingly
lifted almost intact from the superb 1987 vampire chiller NEAR DARK. Erstwhile "Falcon Crest" star Lorenzo Lamas has the proper macho swagger but is almost totally unconvincing as an action hero. Then again, he gets little help from his artistic surroundings here, which include loopy dialogue like
"These bikers stand out like a Great Dane's balls."
The SNAKEEATER series (named from the hero's "elite Marine fighting unit" in Vietnam) is produced by the veteran Canadian B-movie team of Dunning and Andre Link, who were responsible for much better movies through the 1970s and 80s, including the MEATBALLS pictures and a pair of David Cronenberg
chillers, THEY CAME FROM WITHIN and RABID. For what it's worth, SNAKEEATER III does boast a first for the genre: the grungy bikers are outfitted with cellular phones on their Harleys. (Violence, profanity, nudity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: R
- Review: The law of diminishing returns is clearly in evidence in this third installment of the Canadian-made SNAKEEATER series, which began in 1990 as a showcase for former TV heartthrob Lorenzo Lamas. Adapted by John Dunning (who co-wrote and produced the first… (more)