Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Here’s an interesting batch of total confusing nonsense from our friends at Cinetel, in conjunction with the Sci-Fi Channel all working the umbrella of the legendary Jim Wynorski… Project Viper!  Since they’re dropping F-bombs and stuff in this movie I’m guessing it wasn’t originally designed to go the Sci-Fi Channel route when it was made way back in 2002, but I imagine it was probably languishing around on some production floor until Sci-Fi took pity and brought it for the spare change in the current CEO’s pocket and labeled it a Sci-Fi Original.  That’s why we love those guys, bringing to the surface what oft times is better left buried deep below.

We’re heading to Mars folks!  Got the Space Shuttle all gassed up, and loaded with some fancy tech to do some awesome stuff.  Until the fancy tech breaks out and kills the crew.  What’s up with that?

It was Project Viper that did this, totally.  Now check this out.  There are two Project Viper prototypes, one being lost in space and one locked away in the lab that designed it.  Suddenly a clone of a cop pulls over one of the Project Viper scientists (Lydie Denier), shoots her in the face with a silencer, even though there’s nobody around that would’ve heard the shot anyway, and replaces her with another clone.  You may ask yourself; ‘Who are these clones?’, ‘Where did they come from?’, ‘Are they aliens?’, ‘Who made them?’ ‘What do the clones have to do with anything?’.  DO NOT ASK THESE QUESTIONS! For the clone issue is dropped and never to be revisited.

But because the clones have stolen the remaining prototype, super duper hardcore special agent Mike Connors (Patrick Muldoon) has been called on the scene.  Don’t think that the ‘Mannix’ reference is lost on us here at the FCU.  One of the more entertaining parts of this movie was watching the two clones bust out of the facility, with unlimited ammo handguns, and mow down hordes and hordes of super lame security forces who were armed with automatic weapons.  It seems that all mass security forces go to the Storm Trooper school of marksmanship.  Regardless, a car chase ensues, literally stolen from another movie, the clone gets free, and Project Viper is in the wrong hands.

What is Project Viper?  Apparently it’s some kind of benign tech designed by one Dr. Nancy Burnham (Theresa Russell) and her team to terraform Mars or something.  It’s completely harmless.  It wouldn’t hurt a fly.  Until the clone that possesses it crashes its plane, and now Project Viper is running free eating everybody.  Even though it shouldn’t.   That awesome plane crash was lifted from another movie too, in case you’re curious.

Now Connors, Dr. Burnham, and her team have to descend upon Podunk, run by the cancer stricken Sheriff Morgan (Tim Thomerson) to try to kill it.  Problem being that it travels through the water ways so it’s virtually invisible, except when it’s not invisible, problem being that it’s about to replicate itself and kill everybody on the planet, and another problem being that Connors is convinced that this whole thing is an inside job spearheaded by a member of Dr. Burnham’s team.  He’s right about that of course.  And it’s looking bad for the planet Earth, but it’s nothing an EMP bomb can’t fix.  Though I think my definition of an EMP bomb and this movies definition of an EMP bomb are completely different.

‘Project Viper’ is one of the nuttier, and lazier Sci-Fi joints we’ve seen since no one involved with this movie seemed to give a flying f@#k about this movie, which ultimately makes ‘Project Viper’ a terrible movie, but also gives it a hint of awesome.  Just a hint.

Take the clones for instance.  I’m sure in some draft of the movie the clones were going somewhere, but obviously halfway through somebody stopped giving f@#k about this movie and moved on.  It’s not like the nine or ten people who will watch this movie are going to ask any questions, right?  We enjoyed how the crack scientist on the team were handling this Extinction Level Event, that they created, with all the excitement of the local quick-mart announcing they are now carrying Diet Dr. Pepper.  Those actors stopped giving a f@#k.  Is there a reason why Project Viper jumped out of that can to eat those astronauts?  And how did Viper open the space shuttle and throw that one guy outside the space shuttle?  And how in the world does a flesh eating monster go about terraforming a planet?  The screenwriter clearly stopped giving a f@#k.  I had thought an EMP bomb was supposed to send out waves to short circuit electronics, not blow up monsters in a fiery blaze.  The science advisor stopped giving a f@#k.  There was a big fist fight between our Badass Special Agent and the nerdy computer programming scientist, a fight that should be one sided, but with the nerd completely kicking the agent’s ass.  The Logic Coordinator stopped giving a f@#k.  Theresa Russell looked like she’d rather be at a day spa than be in this movie.  Theresa Russell didn’t give a f@#k about this movie.  Routinely, we all know director Jim Wynorski’s main goal as a filmmaker is getting his project finished, under budget and delivered on time and giving a f@#k is usually optional.  What is never optional in a Wynorski joint is casting impossibly hot women in his movie, and this one is no exception.  Wynorski gives a very serious f@#k about that.  Patrick Muldoon is not a good actor, but he was completely believable being an asshole to everybody in this movie, so either he’s an asshole in real life or he was so upset that everybody in this movie stopped giving a f@#k that it pissed him the f@#k off. 

So there you go.  ‘Project Viper’ is lazy, half-assed, incoherent and brain dead.  But the fact that it was so half-assed makes it oddly watchable.  I can’t recommend that someone does this, watch a movie to see half-ass in action, but if you’re curious about that, ‘Project Viper’ is half-ass in action.  Somebody should put that on a box cover.

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