Directed by Godfrey Ho, Starring Pierre Kirby (1988 Footage from King Snake 1983).
Movie Review by Greg Goodsell
This Thai-Hong Kong coproduction, as the hippies of yesteryear would proclaim, “is somethin’ else!” From its elegantly phrased English title, Thunder of Gigantic Serpent is one part berserk kiddie film that borrows heavily from Steven Spielberg’s ET: The Extra Terrestrial, one part macho action adventure film unafraid to let the “f-bomb” fly at every opportunity and one part kaiju-eiga. With the American re-imagining of Godzilla raking in dough at the box office, it’s as good as time as any to revisit it. I first caught this feature on an overseas VHS cassette with Greek subtitles, which dovetails into a sad little story of its own … but I digress.
James Bond-like villain Solomon has his eye on a secret research lab. Said mountain laboratory is being used by scientists working on a tip-top confidential plan to feed the world’s hungry by making all living organisms larger. Putting a frog in a glass terrarium – the boffins fling a switch and voila – frog becomes a giant amphibian! Ribbit! Before the researchers have a chance to put their discovery to practical use, the bad guys besiege the lab in a machine gun attack. As the white coaters run into the countryside to escape the hail of bullets, one of the scientists takes the new-fangled terrarium and hurls it from her speeding car.
|Evil Caucasian Solomon.|
Cut to the suburban home of lonely little girl Ting who befriends a friendly garden snake she calls Mozlar. In the manner of films of this type, Ting Ting is dubbed by an adult actress who screams her way through all her lines. “Mozlar! Mozlar! MOZLAR! (Giggling) Oh, you silly snake!” “Mozlar, Mozlar, MOZLAR, NO! Don’t eat the nice lady!” Repeat those lines ad infinitum at glass-shattering levels, and you get the idea.
|The Kukla, Fran and Ting Ting show at ear-splitting volume|
Keeping Mozlar a closely guarded secret from her prying parents, Ting Ting finds the abandoned terrarium by the side of the road and takes it home for a suitable case for her pet snake. A switch is thrown and – BANG WALLOP, Mozlar is now an outsized, absurd hand puppet. Even harder to hide, Ting Ting has lots of hilarious misadventures in keeping her snake away from the prying eyes of her parents.
|Mozlar likes to suck eggs!|
In the meantime, Solomon and his band of no-goodniks are searching for the growth terrarium. Finally tracking the terrarium back to Ting, the bad guys accidentally electrify Mozlar – who now grows to Godzilla-like proportions. Rampaging through the city, in a series of special effects scenes that are just as good or better as anything Japan was cranking out with its giant monsters, lots of people panic and run around in stairwells, the bad guys are thwarted – and Ting loses a friend. Mozlar was a GOOD snake, and didn’t mean to kill all those thousands of people and lay waste to the city, Ting says.
|Good snake my ass!|
PHEW! Thunder of Gigantic Serpent is a manic monster movie experience that sweeps up the viewer in its confused, juvenile story. A catchy techno score will leave you tapping your toes while you shake your head at the utter dang awfulness of it all. You won’t be bored. Director Godfrey Ho was well known for his cut-and-paste features, and lots of the scenes here don’t come together. An overly sickly sweet child’s fantasy is wedded to scenes of mass slaughter and martial arts, Thunder of Gigantic Serpent is, if nothing else, unique and highly entertaining.
|Take that, you lackey of the scientific establishment!|
As for my story regarding the Greek VHS – sometime in the late nineties, I was intrigued by the tape, offered for sale on Internet auction site eBay. I knew full well that I wouldn’t be able to watch it on my own equipment, and so I gave a shout-out to a so-called friend who converted overseas VHS tapes for his gray market business. I offered to give him the tape to convert, but he was adamant that I would have to pay his usual fee. He wasn’t interested in offering the film as he dealt exclusively with European trash cinema – OOOOOPS! Did I just give his identity away? Too late now!
|That's some putrid hummus Mr. Ledbetter|
Well, I paid my fees, got the compatible VHS copy of the film – and the guy turns around immediately and offers it in his catalog!!!!! Thanks a lot! What can I say? There is no honor among thieves, as they say. In fact, I think the rip of offed on YouTube here is from my tape! In either case, Thunder of Gigantic Serpent makes for great six pack and chips amusement. Have a nice one, Craig!
|A car wreck always adds production values.|
|Hmmmmm ... a giant snake.|
|The magic terrarium that figures later in the plot. PAY ATTENTION.|
|Glow little glow worm glow!|
|Did you wash your hands?|