Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent (2008)

Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent, to give it its full name, is about a giant magical killer snake with the head of an alligator summoned by a voodoo pencil to seek retribution for wrongdoing all of which you probably guessed already from its amazingly terrible descriptive title.

Alan (Louis Herthum who played Man at Caroline’s Party in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is happily married to his childhood sweetheart and has all but forgotten the events of his childhood. And also the events which open this movie, when he stole a creepy wooden box from his voodoo priest neighbour which contained the powerful pencil he used to draw and summon the Kulev serpent to kill his abusive father.

Simultaneously as his wife unearths the aforementioned supernatural stick, she is run over by a monster truck driven by a gang of crazy beer-swilling teenagers – off for a weekend away and oblivious to the accident.
Distraught and enraged, he grabs the cursed tool and draws a picture to summon the serpent and get him revenge yet again.

Will Alan regret his decision? Do the crazy kids deserve such a fearful fate? Is that Wes Brown from True Blood playing a nerd? Most importantly, how the hell did writer Even Scott ever pitch this script to a film company without laughing his head off?

Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent (wow I love writing that title) ups its ante of awfulness by adding in rapper DMX as the gun toting, voodoo practicing hard-nut named Nick Kirabo. He helps the teens in terror by imparting his spiritual wisdom and shooting crap with a bazooka.

Interestingly the list of horror movies featuring rappers is stunningly similar to the list of worst horror films ever made, including: Ice Cube in Anaconda, Method Man in Venom, LL Cool J in Deep Blue Sea, Busta Rhymes in Halloween: Resurrection, Snoop Dogg in Bones and Ice T in Leprechaun in the Hood – none of which however are as tacky and terrible as this. Well, nearly none.

Bargain bin-worthy, awfully acted, shocking special effects ridden and about as scary as a Saturday morning kids cartoon, these straight-to-DVD monster movies are de rigueur these days, with Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus and Birdemic playing the ‘so bad its good’ card to optimal effect.

The problem with these movies is that they tread a fine line between brilliance and garbage, and sometimes they are so bad that they are just ‘bad’ and ‘boring’ and a total waste of time. No amount of ‘well its supposed to suck – that’s the point’ will save them.

There will be those who will rant and ridicule this film for all the same reasons as others will love and laugh at it, right up until its randomly abrupt ending which gives the impression that the production team just suddenly ran out of money.

A film which is as ridiculous, as unbelievable and as stupid as its title is a rare thing indeed and Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent is such a gem – albeit a cheap, fake, plastic gem won on a penny arcade, run by gypsies.

Movie Rating: ★

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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