Boa’s don’t need character development in their Meals Ready to Eat.
New Alcatraz is a prison located in Antarctica. It is considered the world’s most secure prison and houses international prisoners. A drilling operation finds an unusual rock formation filled with nitrogen. A nitrogen gas explosion accidentally releases a giant boa constrictor from inside the ice. When a security detail finds the hole they assign someone to guard it. The snake kills the security guard and two engineers.
The prison sends out a call. The husband and wife team of Robert Trenton (Dean Cain) and Jessica Platt-Trenton (Elizabeth Lackey) are hired by the military to assist. They are paleontologists who have written a paper on the possibility of Antarctic reptiles. They are in a bit of a quandary as to why they have been summoned since they deal with fossils not living snakes. Everybody else wonders that too. When they arrive at the prison, they find there are only a few survivors among the prison guards. Among them are the head of security Sergeant Quinn (Grand L. Bush), and prison warden Fred Riley (Craig Wasson).
Between the snake and gas explosions lots of people die. The troops sent to kill the snake are killed, the remaining prison guards are killed and an explosion causes a fire attracting the snake. Robert and Jessica are attacked and Jessica is seemingly killed. Robert returns to the security room. With only him and the warden alive they need a new plan. Robert wants to release the prisoners and have them help in escaping the prison. At first the warden refuses, but with no other alternative he agrees.
They split into two groups knowing that the snake can not get both groups at the same time. This gives them a chance to make it to the escape plane outside. More mayhem and killing ensues. The warden is killed and some of the prisoners. One of the prisoners, Yuri Breschov (Mark Sheppard) finds Jessica alive. Now the two groups are down to Yuri and Jessica, and Robert and one other prisoner Patricia O’Boyle (Amanda Reyne). Both teams need to make it to the surface and get to the plane before either the plane freezes or the snake gets them. “Boa” AKA “New Alcatraz” was released in 2001 and in 2002 in the US. It was directed by Phillip J. Roth. The movie is OK for a low budget big snake movie. Of course the science is crap. But we don’t care about science, just big monsters. As for the characters, who cares? Almost none of them make it anyway.
“Boa” was basically in response to “Python”. Although “Python” was received well, “Boa” was panned by most people. It’s not surprising. “Python” played it for camp and had a bevy of almost stars in it. “Boa” was played serious and besides Dean Cain didn’t have the star back-up that “Python” did. Plus since the CGI for both movies was so-so “Boa” had nothing to fall back on. It’s a shame cause even though “Python” was better entertainment wise, “Boa” still had a big nasty monster. As long as you don’t compare “Boa” to “Python” too much you can still get some entertainment out of it.