Python (film)

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DVD cover
Directed byRichard Clabaugh
Produced byKen Olandt
Jeffery Beach
Phillip Roth
Screenplay byDaniel Knauf
Garrison Hershberger
Paul Bogh
Story byPhillip Roth
StarringFrayne Rosanoff
Robert Englund
Casper Van Dien
William Zabka
Dana Barron
Wil Wheaton
Sean Whalen
Jenny McCarthy
Gary Grubbs
Music byDaniel J. Nielsen
Mad Bus
CinematographyPatrick Rousseau
Edited byChristian McIntire
UFO International
Release date
August 9, 2000
Running time
99 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States

Python is a 2000 made-for-TV horror movie directed by Richard Clabaugh. The film features several cult favorite actors, including William Zabka of The Karate Kid fame, Wil Wheaton, Casper Van Dien, Jenny McCarthy, Keith Coogan, Robert Englund, Dana Barron, David Bowe, and Sean Whalen.

The film concerns a genetically engineered snake, a python, that escapes and unleashes itself on a small town. It includes the classic final girl scenario evident in films such as Friday the 13th. It was filmed in Los Angeles and Malibu, California.

Python was followed by three sequels: Pythons 2 (2002), and Boa vs. Python (2004), all of which are also made-for-TV films.


The crew of a plane gets nervous when the cargo it is carrying starts making noises and shifting. When one of the crew opens the crate, the pilot hears screams from the back. Something attacks him, causing the plane to crash near a town called Ruby.[2] The cargo survives the crash and begins attacking Ruby citizens, starting with a lesbian couple, whose names are Lisa Johnson and Roberta Keeler, camping in the woods.

At a swimming hole the next day, John Cooper (Rosanoff), his girlfriend Kristin (Barron), his best friend Tommy (Wheaton), and Tommy's girlfriend Theresa (Mornell) find a pet burmese python belonging to one of the dead women, Lisa. Deputy Greg (Zabka) shows up, mentioning that Lisa is missing and takes the snake. Lisa's body is found, appearing to have been corroded by acids. Greg suspects John, since he works at a plant that uses acids. Complicating things, Greg is also Kristin's ex-fiancé, with her having left him when her first love came back to town.

Scientist Anton Rudolph (Englund) is talking with NSA Special Agent Parker (Van Dien), explaining that the cargo is an abnormally large reticulated python that has been genetically engineered in Southeast Asia, blending several species. In the words of Dr. Rudolph, it is "a perfect killing machine, a 129-foot-long all-terrain vehicle capable of speeds exceeding 50 miles an hour, with skin that can deflect an antitank round, enhanced night vision, and a voracious appetite for human flesh". The NSA team plans an assault against the snake, hoping to kill it discreetly before it eats more people.

The snake kills a real estate agent (Williamson) and the agent's client (McCarthy). It leaves behind the client and the body of the other lesbian, Roberta Keeler. John enters as the snake leaves, furthering suspicion against him. The sheriff shuts down his brother Brian's plant, furthering the tensions between Brian and him. As John leaves the plant, he runs into Greg's car and his bike is damaged. They end up in a fist fight, mostly over Kristin, though they ultimately reconcile. When the body of the real estate agent is found with the same acid damage, the sheriff orders John arrested. Kristin yells at Greg when they come to arrest John, but he says that he does not think John is the killer.

The NSA team and Rudolph arrive, telling the sheriff a story about a psychotic rogue operative imprisoned in a military psychiatric unit who escaped and is committing the murders. He does not believe them, but goes back to the office and frees John. Kristin, Tommy, Theresa, and he plan to go on a trip the next morning.

The NSA set up base at a water-treatment center. They use radar to find where the snake is likely to be, then have the police set up a perimeter to keep people out of the zone. Believing the snake to be sleeping, the team wastes most of its ammunition on the snake's shed skin. Agent Parker realizes the snake set them up using its skin as a decoy. The snake arrives and kills the team; only Rudolph survives after keeping himself standing perfectly still in front of the creature.

Theresa's morning shower is interrupted by the snake. Though she is able to escape, the snake eats Tommy. Theresa drives away, but the snake follows. It gets in front of her and rips the rear axle off, disabling the truck. She gets away again and hides in a crevice.

When Tommy and Theresa do not arrive to pick them up, John and Kristin go looking for them, finding the wrecked truck. Theresa tries to warn them as the snake comes to attack, but they cannot hear her. John and Kristin escape using Tommy and Theresa's bikes from the truck. They make it to the water-treatment center, where Theresa later joins them, and find Rudolph in shock. The group realizes that they must do something about the snake or it will get to the town. They call Greg on the radio and fill him in on a plan they have devised.

They lure the snake into the water-treatment plant by having it chase John through a shaft, while they set a bomb near the entrance. Kristin drops a line down another shaft for John to escape. The other two escape through the regular door, where Greg is waiting to drive them to the other shaft. They pull John out and the python is unable to climb up the shaft. Trapped in the tunnel, the python returns to the doorway entrance. The group returns to the entrance to trigger the bomb, but it does not detonate. Rudolph says the snake must have torn out the antenna when it crashed into the bunker, so he leaves his pet snake with Kristin and runs back in to reset it. While Rudolph resets the charges, he is confronted by the snake, but is able to succeed in his task. The charges go off, killing Rudolph, and the other four are celebrating their success, but the python emerges unscathed.

They flee in Greg's police car, and come up with a new plan to penetrate the snake's hide by luring the snake into a vat of acid at John's plating plant. Once there, John acts as the bait once again, while Kristin uses a winch to push the snake's underbelly into one of the vats, causing the snake to be disemboweled and killed by the acid.

Six months later, Greg has been accepted into Quantico to be an FBI agent, the plant has been reopened as a bar/bike shop where the snake's skin is used as a sales tool, and John finds out that Kristin and he are soon to be parents.



Python received mixed reviews.[3] Critics praised the ensemble cast, but criticized the special effects and plot.[4] Others thought that it was an above-average television film with good special effects. However, despite the initial reception, it is now regarded as a cult classic, and has a dedicated fan base.[5]


Python had three sequels:

  • New Alcatraz (2002, also known as Boa) is about a giant prehistoric boa constrictor that is accidentally unleashed into a state-of-the-art prison in Antarctica, during a mining operation. The prison staff, the inmates, and two paleontologists must band together to escape the prison or become the serpent's prey. The film was considered a critical failure.
  • Pythons 2 (2002) has two carnivorous mutant pythons that terrorize a Russian research complex and military base; the Russians and the Americans must work together to destroy the creatures and save themselves.
  • Boa vs. Python (2004), directed by David Flores, is a crossover between Python and Boa.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Python". 1 August 2001 – via
  2. ^ "Python (TV Movie 2000)" – via
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2011-07-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Movie Gurus - The Movie Review Community".
  5. ^ Archived 2016-07-22 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]