Picks and Pans Review: Silent Predators

updated 06/14/1999 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/14/1999 AT 01:00 AM EDT

TBS (Sun., June 13, 8 p.m. ET)

Don't worry. This isn't going to be a venomous review. There's no serious harm in blowing two hours on a routine snake-attack thriller. If we assume that at least some of its silliness is intentional, Silent Predators may even qualify as a moderately amusing genre spoof—sort of like Jaws cheaply remade as Fangs.

Harry Hamlin stars as the lone-wolf fire chief trying to save a small California town from thousands of rampaging mutant reptiles. Hamlin gets no help from a ruthless real estate developer (Jack Scalia) or the weak mayor (David Spielberg), but the developer's assistant (Shannon Sturges) finds our hero cute as well as courageous. How do we know she's smitten? When Hamlin says, "I'm going to go on a little snake hunt—hey, you want to come along?" Sturges does not hold out for dinner and a movie. She manages to get trapped in a snake den at the climax, giving him a romantic incentive to vanquish the hissing horde. But the key scene comes earlier, when Hamlin asks the mayor, "How many more are going to have to die before you take this seriously?" Seriously? He's kidding, right?

Bottom Line: Preposterous but not poisonous

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