Thunder of Gigantic Serpent (1988)

Snake attacks bridges
Giant monsters don’t like bridges!

Move over REPTILICUS, here comes Mosler!

In Lab 707 scientists are working on the Thunder Project, experimenting with a formula that can make plants and animals grow to large proportions. This formula is never really shown, though: it seems to depend more on using a see-through box and electricity, rather than vials and fluids.

Terrorists attack the army-run lab facility to acquire the formula, there’s a bloody shootout, but several scientists run into the countryside with the special case, which gets lost after a car crash, and is discovered by a young girl called Ting Ting. She decides to put her pet snake Mosler in the see-through box, switches on the case’s ‘lights’, and the serpent is electrified… and then it begins to grow!

Ting Ting and her (big) pet snake Mosler!
Ting Ting and her (big) pet snake Mosler!

THUNDER OF GIGANTIC SERPENT is a cut-and-paste IFD Film Arts movie that uses lots of footage from the earlier Taiwanese monster movie KING OF SNAKE (1984) with added film material featuring martial arts actor Pierre Kirby.

Now that's what I call a poster!
Now that’s what I call a poster!
Mosler on the loose!
Mosler on the loose!

We get a cool scene early on where we see the scientists experimenting on a frog, making the amphibian grow much larger. The model used here is pretty decent.

Frog experiment...
Frog experiment…

For several scenes we see Ting Ting having fun with the semi-large Mosler: they play hide and seek, play catch with a ball and the snake also helps Ting Ting win a rollerblade race against a couple of other kids. Mosler, it is revealed, can understand what Ting Ting says and reacts to her by nodding or shaking its head. It also makes a sound like a parrot (or maybe it sounds like a screeching chimp?)

Meanwhile, we are introduced to military agent Ted Fast (Pierre Kirby). Ted Fast: now there’s a heroic name! Tough Ted is sent on a mission to hunt down the terrorist group’s leader Solomon (Edowan Bersmea).

Don't mess with Ted Fast!
Don’t mess with Ted Fast!

Some cops and army dudes in red berets also feature in the story, so we get various cops/Ted Fast/gangsters/army confrontations.

Nice, red berets
The army wears bright red berets

There is a bunch of shootouts, then we get a scene where the terrorists try to capture the snake, but their electrified trap makes Mosler grow much larger. Now the huge serpent makes a deep, roaring sound like a lion!

We get a couple of scenes where the terrorists (who come across more like gangsters) threaten Ting Ting’s family and they eventually kidnap the girl. Then we get some monster action with a plane-vs-snake sequence that ends when Mosler smashes the plane with its tale.

Mosler vs plane
Mosler vs plane

The film does get rather preoccupied with terrorists and cops shooting it out with each other, but then we get some more monster snake action! Yay! First Mosler attacks a road bridge and then destroys a train bridge, including the train crossing it. Yikes! The formerly nice and playful Mosler is now a large-scale killer!

The army watches as Mosler approaches a bridge
The army watches as Mosler approaches a bridge

The snake proceeds to break a dam, causing mass flooding and more deaths.
Jeez, Mosler is a real psycho-killer now!

After some Ted Fast martial arts action we cut back to Ting Ting, who is being held captive by a bad guy in a tall building, and then Mosler returns once more, to attack the west district of a large city.

Crowds and the Mosler puppet are featured together in some simple but acceptable matte shots. The populace run in panic! Flames and screaming! Mosler wipes out a disco! In an earlier scene with the military we are told that the west district has been evacuated, but there are civilians everywhere in these shots!

Mosler starts wrapping itself around the skyscraper where Ting Ting is being held prisoner and jets finally arrive, shooting at the snake, which glows around the edges of its body each time it is hit (maybe because electricity had been used to enlarge it?)

I like it when monsters coil around buildings, don't you?
I like it when monsters coil around buildings, don’t you?
Here come the fighter planes
Here come the fighter planes
 Neon-glow around the snake when it gets shot
Neon-glow around the snake when it gets shot

After one of the jets crashes into Mosler’s face, the huge snake falls to the street below and dies. Ting Ting cries. Oh, that poor, mass-murdering snake!

Poor Mosler...
Poor Mosler…

There’s a final showdown between terrorist leader Solomon and Ted Fast: “Go ahead, shoot, make my day, punk!” And then the movie finishes!

THUNDER OF GIGANTIC SERPENT, as with GAMERA: THE GIANT MONSTER, features a kid who continually pleads for her ‘pet’ monster to be left alone, even after it causes untold destruction and death! Mosler, it must be said, does start off as a rather nice critter, but after it goes on its binge of dam-busting and train-wrecking it becomes rather difficult to regard the great serpent as anything but a menace.

The effects are not of Toho quality, that’s for sure, but I enjoyed Mosler’s rampage through the city, ending with the model military jets attacking the puppet snake whilst it is coiled around the skyscraper.

"Go ahead, shoot, make my day, punk!"
“Go ahead, shoot, make my day, punk!”
Frolic Pictures double-bill DVD cover
Frolic Pictures double feature DVD cover
'A terrible legless creature'!
‘A terrible legless creature’!
The film is also known as Terror Serpent

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