Friday, March 4, 2016

Sand Serpents, A Weapon against the Taliban

I've always loved war films. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of good movies about America's war effort in Afghanistan.  2009's "Sand Serpents" might be the best one, and perhaps the metaphors included in this work make it a relevant piece. Warning....this is straight to DVD and Syfy Channel quality, so if you have no patience for those types of will not like this one. If you're like me and giant ugly worms always enhance the viewing experience...well...this one is for you.
An American patrol is captured by the Taliban in rural Afghanistan. Blindfolded and tied up, our GI protagonists don't see their Taliban captors beset and swallowed by giant worms. The worms approach 100 feet. Lt. Stanley (Jason Gedrick), mystified by the disappearance of the Taliban captors, plots a march to a landing zone for rescue.  Holed up at an abandoned mine, the worms come back when a rescue helicopter arrives. The beasts eat the helicopter and send the patrol on the run. The soldiers barely make it to an abandoned NATO fort, where they meet friendly Afghans, who are also beset by the Taliban.  Cpt. Henle (Tamara Hope) believes she can fix the radio back at the mine, and our group heads back there with two new allies.
As Henle fixes the radio, another Taliban unit attacks...and again the Americans and Afghan allies are saved by the hungry behemoth worms. With the worms closing in, and their unit decreasing, the Americans follow the Afghans to tunnels which just might lead to safety (...yeah, right).  As the Taliban continue to get eaten, Stanley and Henle hatch a long-shot plot to outrun the worms and reach the rescue landing zone.  Are our worms a metaphor for the horrors of nature that war brings?
The ending is one of the most heroic ones you will ever see. The direction of Jeff Renfroe and acting of Mr. Gedrick are fantastic.  To critics that say this film is a bad rip-off of "Tremors," I respond that ripping off the ideas in "Tremors" is preferable than ripping off the action and themes of "The English Patient." Available at a reasonable price on DVD from Amazon, enjoy "Sand Serpents."

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