Rising Boas in a Girl’s School (巨蛇闖女校), now there’s a title Freud would have a field day with. Unfortunately, while the title might suggest a Chinese sex comedy, the boas are not of the feathered variety. And the snakes are not the one-eyed kind. Something we find out rather quickly when a trio of black sedans pull up in front of a fenced-off cave that serves as a snake farm where experimental feeds are making the creatures grow at an incredible rate. Needless to say, this ends badly for all involved.
Nearby Haixi Flight Attendant Aviation College, apparently you need a college degree to be a flight attendant in China, is preparing for its graduation ceremony. If there was any doubt about the film’s plot it’s dispelled when security guards Liu Chao (Louis Zheng, Catch the King, Legacy) and Yue Zhong (Pang Yong, Nowhere to Hide, Fox hunt) find a snake in a box of fireworks for the night’s festivities.
Meanwhile, Li Meng Na (Peng Bo, Copper Skin and Iron Bones of Fang Shiyu, Ghost Outlaws) causes her team to fail one of their tests when she helps one of the other girls who’s having trouble swimming. This earns her the wrath of the resident mean girl Ma Su (Shi Xuan Ru, The First Myth: Clash of Gods, Wars in Chinatown) who locks her in the changing room. Guess where the snakes show up next?
Rising Boas in a Girl’s School’s co-directors Guo Yulong (Exorcist Judge Bao, Dragon Quest: Faqiu Heavenly Coffin) and Xie Wenjun, working from a script by Wenjun, don’t stray far from the usual plotline for animal attack films. The school’s ambitious manager tries to cover the problem up and makes matters worse. In one of the film’s best scenes, the giant boa makes a meal of him while he’s denying its existence. This leaves the two security guards to rise like a boa to the occasion and deal with the creatures.
While Rising Boas in a Girl’s School isn’t a comedy it does borrow a few elements from the girl’s school genre as well. Ma Su’s boyfriend Xiao Jie (Cao Tian Kai, Thunder General Sha Wu Jing, The Void Evidence) sneaking onto campus, assorted rivalries and boyfriend stealing among the girls, etc. And while being a Chinese film there’s no nudity, the film does go very heavy on cleavage, teasing shower shots and for some reason, the students take their swim classes in white t-shirts.
Rising Boas in a Girl’s School seems to have had a larger than usual budget for one of these films. There are plenty of extras for the early scenes which helps make them a bit more convincing than the usual scenes featuring panicked “crowds” of four or five people. The effects are also considerably better than usual on the same level as Snakes and Crocodile Island.
Rising Boas in a Girl’s School eventually focuses on a group of survivors who didn’t get out on the school’s busses and have to stay alive until help comes, something a landslide has delayed. This allows for some well-done scenes such as Liu and Yue using a cable to cross between buildings, a scene reminiscent of the one in Hardware where characters use a freezer to counteract the snake’s heat-sensing abilities and an escape using ropes made of bedsheets. All of this leads to an explosive climax involving the fireworks we saw at the beginning.
Rising Boas in a Girl’s School is the kind of film I wade through these Chinese creature features looking for. It’s got good effects, some well-staged action, fights, cat fights and some jokes that are actually funny. Still, I can’t help but think of what Roger Corman or Fred Olen Ray would have done with a plot and title like this.