Today’s free movie is a sci-fi/horror from 2002, Project Viper. See what happens when a genetically-engineered organism goes bad and develops a taste for human flesh. Delicious grey goo sci-fi ahead!
As usual, we’ll get the serious bit over with first. Project Viper is only available for those in the US. UK viewers might like to catch up on our other sci-fi flicks such as Wedlock, Mirror Maze, Dark Star, or the Drew Barrymore body-double horror, Doppelganger.
A team of five scientists is tasked with the job of creating a bio-engineered life-form to terra-form Mars and transform it into a human-friendly environment; it’s an experimental hybrid of human genes and computer engineering known as Project Viper. One prototype is part of a crew launched to Mars, another is stored in NovaGen a high-security lab on earth.
Sci-fi fans may well get a kick out of the depiction of the film’s antagonist. The monster is no Lycra-clad femme fatale, wheelie bin robot or lame tinfoil droid. Rather it’s a large pile of grey goo, a literal reference to Eric Drexler’s end-of-days nanotechnology menace (he coined the term ‘grey goo’ in his 1968 book, Engines of Creation): the self-replicating technology that consumes its environment to extinction.
Like Drexler’s goo, the monsters of Project Viper are characterised by their appetite and survival skills and midway to Mars, the onboard Viper goes haywire and begins to consume the crew. Meanwhile, the second Viper manages to get out of the laboratory, leaving a trail of destruction (and a trail of goo) behind.
Director Jim Wynorski is a veteran of cult, exploitation and B-movies, having been a writer/director/producer for 25 years. When he arrived in Hollywood, he got his first job working for his idol Roger Corman, editing together trailers for coming attractions. This led to his first film. Corman was asked to make a film about a killer in a shopping centre and told Wynorski the project was his if he could come up with a good treatment. The result was Chopping Mall and from that point, Wynorski was in the B-movie business, making 3-5 films a year. He is still going strong with Road Raiders, Monster Cruise and the brilliantly titled Camel Spiders due out later this and next year.