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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Austin Stevens -- Snakemaster
Austin Stevens -- Snakemaster
Columbia/Tri-Star // Unrated // August 2, 2005
List Price: $14.94 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 5, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Although not as much of a household name as similar hosts like Steve "Croc Hunter" Irwin or Jeff Corwin, Austin Stevens also isn't as much of a character. The straightforward explorer is actually a wildlife photographer from South Africa whose focus is largely snakes. Although Corwin and Irwin certainly have no problem with picking up snakes, Stevens definitely displays a sort of fearlessness when working around snakes, showing even a bit less hesitation than the other two do.

The first of the three episodes included here (and yes, like Corwin and Irwin's shows, we unfortunately get only a "best of" instead of a full season set) Stevens heads into the deepest jungles of Borneo in search of one of the world's largest snakes - the reticulated python - a snake that could eat a person. In the episode, Stevens also encounters other snakes along the way, a nasty monitor lizard and a turtle that takes a chunk out of his boot.

The second episode has Stevens headed into the Australian outback to get a picture of a giant monitor lizard - one that can get as long as seven feet. On his way across the Outback, he encounters lizards - including a thorny lizard that seems completely oblivious to Stevens picking him up and a hooded lizard that takes an interest in his camera - as well as some different species of snakes.

Finally, the third episode has Stevens heading to Florida to try and track down a giant species of rattlesnake. While walking through a maze-like jungle hunting down the snake, Stevens encounters a cave of spiders, snakes and frogs; a snake that mimics a rattler and a gigantic snapping turtle - one of the biggest of the turtle species - that keeps tearing apart a branch. Stevens also must deal with a broken-down boat and finds himself surprised to see a snake out in the sea.


The DVD

VIDEO: These episodes of "Austin Stevens" are presented by Sony Pictures Home Video in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Shot in high-def, the episodes do look terrific, with bold, heavily-saturated colors and sharpness/detail that is often excellent. The picture remains consistently vivid and well-defined throughout, with no inconsistency. Some very slight shimmering pops up once or twice, but that's about it when it comes to concerns.

SOUND: The show's 2.0 soundtrack delivers the show's audio quite well, with crisp, clear ambience and dialogue.

EXTRAS: A trio of interview snippets, reptile facts and a Discovery Channel promo.

Final Thoughts: These three episodes of "Austin Stevens: Snakemaster" are certainly entertaining and fast-paced, providing a good intro to the series and a nice selection for fans looking to own episodes. However, like similar shows, it's disappointing that a full season set wasn't made available instead. The DVD doesn't offer much in the way of supplements, but does boast strong audio/video quality. Recommended.

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