my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Rattlers
Director:   John McCauley
Year:   1976
Genre:   Nature's Revenge
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   01.30.07

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
01.30.07DVD .....sssssssss....ssssssssss.... what's that? It's a Tuesday-night Snakesploitation Triple Feature, that's what!!! I have three of these slithering sneaky suckers lined up and damn if I'm not gonna be hissing and spitting by the end of the night.

The festivities start with Rattlers. I'll be back after the movie with notes!


My night starts off with two boys climbing a desert hill to see a "real live skeleton" when they fall into a rattlesnake den and die die die! This is great because I hate kids. I'm in a special kind of mood tonight and this first scene makes me think I'm on a personal journey. This guy in a tie looks like his face is more on the left side of his head than his right. Maybe it's just the angle. He's tapping on the glass of a snake tank though so he's going to die at some point in this movie. That's good too because he's one of these guys who keeps way too much crap in his breast pocket.

Now here's something problematic. The janitor, in a wild spasm of sweeping, has knocked a king cobra's cage door ajar. oops. Mr. pocket clip is handling stressed out "pleasantly plump" birds. Oh he's gonna get it. Damn this turtleneck'd snake scientist! He's here to save the day with his complicated snake charming technique (no doubt learned in India). It's a good thing it's not a spitting cobra he's charming. Otherwise his eyes would be melted by now.

This is serious. This snake guy has handled hundreds of snake-bite cases but NOTHING like those kids. whew.

In the interest of good taste, I watched the rest of the movie without the running notes.

I kinda wish I had though. This is not what I would call a self-sufficient movie. If I didn't have the notepad nearby and, I admit, a game or two of solitaire to get me through, this would've turned into a pretty boring venture.

However, that's not to say there wasn't stuff to like in it. It's just that the movie was too slow to carry itself. Here's the good stuff though:

-i love the Rattler-esque wind chime instrumentation in the score. It kind of kills any kind of suspense because the people ALWAYS get bit so as soon as you hear the wind chimes kick in, it means whoever's on screen is about to die. On the flip side, it also meant you were about to see more snakes, which is always fun.

-either this movie gets extra points or points taken off for using a real dead dog and turkey in one scene, but definitely extra points are earned for having the guy take so long to realize that they're dead. He waves the cloud of flies away a few times, picks up then drops a clearly-inanimate paw, and kicks the turkey in the head.

-Out of nowhere, there's this huge debate about Women's Lib. I don't know why it's there (other than it was made in the 70s and it fills some time) but it sure as hell is. You don't hear the term "sitting on your liberated ass" nearly enough nowadays though... maybe I should bring that back.

-There are a few monumentally bad monologues in this movie. It's like something actors would work on before going to their Days of Our Lives acting school. Wonderfully terrible readings of these inane exposition-heavy soliloqies about every last detail in the story of how the pilot got bit by the snake or why the girl hates men. Great stuff.

-The army health dude uses an eye dropper to make his martini. Not quite as advanced as today's use of the vermouth atomizer, but still pretty sweet. I think he takes his supplies out of an autoclave as well, so it's clean AND dry.

-Right after the big climactic confrontation between the snake scientist and the snakes, they cut to a wild weekend of Vegas romance. For real. The Women's Lib girl totally falls for the snake scientist in two lines' worth of dialogue and they go on this lost weekend of debauchery and soft-lit ballroom dancing. Now THAT's a way to get back at those snakes!

-Later on, they're smooching it up in a tent when they get bombarded by a snake attack. A random army guy comes to the rescue and unloads a full clip of machine gun ammo INSIDE the tent. It's almost too good to be true and honestly makes the movie worth watching for me.

-And at the very ending, when the reason for the legion of aggro Rattlers comes out, we get an Army general going completely nutball, which is always fun.

So all in all, this was better than I thought it would be (having been warned that it's not very good... which is true) but I'm fully hoping that this is just the cocktail to get me ready for the double feature of snake movies I've been holding off on seeing until the exact right time because I've heard so much about them and how great they are. So what's up next? Well I'll give you a hint. It starts and ends with an "S" :)
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