|Director:||Bernard L. Kowalski|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|01.30.07||Internet|| It's Sssssss! The ssssss-iest of snake titles around! A name so cool you don't even say it, you hiss it! Sssssss!|
First off, not letting the Comic Sans font fool me, the Universal logo and Zanuck/Brown's names on this meant it would be just a touch more expensive than Rattlers. I don't know how they convinced Strother Martin to do this movie though because he has to handle more snakes than... well, more than one. Even with clever cutting and the occasional dummy, there are still shots of him right down in it with these scaly little guys. That would bug me I think. Yep. If I was an actor I don't think I could do a movie like this or Kingdom of the Spiders. Just too creepy crawly for me. The snakes would smell my fear with their pits and strike out for sure.
A few similarities do exist though. I mean, more than the snakes... For one, there's an equally out of place conversation near the beginning of this one when the girl gets introduced (replacing Women's Lib for environmentalism) and... well... actually that's it. The two movies are pretty different. Rattlers was on a "this could happen if we let the military-industrial complex continue with its new world order!" vibe and this one is more in the Saturday matinee kid's movie mad scientist vein... which is cool by the way.
Martin plays a herpetologist (that doesn't mean what I thought it did) who gets a new student assistant and begins to "innoculate" him with cobra venom so he's safe on the job. Uh huh. Along the way, we find out he's crazy because he talks to a python and reads Whitman quotes about how animals are cooler than humans and when the school jock asswipe kills his pet snake (and calls them all "snake freaks"), he scoops his Black Mamba into a bag and follows him home. After getting it on with a horny co-ed, the jock takes a shower (explaining that "twice a night's all the coach allows me" when the girlfriend wants more lovin'). In the shower, Strother unleashes his venomous pet and we see it bite a dude's foot in slow motion. Ouch! I mean, you can see that his other foot was gonna step on it so it really had no choice, but still! When the foot raises the snake follows and you know it's because he has his fangs stuck in the soft flesh... I hate things that hang by fangs. ugh. creep me out, man. Even if it had its poison glands removed or whatever, that's still a snake on your foot with its teeth inside you. I have to stop typing about it even, it's bugging me even now.
Meanwhile, the assistant (who keeps noticing weird things like the top layer of his skin peeling off and changes to the bone structure of his face) woos the doc's nerd-cute daughter by taking her to a carnival (where an actress appears that will be credited in the end crawl as "kootch dancer"). It's here that the assistant goes into the freak show tent and sees the amazing snake-man, a dude with no arms and no legs that looks kinda like a lizard and whimpers a lot.
Eventually, the assistant's metamorphosis advances. At one point he looks at himself in the mirror and goes into a rage. The girl yells through the door "how do you feel?" and he answers "ugly!" Ahh, male vanity.
As you can probably guess, the doctor's serum is in fact turning the kid into a new race of king cobra with human intelligence! Unfortunately, the mad doctor also keeps a squealing mongoose in his lab at all times, so there's a pretty gnarly showdown between supra-intelligent snake vs. wiley mongooes at the end.
Aside from the insistent addition of weird-ass snake-breathing sound effects any time there's a snake on-screen, this movie's about as fun as it sounds. The pace slows a little in the middle after we've known what's going on for maybe 40 minutes but the movie wants to wait 20 more until it lets us in on the big twist, but hey... 1973 audiences were stupider, right? I mean, I saw Fantastic Planet. What's THAT shit about?
Anyway, great fun. It's got me psyched up to the point where I finally feel ready to see this next movie. Here I go.