Thursday, October 14, 2010


(William Fruet, 1982)
Fruet is smart enough to know what to do with a script concerning a telepathic Micronseian demon-snake: make a joke out of it. And given his filmmaking knowhow, it's a pretty good joke, well shot and well paced and outfitted with just enough mock-seriousness to be credible. Not that it's anything to write home about, of course. While they deliberately balance the stuff about the 'savages' with a subplot involving snake-handling Christian zealots on home turf, that thread gets lost well before the abortive climax; after all that fuss, it turns out you can defeat Evil by shooting it in the head. The surprisingly high-octane cast are all visibly in on the gag, but they don't mesh: Peter Fonda's doctor does laid back wink-wink, Kerrie Keane's big-haired love interest plays for constipated melodrama, and as the tormented game hunter Oliver Reed goes for such a high-serious hushed whisper that you can barely make out what he's saying. The film's main contribution to cinema is the Dick Smith-devised swelling snakebite gore effect, most spectacularly applied to Al Waxman's crusty mercenary. But it's the hilariously hysterical sorority house snake rampage that delivers the real payoff.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a fan of the work of William Fruet. Spasms is a lesser film, but the very idea of Reed + Fonda gone-a-snake-hunting is hilarious enough to keep coming back for more.