The Killer Snakes (Shaw Bros/Special Edition) (1974)

Actors: Maggi Li, Kam Kwok-Leung, Chen Chun
Directors: Kuei Chi Hung
Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Enhanced, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: Cantonese
Subtitles: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio:
Number of discs:
Run Time:
99 minutes



"This movie has something to repulse everyone," is quoted as saying on the cover of the DVD. At least this isn't false advertising. This mid-1970s Hong Kong exploitation movie boasts scenes of bondage, bullying of children by adults, date rape, animal cruelty (the guts being pulled from a snake and snakes being hacked and burned), torture, prostitution, muggings - you name it.

But all this makes The Killer Snakes sound like much more fun than it really is. The problem isn't its rather unpleasant topic matter (well, not entirely), but the fact that The Killer Snakes is a slow, dull and predictable movie filled with unlikable characters.

The plot involves a downtrodden and bullied young fast-food delivery boy who discovers that he can telepathically communicate with snakes. This being Hong Kong, where they after all serve the little slithery dudes up for breakfast in restaurants, there are of course a lot of snakes around. Naturally, the sexually-frustrated delivery boy then uses them to exact his revenge on whoever has wronged him . . .

The plot is stolen from the 1971 horror movie Willard (remade in 2003) in which, you guessed it, a downtrodden young man uses telepathically-controlled rats instead of snakes to get back at his enemies.

THE DISCS: You get loads of trailers for martial arts and other movies by the now legendary (sort of) Shaw Brothers studio in Hong Kong. The movie boasts some nice widescreen photography which has a clean image transfer free of any dust and speckles here. Impressive for a movie of this sort. Sound, especially during the louder passages of the very 'Seventies soundtrack music, is occasionally tinny and harsh though.

WORTH IT? Vile and unpleasant are the adjectives that spring to mind. Plus slow, very slow. You'll probably find yourself using the remote to fast forward through duller bits. Only occasionally entertaining (mostly for the over-the-top sok! wok! fist-fight sound effects usually found in cheap karate movies).



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