SNAKES (SHAW BROS/SPECIAL EDITION) (1974)
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,
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Run Time: 99 minutes
"This movie has something to repulse everyone," MonsterHunter.com 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
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).