Thursday, June 27, 2013

"Spasms" (1983) d/ William Fruet

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For a genre nut like ol' Woppo, tonight's review first reared it's ugly head to me upon the grisly cover of Fangoria #28, with meaty gore effects by the master himself, Dick Smith. Having missed the theatrical run for whatever reason, I must've trolled the new release shelves of every video store in the valley for months before the clam shell Thorn-EMI VHS finally turned up...Oh, there will be spasms, as promised by the 1983 Fruet effort's ad campaign, but not as brought on by the potent neurotoxins of snake venom,  but instead catalyzed by the poisonous effect of a laughingly bogus screenplay as penned by Don Enright upon the viewer's sanity, compounded by a gimpy lead performance out of cult icon Oliver Reed, who inaudibly hisses most of his lines below whisper-level, and an even more shambling supportive effort from grindhouse vet Peter Fonda, who phones it in here, with missed marks and wooden deliveries a' plenty.

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"Hey Mr. Bubble, the way you tickle my vadge almost makes the UTI worth it!"
After a hokey-looking magic ritual around a bonfire, some ornately decorated abbo's are chased around by a tinted crane shot, (which we later find out is really the guardian to the gates of hell...ahem) we see some poachers capture a whole lotta nothing in their massive nets (translation: aforementioned shnakety-shnake) to be transported to the San Diego (translation: Toronto) estate of millionaire hunter and whisperer extraordinaire, Jason Kincaid (Reed), whose brother was killed by the reptile on a hunt years earlier. Kincaid was also bitten by the snake, but instead of dying from the venom, now shares a psychic link with the monster, seeing through it's eyes every time some curious jackass opens the refrigerated container the snake is being transported in, and eats fang-driven death, in the process. Kincaid enlists the services of one ridiculously named Dr. Brazilian (Fonda), a psychologist who agrees to study the strange phenomenon but quickly blames it all on the millionaire the second that plans go awry.

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"Sod all this deadly envenomatin' for a lark, Ollie, let's fuck off for a pint a'!"
Unknown to Kincaid and company, the snake is also highly coveted by the local sect of snake-worshipping Satanists(!), who are planning to steal the creature away at first opportunity. And when the container finally reaches the university, the cultists deftly snatch it under the cover of darkness, or rather simply open it up, freeing the snake to terrorize the campus with tinted snake POV-ferocity. Oops. After loosing Hell's fury upon the unsuspecting populace,  including the obligatory sorority house where foxy blondes may or may not be in the shower, the Satanists inexplicably disappear altogether from the film, leaving Brazilian and Kincaid to witness the boil-producing bladder effect aftermath of the snake's violence and face the damned thing on their own, using the hobbled hunter's mental link with it to track it down and end it's reign of latex terror. There you have it.

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...And finally, monsieur Creosote, a wafer-thin mint.
The soundtrack was provided by Tangerine Dream and this guy. I've heard everything from script revision to production funds running out before filming wrapped, as to the reason why this one stinks like a fart party fulla bean eaters. Either way, that sentence should well have provided you with the three main words you ought to have taken away from this summary: This, one, and stinks. One wop.

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"Psssshpsssssshpsssssssh.", whispers Jason Kincaid (Oliver Reed).
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Mary Poulson said...

Sounds pretty good. I like cheesy low budget B list horror and sci fi

beedubelhue said...

It's a nice change of pace from "summer blockbusters" and "important independents" from time to time, isn't it?


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