Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Fangs" (1974) d/ Arthur Names

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Disregard the misleading sales pitch on the groovy one-sheet of tonight's movie, as it's instead packed with less bite than a fucking earthworm. If William Grefe's drive-in rattlesnake eco-opus Stanley (1972) was a bowl of Froot Loops, then Fangs, or Snakes, as it's alternately known, would be a see-thru generic bag of Silly Circles...if it were directed by the sound man from Ted Mikels' Corpse Grinders (1971), that is. My copy of the movie is the murkiest imaginable, from the old Video Gems vhs, as any clearer quality might only make it more obvious that there isn't a poisonous snake within miles of the camera, and not even Les Tremayne's estate would be pulling for a blu-ray release of it, at any point in time. It's like this...

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"Here, let this one wriggle around in your pants a spell.", offers Snakey (Les Tremayne).
Snakey Bender (Les Tremayne) is the local grizzled, old, snake-gathering coot who buys his beans from the general store, as run by a barrel-shaped lesbian named Sis (Alice Nunn) and her semi-retarded brother Bud, on credit. He also encourages the local fourth grade boys to supply him with mice and lizards for his snakes, which perturbs the local alcoholic preacher, Brother Joy (Marvin Kaplan), and enjoys listening to marching band records with his pal, Burt (Richard Kennedy), every Wednesday night. Wednesday nights also see a number of visits to the fourth grade teacher's place, where Cynthia (Bebe Kelly) sexually grooves on one of Snakey's scaly pets named Lucifer. Weird as it may all sound, this delicately balanced routine keeps ol' Snakey from abruptly losing his mind, and going on a vengeful snake-based kill-crazy rampage. Wouldn't you know it, the preacher convinces the teacher to disallow the boys to further deliver prey items to the old man, and the shopkeep's brother eagerly smashes Snakey's favorite pet on orders from the frumpy fish eater. To make matters worse, Burt runs off and marries a stripper named Ivy (Janet Wood), and puts an end to the duo's music appreciation during the week on her suggestion. Ol' Snakey ain't a-gonna stand for this sorta thing, no siree.

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"The Video Gems vhs print of "Fangs" is too shabby, we need a blu-ray remaster!" - Nobody
As it stands, they don't call Snakey "Snakey" for no good reason, and he's soon doling out fang-injected retribution on any no good feller what wronged 'im. First Burt eats a brick bludgeoning, and is dumped off a nearby cliff in his car, and Ivy is then taken prisoner, and forced to watch as Brother Joy is offed in his underwear by Snakey's serpents, his corpse-laden car also dumped off the same cliff. In fact, the cars pile up at the bottom of said cliff, and nobody seems to notice or care in these here parts. Bud fails to pop the heads off of incoming rattlers, and he joins the others at the base of the drop off. Sis flunks the "Is it a king snake or a coral snake at the bottom of the fifty-five gallon drum she's being lowered into via makeshift trapeze (they were all coral snakes, stupid!) and her pick up truck is soon added to the junkyard under the cliff. Snakey even schedules a reptile rendezvous with the herpetology-horny Cynthia, and while she's writhing orgiastically under the coils of several colubrids, ol' Snakey throws in a copperhead to the oblivious deviate. You can guess where her car is about to end up. What happens in the final reel, I leave for you to discover, though, in the odd chance you let your curiousity get the best of you, and snare a copy.

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"As I die here on this dirty floor in my drawers, I'm leaving my car to you, Snakey...never push it off a cliff..."
For a murky mutt of a drive-in movie such as this one, the cast is interesting enough. Les Tremayne was a busy actor, right up to his death in 2003; appearing in everything from Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959) and North by Northwest (1959) to King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), and working on popular soap operas like General Hospital and One Life to Live along the way. His portrayal of Snakey Bender here probably wouldn't make his lifetime highlight reel. Janet Wood, who you'll no doubt remember as Sweet Li'l Alice in Russ Meyer's Up (1976), also appeared in Terror House (1972) and The Centerfold Girls (1974). Alice Nunn, well, she was only "Large Marge" in Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985), though she also scored genre credits in things like The Fury (1978), Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981), and Trick or Treat (1986). Richard Kennedy was a native Pennsylvanian who turned up in Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972), Delinquent School Girls (1975), Candy Tangerine Man (1975) and even Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975). On the scale, Fangs barely manages a bite with the potency of a single Wop. There are far better snake movies out there.

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"You're a dead ringer when I sting you with my stinger, 'cuz ev'ry queen needs a kiiiiing!", sings Snakey.
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