Jaws of Satan, or Would I Just Rather Have Venom Spit Into My Eyes?

A lesser known fact about myself. When I was just a wee lad spending my summer nites at either the Delsea or Rio Grande drive-ins in less than picturesque southern New Jersey, I was spending most of my summer days schlepping through field and stream looking for snakes. Snakes and most any reptile or amphibian were a huge hobby of mine growing up. Identifying, keeping, breeding, and raising snakes held my fascination all through the warmer months and aside from the occasional random acts of vandalism, usually influenced and co-perpetrated by neighborhood nuisance Karl Forss, the little hobby kept me out of troubles. I was very hopeful in my youth of actually one day going to university someplace and furthering my studies in this field and becoming a paid herpetologist. Now before you start asking, "Cris, is that one of them people who prescribe those creams you find yourself needing on sunday morning when you wake up with a red bump on your something?" the answer is noooo. Herpetology is simply the scientific specializing in reptiles and amphibians. It was always a little weird in primary school being asked what I wanted to be when I was grown up and me enthusiastically responding "aaaaa herpetologist!" I'm fairly certain all the adults including school teachers I told this to were oblivious as to what the fudge a herpetologist even was. I'd have to say the strange corner eyed nods and silence I was treated to when I ever I let this ambition be known pretty much made me change my answer. From then on when asked what I wanted to be when grown up out came the much more ambiguous and sadly more acceptable, "man, I don't even know". "Oh.... well that's ok honey". Turns out it was definitely NOT ok but that's a tale for another time.

Speaking of tales about tails. What's sixteen feet long with inch long fangs and starts slithering about the country side after escaping from a padlocked box on a derelict train run by horny inept bozos and has hopes of unhinging its jaw and swallowing a alcoholic preacher whole in a single gulp? If you guessed the gigantic king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), yes that's the latin genus and species and yes I'm that big a snake nerd, that's running amok and is apparently the embodiment of old Satan himself in the 1981 devil snake clunker Jaws of Satan then you've nailed it. What happens here is that for no good goddang reason at all a big beast of a cobra starts stalking a booze soaked holy man played well enough here by Fritz Weaver of Creepshow notoriety. A fellow drinker in a self proclaimed "witch" tries to warn him of this evil presence by clairvoyantly reading his coffee grounds, catching the vapors and going into a full faint fest in the middle of a fund raiser social BUT our man of gawd simply dismisses her antics as "parlor tricks". Meanwhile every other snake in town has gone plain herky jerky and starting sinking their fangs into any farmers or undersexed kids listening to boom boxes they happen to come across. This is presumably because the king cobra Satan super commander is orchestrating the attacks. The sheriff is at a loss, big shocker in these types of films, the town officials don't want any fuss made about the attacks because the bad publicity would hurt the opening of a new dog track, plot point reminiscent of many a horror film namely Jaws and the local big wig doctor is at odds with the super smarmy herpetologist she has called in to "assist" her in the ways of the serpent if you can pick up what I'm putting down for you there. Our protagonist doctor manages somehow to not be repelled by the sour pussed sexist reptile specialist even after she calls him for help when a snake that DOESN'T call his wrangler jeans home finds its way into her bed. This clown haired clod shows up and gains entrance to her home by smashing out what looks to be a pretty expensive window in a sliding glass door and THEN follows that up by blasting a big hole through the offending rattlesnakes face and into her drywall with a pistol seemingly produced out of nowhere!!! THEN, and I'm not kidding cause you will see this in the posted clip, he straight slaps the hysterical doctor right across the chops!! But of course in the very next scene she is cooking him breakfast and in a clearly post coital manner they exchange a cute kiss. B-A-R-F !!! Two things immediately sprang to mind when I saw this. First I literally out loud, spelled the word barf. Second, damn I should have became a herpetologist!! I mean this idiot's running round playing with snakes, smashing windows and shooting guns off IN houses only to then get a girl to hop in the humping hay AND make him waffles by smacking her around!?!? What a life!

Onto the rest. What ends up happening is after one town meeting and six or eight more snake bites, the town officials buckle and our priest sobers up long enough to realize that what his witch lady friend was trying to tell him before she got fanged in the face herself was the truth. Satan was after him in cobra form. The why of this matter is further explained with a subplot about the priest being an ancestor of St. Patrick, ya know the saint who drove all the serpents out of Ireland? Aaaaand there's also a sequence where the demon snake for some kind reason saves our doctor lady character from being raped by a biker, not making that up, but none of it is necessary in getting to the pivotal yet underwhelming showdown between father single malt and the Satan snake. They meet in a cave, crucifixes are brandished, holy light illuminates the cave, latin is shouted and bammo serpent souffle faster than you can say it. Roll credits.

As far as snake scare films go, this sorta hodgepodge of religion meets nature's horror is a bit of a low rung. Coming in way under titles like Stanley, Venom, Frogs, or even Sssssss!. That being said it's 100 percent a drive-in type deal and good for at least a chuckle when in one scene the cracker deputy tells the african american sheriff, "Sharf they gotta snake over in the corner store!" Sheriff says, "well what kind is it?" Deputy,"I don't's black!" Sheriff, "Natch!" **1/2

Breaking and entering + indoor gun play + slapping a woman silly for being upset = sex and waffles in Jaws of Satan

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