Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rare Flix: Jaws of Satan

Who could it be?  Could it be, I don't know....a Snake?!?  Today's Film is Jaws of Satan, a 1981 Films that mixes two big Subgenres of the time- Killer Animals and Satan Films.  It kind of makes sense...but is also quite silly.  The Premise: Satan has come to Town, this time in the form of a Snake.  He wouldn't trying opening an Antique Store for another Decade or so.  I get it- Satan supposedly showed up in the Garden of Eden in the form of a Serpent, although translation issues abound with that.  Plus, this is the Book that is sometimes literal and sometimes metaphorical in description, so, he could have just been a Lawyer too.  Hi-o!  Alright- enough of that.  The Films comes to us from a regular TV Director who made one Feature Film and then went back to doing TV.  The Shows he worked on includes both Small Wonder and Out of This World- aka the two Shows mixed up on one Episode of Drawn Together.  Both of the Film's Writers only have one IMDB Credit- this one.  So how silly can a snake Movie get?  Well, it is kind of like how they would cut to shots of the frogs from Frogs during the kills, implying that they were somehow planning it all out.  This time- it's a Cobra/Satan somehow doing it.  The Film *should* be more notable for whose Career starts here...but I'll get to that.  To see how two different Subgenres mix awkwardly, read on...
On a day for night Train, a mysterious bit of cargo comes to life and kills those on board.  It's...a Snake!
Later on, this Priest is warned of a threat to this soul by this Soothsayer lady.  He exposition dumps about his Family being cursed by Druids (or something), but feels no danger.  Silly Fritz!
The Coroner checks out the victims and finds bite marks with inflammation around them consistent with a big snake.

Let's go ahead and tick off the Coroner Who Eats Around Corpses box in Movie Cliche Bingo too.
Since we're just barely out of the 70s here, we get some of its Tropes.  The Doctor knows a Herpetologist (what are the odds?!?) and calls him in to help.
A bit later (after a few more victims and some appropriate Jaws ripping off), a Snake shows up to kill our Heroine.  She's in such danger that...she can call the guy...and he can run over in time to save her.

Worth noting- the continued appearance of Cobra shadow from ol' Stitch himself.
This Priest tells Weaver that Satan may be in Town.  He shows up one more time- to die dramatically.
Just like Crater Lake Monster, this Film has an odd interlude of a non-monstrous bad guy showing up in the Plot for no good reason.  They waste less time of it, but...still an odd choice- especially since the guy doesn't even die in this one!
Ultimately, this all leads to a Cave where everyone show up.  The guy gets knocked up by a slight slip and the woman ends up on an Altar.

All in all- still less silly than It.
The Priest offers himself up as a replacement sacrifice, but then pulls the old double-cross (pun intended) by exposing the crucifix and chanting a la The Exorcist.

The Snake goes up in flames.  No, really.  The End.
Satan comes in mysterious ways.  Again- I get it.  Satan was supposedly a Serpent that one time.  Even so, is that the best you've got?  Let's review what we've got here.  A killer Snake Movie.  A Satan Movie.  A Film with a cute kid (more on that later).  A Film with an Animal Expert trying to catch a killer Animal.  A Jaws rip-off.  So much in one Film.  As people have noted, it is hard to tell who is supposed to be the Lead here.  Given that there are 2 different reasons for the problems- said Snakes and Satan-, the Film has to kind of juggle both.  Few Films can give you 2 disparate Leads and make it work.  Congratulations, Movie- you're not one of them.  It just feels tugged in two directions, not helped by the Mayor Subplot and the kid Subplot.  Jaws of Satan is not a bad Movie.  It is just two Movies that don't quite make sense together.  The Snakes are apparently controlled by Satan, who is also a Snake.  Of all of his plans, this seems odd.  Considering that I've seen him make Toy Tanks gigantic, make a Nazi immortal and work at McDonalds, that says alot.  When you consider how well this plan worked, it is no wonder that he died fighting a Filipino man 2 years later.  A decent watch for those of you who like the obscure stuff, but not as good as it could be.  What did turn out good was this Film's real survivor- Christina Applegate (seen here with her real Mother!).
Next up, I dig into the pile of Movies bought from the late Moviestop.  Enjoy my random purchases.  Stay tuned...

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