Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Killer Snakes

Killer Snakes (She Sha Shou) Directed By Chih-Hung Kuei. Starring Kwok Lueng-Gan (1975).
            After Calamity Of Snakes this polished cinematic opus looks like an amphibian Citizen Kane! I actually switched this one off during lunch time to get a breather from the geek show carnage of Calamity, then had to just turn both of them off and enjoy my lunch. I have a phobia of watching real animals die while I’m eating (even non meat dishes). Killer Snakes has many of The Shaw Brothers staples you’ve come to know and love (Full bush, sadism), but this is a different breed of animal revenge film. It’s not like Black Magic or Seeding Of A Ghost because its missing maggots, voodoo and sorcery, instead its replaced by geek show antics! Killer Snakes takes the S&M subgenre and throws in slimy reptiles (still intrigued?, then like me you’ve got mental problems)!!
            The protagonist is a kitchen worker named Zhihong (played by Kwok Lueng-Gan), who seems harmless enough and feels empathy for a wounded snake that had an organ removed. The snake got off easy compare too the poor bastards that were mashed into pulp in Calamity Of Snakes. The same Asian remedies for everything under the sun are promised on the streets by snake oil salesman (literally!) and con artists. There is a lot of truth to this depiction and illegal organs and exotic animals sadly are senselessly killed and sold as delicacies and medicine in Hong Kong even today. Already you must be thinking that Killer Snakes has a lot more depth than Calamity and you’re half right!           
            At first I felt sorry for this demented loner/ kitchen worker. But as you may know from films like Ebola Syndrome and Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie, kitchen workers are psychotic madmen hell bent on poisoning people! The cobra telepathically summons his army of blood-thirsty snakes that await to strike who ever Zhihong thinks deserve punishment, like girls who won’t put out! He pathetically strikes up a relationship with a cute girl, but he’s too unhinged to act normal for three minutes. He goes back to hanging out with creatures that never talk back.  According to a user on IMDB.com, Snakes is actually based on two films Willard  and Stanley (two killer animal films one with Moe Green straight after The GodFather!), this doesn’t bother me, because the Shaw Brothers are so incredibly talented that they could ripoff RoboCop and I’d still think it was a good as the original! If you are looking for a sleazy demented killer reptile flick with S&M and revenge dished out by the underdog against an uncaring society, then check it out. But what ever you do try not to watch two snake flicks in a row like I did, because you will psychologically compare them. This one is a lot easier on the eyes then a lot of Hong Kong horror and Kung Fu epics by The Shaw team. 
Available for rent on Netflix.

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