Calamity of Snakes
Hong Kong / Taiwan 1982
Wang Tsai-Ching for Kee Woo Film
directed by William Chang Kee (= Chang Chi)
starring Hsiang Yun-Peng, Lo Pei-Ying, Wei Ping-Ou, Kao Yuen, Ouyang Sha-Fei, Chou Chung-Lien, Lu Tai-Lan, Wu Yen, Lu Wei, Shen Jen-Chi, Huang Tung-Min, Li Kuan-Chang, Lee Ying
written by Tsai Kuo Jung, Li Kang-Nien, music by Chow Gam-Cheung (= Sherman Chow)
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Real estate tycoon Jiang has built a luxury apartment building complex, and
when close to opening the building - against the wishes of his architect
Xu, who fears a few too many corners have been cut - a nest of snakes is
found next to the place, he uses an excavator to kill them all. After
that, many of the workers on the building are found killed by snakes,
enough for Jiang to be alarmed. Especially that a giant python is among
the snakes doing all the killings doesn't sit well with him, so he hires
super snakecharmer Master Lin to get rid of it - and with his special
skills Master Lin does, if only just.
To open the complex, Jiang has a big party in his own luxury apartment
at the top floor of the main building and invites all the tenants. But
through the place's garage, thousands of snakes, including another giant
python, have made it in as well, and they're quite a bit on the furious
Now first of all, a word of warning is in order: If you're a
snake lover, don't watch this movie, as numerous snakes are killed for
real in this film, some rather violently, and just for shock value. And
even if one has to take into account that it was other times back when and
Calamity of Snakes was far from the only film killing animals for
the sake of "art", this is not a peasant sight. However, the
snake killings go great with the impression of the film as a whole, a very
obvious piece of exploitative animal horror where the plot is little more
than a hanger for cheap shocks, where the comedy to loosen things up a bit
is crude at best, and feeble attempts at social commentary are soon washed
away by snake action. That said, some shots of the snakes - when they're
not killed that is - are pretty impressive and disquieting, but they
hardly give the film any depth.
Now that all said, the animal killings
notwithstanding I liked the film a lot, it's unpretentious and slightly
naive to almost silly animal horror that's at least well-paced and that
nevertheless manages to entertain throughout and should make every vintage
trash lover (like myself) very happy.