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Calamity of Snakes

Hong Kong / Taiwan 1982
produced by
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)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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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 side ...


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.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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Ryan Hunter and
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out now on DVD