Dir: Bernard L. Kowalski
Star: Strother Martin, Dirk Benedict, Heather Menzies, Richard B. Shull

David (Benedict) has a new job, research assistant to Dr. Stoner (Martin) and his daughter (Menzies) in their remote lab. There, they extract venom from snakes and amuse the locals with Sunday demonstrations of handling a massive King Cobra. [How the long winter nights must just fly past...] However, Stoner has other plans for David: under the guise of an inoculation, he intends to turn his assistant into a snake with the intelligence of a man. The point of this largely escapes me, since it's not as if he could still drive, post blog entries or compose a symphony, but we are talking about a clearly mad scientist, so I guess logic is not his strong suit. This is also shown by the fact he keeps a mongoose next to his snakes, which even I - hardly a herpetological expert - suspect is like making David Duke go live in Compton.

The problem is, very little actually happens. Sure, David slowly turns snakey, but until the last ten minutes, this results in a slight green-tinged colour to his skin, and not much else. There's a slightly interesting subplot involving the previous assistant (and failed experiment), now working as a carny freak - I thought he might come back to take revenge on his creator, but no such luck. Even the doctor's use of his snakes, as a tool of vengeance on the guy who kills one, is pretty lame, though the python chewing down on a guy's boot is kinda cool. However, the general trend is downhill, and once the premise has been established, the film has little more to offer - in particular, an ending which is so abrupt, I fear they ran out of film mid-scene. Insert your own adjective to describe the film, beginning with seven S's, here: _______

August 2006

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