Frederico Prosperi, 1989
Starring: Jill Schoelen, J. Eddie Peck, Jamie Farr, Savina Gersak
Akin to such cinema classics as Tremors, Jaws 3 and Day of the Animals, Curse II: The Bite follows in a great tradition of ridiculous animal-attack movies. If you like campy, absurd excuses for dumb characters to get mutilated and eviscerated by animals that are somehow wrong in the eyes of God and/or nature, then you need to acquire a copy of The Bite ASAP. I know I said I that for animals attack month I wouldn't review movies that involved human-animal hybrids or weres, but The Bite is just too delightful to pass up and is not strictly speaking in that subgenre, even though it seems to be for most of the film. I also said (about two hours ago when I reviewed Killer Crocodile) that I wouldn't review another animals attack film to come out of Italy - because they are all so appallingly bad - but technically this is a U.S.-Japanese-Italian co-production. And it was directed by Frederico Prosperi, brother of Franco Prosperi, the genius behind Wild Beasts, the best Italian animals attack film ever made.
Allow me to start off by clarifying that Curse II: The Bite has absolutely nothing to do with The Curse, though they are sort of similarly themed. In The Curse, a meteorite crashes to earth and corrupts the water supply, which in turns affects the crops and animals, turning everyone into crazy zombies. In The Bite, a couple travelling through New Mexico runs afoul of some radioactive snakes. The idiotic male lead, Clark, gets bitten and soon his arm transforms into an evil snake. An exciting side effect is a series of Dr. Hyde-like personality changes. For example, he becomes abusive and murderous. Lisa, his girlfriend, soon begins to figure out what is going on. Can she save herself and other innocent people from the killer snakes from Hell? Can she save Clark and find a way to reverse the damage? Probably not.
This movie is more wildly entertaining than it has any right to be, with some imaginative effects and disgusting gore. It also has a touch of the mean-spiritedness that graces so many '70s and early '80s slasher films. The Bite is certainly not for anyone who expects a serious horror film or for anyone who can't suspend their disbelief long enough to get past the concept of radioactive snakes with venom that causes some serious mutations. The characters are vapid and all basically deserve to die, but if you can get to the ending, you're in for a treat. There's some laughable acting, but who doesn't expect that from a film called Curse II: The Bite?
There might not be any motherfucking snakes on any motherfucking planes, but this movie absolutely tops any of the terrible '90s killer snake movies, adding a healthy dose of panache and creativity lacking in its more popular brethren. Anaconda, I am referring to you. Check it out. You can find it on a split DVD with The Curse from MGM.