Stanley (1972)

STANLEY (1972)
Article #306 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 1-15-2002
Posting date: 6-1-2002

An American Indian who love snakes deals harshly with unsavory characters who don’t like American Indians and kill snakes.

Maltin describes the movie as “WILLARD with snakes” and though I usually don’t like to quote other peoples’ reviews, it’s just too apt a description to pass by. For all that, it’s the best movie of William Grefe’s I’ve seen; however, that’s not saying much when you consider the other movies I’ve seen of his are DEATH CURSE OF TARTU and STING OF DEATH. It does manage to be actually quite touching when Stanley (the snake) becomes a father; it’s Chris Robinson’s best moment in the movie. Otherwise, it’s business as usual in the swamps of Florida, with a stupid snake-skin belt entrepeneur (it’s never a good idea to try to make business deals with the sons of people you’ve killed), a bizarre but addled psycho (named Psycho; why didn’t they name the two guys he was with Victim Number One and Victim Number Two?), and an unattractive man who spends a couple of minutes admiring himself in a mirror before the snakes get him; believe me, William Grefe did know how to make you glad to see someone buy it. There’s also three singer/songwriter ditties to enliven the proceedings. Administer therapy immediately.

The hero wears Stanley the rattler around his neck in most of the scenes. This made me wish for an ending that I knew I wasn’t going to get; after killing off all the bad guys, I wondered if our “hero” was going to meet his own fate when he absent-mindedly tried to tie his tie.



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