The Snake People (1971)

THE SNAKE PEOPLE (1971)
(a.k.a. ISLE OF THE SNAKE PEOPLE)
Article #1284 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-19-2004
Posting Date: 2-16-2005
Directed by Jack Hill and Juan Ibanez
Featuring Boris Karloff, Julissa, Carlos East

A new Captain of the Police arrives on an island and tries to put an end to the voodoo rituals of the natives.

This is one of the four Mexican movies that Boris Karloff did shortly before his death. They have a very poor reputation, but even though I wouldn’t say any of them were good, I don’t think they’re totally worthless. This one actually starts out quite well, with an intriguing opening sequence (though animal lovers may want to steer clear; I think they killed a real chicken for this) and a good exposition sequence to introduce the characters. However, the movie falls into a muddle after this; ideas are introduced and dropped, some scenes exist purely for exploitational purposes (neither the cannibalism subplot nor the lesbian dream sequence are necessary), and as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that a coherent script was never really crafted for this one. The most interesting thing I can find about this one is Karloff’s performance; it isn’t one of his best, but he does give it his all, and despite the fact that he was on his last legs healthwise, it doesn’t show in his performance. Still, this one is for Karloff completists only.

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