As the most unenthusiastic priest south of the Mason-Dixon line, Fritz Weaver (looking slightly less worn than usual) and a few of his friends are targeted by snakes out to fulfill a curse set upon his Druidic family line in retaliation for an ancestor's misdeeds. This clumsy cleric is joined by a doctor (Gretchen Corbett, the haunted mute of Let's Scare Jessica to Death) and a herpetologist (Jon Korkes), both of whom are undermined by the local mayor (Jack Gordon), who's eager to quell any upset that might hinder the opening of a dog track. The small town's marginally competent sheriff (John McCurry) deputizes Korkes and a number of other locals to hunt down the snakes, unaware that the snakes have been deputized by the Prince of Darkness!
Even though it's very nicely lensed by famous cinematographer Dean Cundey, Jaws of Satan's silly scenario isn't made any more plausible by its lousy special effects or Bob Claver's clumsy direction. There is something to be said of Ron Wild's gruesome makeup effects, which are far more effective than anything else herein.
As usual, Weaver embodies the quintessence of mediocrity: competent, but so bland that his delivery is only credible because it's so mundane. The same could be said for the rest of the cast. Ten-year-old Christina Applegate is instantly recognizable, and as a tremendous screamer, probably the only cast member to leave an impression.
Tasteless gruel like this killed the mainstream appeal of drive-ins and grindhouses, though not all at once. Only a few unintentionally amusing scenes and the appearance of some genre notables make it worth watching.
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About the reviewer
Robert Buchanan (rbuchanan)
I'm a bibliophile, ailurophile, inveterate aggregator, dedicated middlebrow and anastrophizing syntax addict. My personality type is that of superlative INTJ.
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