Spasms

Discussion in 'General' started by rhett, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    Has anyone seen this snakesploitation movie? Spasms is a little cheapie Canadian film starring Oliver Reed and Peter Fonda. Reed must have been on a snake infatuation, as he made this movie back to back with Venom. Reed chews the scenery (perhaps that is why he looks a good 20 pounds overweight in the film) and gives the film way more class than it deserves. To make scenes where you are telepathically linked to a serpent seem believable takes a great knowledge of your craft, that's for sure! Fonda is slumming in the role, and really isn't in the film for more than 8 minutes or so. Definitely just a paycheck for Captain America.

    For a movie all about a snake, I thought it was funny that you hardly ever see it. Instead of showing the snake, almost all the murders are done in a first person pespective (a la Jaws), except this time with a blue tint. Some of them are actually pretty well done. When they do show the snake (the first time is briefly at 45 minutes) it does look very cool, thanks to makeup by Dick Smith. Some of the effects are really grotesque and reminded me a lot of The Beast Within with all the facial bloating. The snake money shot at the end is pretty good too, although the print I watched was so dark it was tough to see it well.

    The movie does a good job at setting up the link between Reed and the snake, but completely blows it with the ending. Lore has it that the production ran out of money, so the ending was instead just padded with a bunch of flashbacks. The movie does not wrap up any of the stories it develops. It is instead simply content with having the film end as soon as the snake dies. But even that is not even done with any buildup at all.

    Still, a fun snake flick, elevated thanks to Oliver Reed giving it is all. Who else wants to show a little Spasms love? And where is the DVD?
     
  2. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Oh yeah! I remember renting this ages ago. Can't find it to rent anymore. Would love to see a DVD release also.
     
  3. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    Some make up work on that film scared the shit out of me, just by the photos on the back of the cover! I was, I dunno, 10 or something like that...
    Rented the movie two years after. The first time I FF the film to the snake-bite-scenes. Saw it again recently and thought it was quite engaging. And Oliver Reed is God.
     
  4. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    A film by William Fruet, who hails from Lethbridge, Alberta. The man also responsible for 'Funeral Home' (1980), and the politically-charged 'Death Weekend' (1976).
     
  5. lakini71

    lakini71 New Member

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    Don't forget his classic, "Killer Party"!
     
  6. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    "Killer Party"? I don't know that one...
     
  7. stone88

    stone88 Guest

    I remember this one, but it didn't do much for me.

    I liked Venom alot better. At least the snake was a real black mamba, plus the scene with Susan George getting attacked was very disturbing.
     
  8. shift

    shift Hot as shit!

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  9. bigwes15

    bigwes15 Active Member

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    I have the vhs of this and still pull it out every once in a while for a viewing. Great flick, and those bladder effects are fantastic. I'd love to see an SE of this on dvd too!
     
  10. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    This was featured in the very first Fangoria I ever bought. It was titled Death Bite then. It seems it took a few years to release this. Still, the snake is one of the best on film. Certainly light years better than Anaconda. The effects are really good and the "snake point of view" is still fun to see.
    I'm surprised this didn't get a wider release - it would have made some money.
     
  11. Numania

    Numania Guest

    Shit, Ollie Reed! This I have to see. I love that guy.
     
  12. eric_angelus

    eric_angelus Testacular

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    Spasms is alot of fun...it used to run (in heavily edited form) on the CBS late movie back in the mid 80's. I picked up a cheap VHS about a year ago, and still enjoyed it despite the lack of completion funds.
     
  13. I rented this a long time ago from a long since defunct video store. Great flick and it needs a dvd release pronto!!
     
  14. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    wow, what a bizarre filmwatching experience this was. clearly its got ambition. two big stars (fonda's in it for more than 8 minutes, although not by much), several different locations (love all the shots where the CN tower is conspicuous in the background, despite this taking place in "San Diego"), and some really great snake and infection effects. but then its missing several key scenes at the end, and all the subplots (and there are more than a few) are completely abandoned! just bizarre.

    according to the opening credits, its based on a book? that would be interesting. i'd like to know how the story was supposed to be resolved, and clearly the whole "snake telepathy" thing was meant to be fleshed out a LOT more than it was in the movie (which was not at all).

    loved the shower/hallway attack, definite high point in the movie!

    oh, and by the way, the whole movie (vhs rip) is available on youtube (which is how i watched it)...
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  15. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Rented it on tape last week, actually. Liked it quite a bit but the ending was a bit abrupt. Bit of a let down how easy it was to kill the snake. but yeah, the shower/hallway attack was the definite highlight. :)
     
  16. jscott

    jscott Guided By Voices

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    Is this the flick that George A. Romero did some reshoots on? Seem to remember reading he did some insert gore shots for it to punch it up a bit, but I could be mistaking this with another film.
     
  17. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    if so, that would be interesting. but im not sure how they could've been in a situation where they had no money to actually film a conclusion to the film, but could afford to pay for effects reshoots?
     
  18. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Spasms was so much more fun than Venom! I had a lot of fun with it. I had low expectations for the quality of Code Red's blu-ray, but the picture quality is outstanding. Even the 10 minute standard definition insert looks better than you'd expect. Love that they used the Warner logo as well.

    Also loved that Oliver Reed's house in the film is the same house from Prom Night IV and the motel from In The Mouth Of Madness.

    Was apprehensive to buy this with such a steep asking price, but I'm really glad I did. Fun movie!
     
  19. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    When I went to go see THE RELIC at the cinema in 1996, I got the biggest deja vu at the beginning. That film cribs a lot from SPASMS's opening sequence.
     

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