Welcome to Horrible Films for Horrible People where apparently I’m the horrible one since I keep on putting myself through these disasters. I questioned my place on this earth due to this film–not in a philosophical way but in a why-am-I-sitting-here-absusing-my-soul kind of way. Today, we are revisiting Spasms. It was directed by William Fruet and originally saw release in 1983. It opens on an island with wild natives with painted faces. They’re singing and dancing around a fire because they are summoning a demon snake that is going to be sent to a university in America to be studied. The scene switches to somewhere in America, where we meet Jason Kincaid. I guess Jason is important because he had a fight with this huge snake and managed to survive. As such, he is now he is telepathically connected to it. Great! So, Jason agrees to help Dr. Tom Brasilia who is a psychology professor at the university. Jason will be involved with the experiments and will tell Dr. Brasilian what he sees and knows about the creature.
The snake is delivered to the university and of course Dr. Brasilian can’t even begin whatever experiment he was going to do because it’s set free by some moron who is a member of a snake worshipping cult. Does that make sense to you? Of course it doesn’t. To avoid spoilers as always, I’m going to just say the snake slithers and or sort of flies around the campus killing people.
The snake runs around, causing chaos and spreading mayhem by bloating up its victims until they eventually explode. I have to admit, that was pretty cool. However, it was a struggle for me to even finish this film. Surprisingly, it has Oliver Reed and Peter Fonda in it, two wonderful actors but even they couldn’t save this drag of story line. The rest of the cast is bad, in fact they are horrible. Especially the random couple in the park who were rolling around in the bushes giggling. Ugh. The entire picture is ridiculously corny and feels much more fake than necessary. I get that it was the 80s but that’s not an excuse for this.
There are a couple of things I liked about the film but they are few and far between. The giant, demon snake that looks like a piece of beef jerky was pretty unique. I was also amused by the fact that the snake has supernatural powers. And aside from its telekinetic prowess, the snake also has the unique ability to make things combust, even people! Whenever the snake bites someone, the victim’s skin starts to bubble, their veins pop, and then they bloat, followed by bleeding and eventual combustion. So, I do have to admit that the gore is pretty terrific. But unfortunately, that’s about the only thing this suck fest has going for it.
This movie makes no sense at all and that’s what makes it so aggravating to sit through. The snake worshipping cult seems like it was just thrown in for no reason other than to explain was the snake is released on the campus. Overall, I absolutely do not recommend Spasms. I will likely never watch it again. If you don’t mind a movie that’s boring but has good death scenes that involve the stretching or exploding of humans, I say give it a go! At least that aspect won’t completely disappoint you.
WICKED RATING: 1.5/10
Director: William Fruet
Writer(s): Don Enright, William Fruet
Stars: Peter Fonda, Oliver Reed
Studio/ Production Co: Hyperion Productions
Length: 90 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Sci-fi, Horror