When Your Body Betrays You – Curse II: The Bite (1989)

There is nothing worse than being bitten by a snake and then seeing your left arm transform into one. It grows a mind of its own, refuses to listen and starts killing people which is simply inconvenient at best. Now instead of eating for one, meals are for two and the snake-arm is never satisfied. Even worse, it makes making love extremely hard, if not impossible, again the whole killing thing coming into play. Such are only a few of the conundrums that J. Eddie Peck’s character Clark has to face in Curse II: The Bite.

Though the title might lead one to believe that Curse II is a sequel, it merely falls under the overall banner of The Curse and has nothing whatsoever to do with the first film. Whereas the previous movie was about alien goo that transformed people into crazy monsters, this one only featured a man’s appendage transforming into a snake, just not by otherworldly means. The story is a bit far-fetched of course, but not any more so than it is seeing a man turn into a wolf or any other animal as many horror films tend to do. There are a couple of moments that will make a person jump, but as far as scares go, there are very few, the picture being just a little too cheesy. One is more liable to feel disgust or revulsion by what is perpetrated on screen and though the special effects are not as strong as they could be, they are good enough to do the job they were meant to.

As it stands, no matter how ridiculous it gets, the movie holds up well, though when it starts with the very tired cliché of the couple heading off into the middle of nowhere against all advice to shave a little time off of their trip, it is a clear sign that any hope of originality has gone out the window. From there, it is essentially a paint by numbers affair, aside from the snake-arm, but the acting by Peck and Jill Schoelen who plays his wife Lisa is good enough that no matter how familiar it seems, it still draws the attention of the audience.

Come the end of the film, it finishes on a note that brooks no plans for a sequel, but does leave a few unanswered questions. Where did the super-snake with the transformative powers come from? As evidenced by the man and his snake-dog out in the desert, there is more than just one of the creatures. It is quite doubtful that it was ever addressed in any other movie, so it ends up creating a bit of a mystery, not to mention leaving the viewer with something to think about, albeit briefly. Such as it is, Curse II is a decent picture when all is said and done, not as good as the first, but it does manage to stand on its own and keep a person entertained.

3 out of 5

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