Straight Into the… – Jaws of Satan (1981)

The Lord might work in mysterious ways, but so too does Satan as he sends a cobra among other types of snakes to do some good old-fashioned killing. The one thing that is never made clear in this film though is whether the snake is Satan himself or simply sent by Satan to gather the rest of his minions to rain down terror upon a small town. That is simply the beginning of what ends up being a minor identity crisis for the film as it almost seems to have two storylines going on at once, yet both involving the snakes in question. Is it a man versus nature picture or a man versus a higher power type of movie? While it does seem a little muddled, there is no reason why it cannot be both for as far as the townspeople know, they are just snakes and as for the priest in the film, he believes it to be Satan.

It is not so much the story though, that keeps the film from being all it could be, but the cheese present throughout. Sure, they go hand in hand, but if the script had been just a little better, this film might have turned out completely different. One could easily picture watching this film on a Sunday night as a movie of the week – one of those low budget affairs that might have starred Andy Griffith or some other big name of the time. Despite any weaknesses present, it still managed to keep one entertained, especially when it pertained to Father Tom Farrow as played by Fritz Weaver. He begins as a man without faith to a man who finds it in the face of the greatest evil the world has ever conjured up. A snake it might be in form, but Father Farrow knows it for what it is and he means to free his town and save his people from the Lord of Darkness no matter the cost. It is by far, the more interesting plot of the story, more so than that of Gretchen Corbett and Jon Korkes going around and hunting the snakes down.

Jaws of Satan or King Cobra as it was later renamed, is a decent film. It will never be one that is remembered for anything other than being Christina Applegate’s first motion picture, but if given a chance, it provides some easy fodder to pass the time on a lazy afternoon.

2.5 out of 5

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