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Film Review: Curse II: The Bite (1989)

Curse-II-The-Bite-1989-movie-Frederico-Prosperi-(7)

SYNOPSIS:

Young lovers (Jill Schoelen, J. Eddie Peck) go through an old desert test-site full of nuclear-mutated snakes.

REVIEW:

The Curse II: The Bite is a movie that must have seemed like a good idea on paper but on screen it is fairly dull. Most of the movie is watching a young couple drive around and talk about how in love they are. The characters are poorly developed and the story is ludicrous. There are a few gory moments that are interesting to watch but it only happens at the last few minutes of the movie so by then it is too little too late.

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Lisa and Clark are a young couple traveling across the country. They have a few mishaps involving hundreds of snakes on their travels. One snake climbs into their car and bites Clark in the left hand. The snake was apparently radioactive or something because the bite is slowing transforming Clark’s hand into a living snake.

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The acting is so-so at best. Nobody acts as if the situation is real. They simply see a guy with a snakebite acting like a psychopath and figure he is just being a turd and they can shrug it off. At no point is going to the hospital an option until he is forced to go there. By that point he has a living snake on his hand that for some reason goes right for the mouths of his victims.

If there is a redeeming feature to this movie it is that Jamie Farr plays a doctor. At first I was not sure if he would be able to pull off an entertaining role in this movie but sure enough he had a decent amount of charm when he was on-screen. The other character that was trying hard, given the material, was Jill Schoelen as Lisa. She had a much more recognizable role later in her life as the daughter in the movie The Stepfather. She actually tries to make the material work.

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The pacing is unfortunate. It feels like this movie would have been about 30 minutes long if they simply cut out the filler material like driving over hundreds of snakes in the middle of the road. It added nothing, and besides being odd, it really does not create an atmosphere of horror. The puppets do not even seem to be creative. They are lazily flopped about and it makes me wonder why Curtis has not cut off his own evil hand like Ash in Evil Dead II.

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I was not sure if they were attempting to make an environmental message at one point telling the audience straight out that the world is blowing up weapons under ground and dumping things all over the environment. It is such a glancing conversation that they could have discussed their favorite host of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and it would have added as much to the movie. I suppose that they wanted the audience to think that the snakes were somehow mutated by the radiation so their bite can do things that are borderline magic to a person.

Even the music choices are lazy. When about to have a sex scene the young lovers, Lisa and Clark, turn on a radio that plays some soft-core p**no riff that could have taken 4 minutes on a Casio keyboard to make. There is nothing that differentiates this movie from the many others like it. It just feels like a product of its time that was made to be VHS rental fodder.

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The Curse II: The Bite is not scary, it is not entertaining, and it is not funny. At its bare bones it is another movie that tries hard to rip-off the formula that movies like The Wolf Man have perfected. There is nothing clever or overly creative and it comes off as boring with nothing of value. If there were considerable re-writes this movie might have potential but as it is this movie is not anything but a forgettable film.

Curse II (1989) is now available on a dual release bluray per Shout Factory

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