‘… the hiss of death!’
The Killer Snakes is a 1974 Hong Kong horror film directed by Kwei Chih-Hung from a screenplay by Ni Kuang (Human Lanterns). The Shaw Brothers production stars Kam Kwok-Leung, Maggie Lee, Chan Chun, Got Dik-Wa and Chow Gat.
Downtrodden Hong Kong slum-dweller Zhihong (Kam Kwok-leung) nurses a series of injured snakes back to health and use his almost psychic connection with them to take revenge against those who have wronged him, with disastrous consequences…
“Kuei Chi-hung’s shameless thriller mixes social commentary (the squalid conditions which breed discontent and rebellion) with lashings of crowd-pleasing sex and violence, played without irony or humor. Kam’s hapless protagonist – trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness which must have resonated deeply with viewers during the film’s original theatrical run – staggers from one disaster to another…” Hong Kong Movie Database
“If copious amounts of bondage-themed nudity stirs your loins, a few on-screen killings of animals don’t phase you they way they used to, and low-budget latex gore puts a smile on your face, then Kwei Chih-Hung as just what you are looking for. And if you are looking for a brilliant presentation of this vile exploitation slice of celluloid, then Image Entertainment has what you’re craving.” Geeks of Doom
‘The ‘Willard-ness’ gets even more apparent as the revenge comes a-calling. His springing snakes take out a couple men, but the revenge on the one prostitute is more personal. Showing that shibari is popular in China, he ties the lady up whilst she is naked and tortures her with snakes. The climax – an ironic choice of words – involves one of the snakes crawling inside of her and…’ Mondo Bizarro
‘This is ultimately Kuei Chi-Hung’s show. His pacing and direction is both taut and effective. The film has a very claustrophobic feeling to it, filmed mostly in a web of shadows that do a good job of punctuating the cramped urban environments. A scene where the innocent Xiujuan, forced into the ranks of prostitution, is savagely stripped of her virginity is filmed entirely in extreme close up, forcing the viewer to experience the senseless and carnal act firsthand.’ Silver Emulsion
Image thanks: Critical Condition