JAWS OF SATAN aka KING COBRA (1981) Reviews and overview

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‘Something you wouldn’t dare to imagine is alive!’

Jaws of Satan – originally titled King Cobra – is a 1981 American horror film directed by Bob Claver from a screenplay by James Callaway and Gerry Holland. It was photographed by Dean Cundey (Halloween; The Fog; Psycho II). The movie stars Fritz Weaver, Gretchen Corbett and Jon Kork.


A preacher whose ancestors were cursed by Druids battles Satan, who has taken the form of a huge snake…


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“See, THIS is how you work a motive into a horror movie – you use a creature that already has occult related significance (the serpent!), and chalk it up to Satan. Not a silly revenge mission like in Jaws 4. Also, the priest has lost his faith, making this the rare Jaws/Exorcist ripoff hybrid.” Horror Movie a Day

“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.” The Telltale Mind


“As dumb as everything is throughout the course of the movie (the list of offences goes on and on) it’s toward the end when we really fall into an almost abstract experience with weird shoehorned dubbing, people appearing in two places at once or out of nowhere and a climax that plays out like a battle between man and mop handle.” Kindertrauma

“Once it hits its stride, it proves to be well paced and the payoff, with the big finish going into some unexpected directions, definitely make this worth checking out. There’s a certain amount of camp value to some of the scenes involving some rather hokey effects work but the movie manages to conjure up a fair bit of atmosphere in a few spots.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

“Jaws of Satan is at times a risibly awful motion picture, but it deserves a few bonus points for being one of the oddest mash ups in horror cinema history, with elements drawn from entries as disparate as Jaws (it’s no mere coincidence that this film’s title shares its first word with the Spielberg outing) and The Exorcist (and, no, that isn’t a typo).” Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com


“As a bad movie, it’s simply bad in a dull way: none of the performances are particularly noteworthy (save for an early appearance by a young Christina Applegate), nor is the film particularly exciting in a trashy manner. Unlike many of the films in Jaws’s wake, this one doesn’t lean on an abundance of schlock, which would be an admirable approach if it had much else going for it.” Oh, the Horror!

“The script deals in a great many cliches. There is the tedium inducing post-Jaws cliche of the mayor who refuses to do anything about the menace for reasons of the town’s commercial interests. Although Jaws of Satan must hold the lamest excuse ever offered up in one of these characterisations – the mayor doesn’t want to endanger the opening of the town’s new dog track!” Richard Scheib, Moria


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“Picture a snake. It’s about to bite some guy. Then it bites him, and the guy falls down. Repeat that image about 13 times, and then you too can write a review for this movie. It’s obvious the producers here were shooting for the nature run-amok theme so prevalent in classics like GrizzlyPiranha and Alligator. But for a movie like this, simple animal homicides aren’t enough. These snakes are governed by Satan himself! How’s that for high-concept moviemaking?” Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com

“Terrible killer snake movie … awful Neanderthal special effects … a wretched wreck filmed in Alabama.” John Stanley, Creature Features

Main cast and characters:

  • Fritz Weaver … Father Tom Farrow – Nightkill; Creepshow; Friday’s Curse
  • Gretchen Corbett … Doctor Maggie Sheridan – Let’s Scare Jessica to Death
  • Jon Korkes … Doctor Paul Hendricks
  • Norman Lloyd … The Monsignor – The Omen (1995)
  • Diana Douglas … Evelyn Downs
  • Bob Hannah … Matt Perry
  • Nancy Priddy … Elizabeth Perry
  • Christina Applegate … Kim Perry
  • John McCurry … Sheriff George Tatum
  • Jack Gordan … Mayor Grady Thorpe
  • Allene Simmons … Nurse Peggy



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Filming locations:

  • Bama Rock Gardens, Vance, Alabama, USA
  • DeSoto Caverns, Childersburg, Alabama, USA
  • Greenetrack, Eutaw, Alabama, USA

Image credits: The Telltale Mind

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