‘The first bite is the deepest!’
Curse II: The Bite is a 1989 Italian/Japanese/American horror film directed by Federico Prosperi [as Fred Godwin] (producer of Wild Beasts) from a screenplay co-written with Susan Zelouf (actress in Beyond the Door III). Ovidio G. Assonitis (Piranha II: The Spawning; Tentacles; The Visitor) was a co-executive producer.
Originally titled The Bite and released in some territories – such as the UK – with this title, the film was marketed in the United States as a tie-in with the otherwise unconnected 1987 H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, The Curse.
Two more unconnected straight-to-video ‘sequels’ followed, although they were also original productions given a retitling: Curse III: Blood Sacrifice (aka Panga, 1991) and Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice (aka Catacombs, 1993).
The movie stars Jill Schoelen (Popcorn; Cutting Class; The Stepfather), J. Eddie Peck, Jamie Farr (best known as cross-dressing Corporal Klinger in TV series MAS*H but also in genre entries Kolchak: The Night Stalker; Arnold; The New Scooby-Doo Movies), Savina Gersak (Sonny Boy), Marianne Muellerleile, Al Fann, Sydney Lassick (The Unseen; Alligator; Carrie), Terrence Evans, Sandra Sexton, Bruce Marchiano, Shiri Appleby, Bo Svenson (Sweet 16; Snowbeast), José García, Tiny Wells, Sommer Betsworth.
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After a young man is bitten on the hand by a radioactive snake, his hand changes into a lethal snake head, which attacks everyone he comes into contact with. Also, his body becomes filled with snakes. Now, he must prevent himself from hurting others…
“The snake-barfing climax is worth the price of admission on its own. And, unlike The Curse (not to mention most late ‘80s/early ‘90s Italian horror movies), The Bite isn’t boring between its icky moments. The two leads are a likable couple that are easy to root for (right up to their Fly-inspired finale), the supporting cast is appropriately quirky, and the narrative moves quickly (despite some stiff transitions).” DVD Active
“There’s an entire road full of snakes that Clark and Lisa have to drive over. Then there’s all the snakes that Clark starts puking out of his transformed mouth at the end of the movie. There’s even plenty of snake POV shots to amp up the snakey suspense! And the special effects are all pre-CGI so there’s lots of appropriately gooey props to marvel at.” Monster Hunter
“This retitled feature has no relation to The Curse but is much better. It’s a surprising horror/road movie set in New Mexico. Some Asian horror ideas are used, and Screaming Mad George provided the FX.” Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide
“Pros: Good performances, better than you’d expect from this type of film. Some nice shots of the Arizona landscape. Above-average special effects. An excellent score. Moves at a good steady pace. Some good gore gags. An awesome, exciting, and gruesome final 10 minutes. Cons: Apart from a few good shots the direction is pretty bland.” S.G.T King
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