Snake People (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

Snake People (1968)

Snake People





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Movie Info

The inhabitants of a small, remote island have been practicing voodoo rites and worshipping an evil priest named Damballah for years, but the local law officials generally turn a blind eye to this death cult's bizarre activities. Captain Labesch (Rafael Bertrand) arrives from the mainland, determined to crack down on the island's lawlessness and clean up the ineffectual, hard-drinking police force. He appeals for assistance from wealthy plantation tycoon Carl Van Molder (Boris Karloff), who owns nearly half of the island and wields a great deal of influence over the population. Van Molder has made the study of parapsychology his life's work and believes in the secret powers of the mind. He warns Labesch not to interfere with this forgotten island's ancient ways. Also visiting is Van Molder's niece, Annabella (Julissa), a temperance crusader who wants her uncle to help fund the International Anti-Saloon League. She falls in love with handsome police lieutenant Andrew Wilhelm (Carlos East), despite his fondness for rum. Meanwhile, beautiful native girls are being transformed into zombies, and a sinister snake dancer named Kalea (Tongolele) leads them to attack and devour any meddling policemen who get too close to their unholy rituals. When Annabella is kidnapped and prepared to be the cult's latest human sacrifice, Labesch and Wilhelm have to infiltrate their ranks to save her, and they finally learn the secret identity of the all-powerful Damballah.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Horror, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By: , , ,
Written By: Jack Hill, Robert Vincent O'Neil, Juan Ibáñez
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 23, 2003

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Boris Karloff
as Carl van Molder / Da...
Julissa Bermudez
as Anabella Vandenberg
Carlos East
as Lt. William
Charles East
as Lt. Andrew Wilhelm
Rafael Bertrand
as Capt. Laresh
Judy Carmichael
as Mary Ann Vanderberg
La Tongolele
as Bondemo
as Dwarf
Ralph Bertrand
as Capt. Pierre Labesch
as Annabella
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Critic Reviews for Snake People

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Audience Reviews for Snake People

Poorly filmed, poorly written and poorly directed. Oh, and poorly acted. There is just not anything good I can say about this movie. This is a zombie movie with some cannibalism thrown in just because they could I guess. Didn't move the flimsy story along; maybe they needed some (poorly done) gore. My daughter caught part of it and laughed at the absurdity of it all.


Echoing narration informs us about the "diabolical" new threat of voodoo on the island of "Korbai" near Haiti and a laughing, sneering midget in sunglasses cuts the head off a (real) chicken. Then Anabella (played by Julissa), a member of the International Anti-Saloon League informs some soldiers that, "Modern science has proven that alcohol is responsible for 99.2% of all the worlds sins!" She arrives on the island with others to visit her uncle Carl von Molder (Boris Karloff or his masked double).

Meanwhile, blue-faced zombies are overrunning the island. Voodoo cultists kill soldiers with a blowgun, strangulation and machete and regularly resurrect the dead with the help of the dwarf (who whips them). Rabid zombie women eat a man and one soldier adopts one as his girlfriend to scratch his back and fan him. ("Imagine a beautiful woman that can't talk. Every man's dream!") The niece has an extremely bizarre dream of her evil double suggestively sucking on a (real, live) snake before kissing her (?)

Little of this movie makes sense and the ending stinks, but it has some weird, senseless stuff to recommend. It's one of four much-hated movies Karloff did in 1968 before his death, constituting his final film work.

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