In 1890 England a doctor, in order to cure his wife's "sick mind", injects her with snake venom. She later gives birth to a daughter the villagers begin to call "The Devil's Baby". They ...
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In 1890 England a doctor, in order to cure his wife's "sick mind", injects her with snake venom. She later gives birth to a daughter the villagers begin to call "The Devil's Baby". They soon burn the family's house down. Years later a Scotland Yard detective is sent to the village to investigate a rash of deaths that are caused by snakebite. Written by
It's obvious that The Snake Woman was made on a shoestring budget: the production values are very low, the special effects nonexistent and the film only runs for little over an hour, but in spite of that; Sidney J. Furie's film is at least an interesting example of early sixties horror. The film proclaims itself to be based on a legend and is set somewhere out in the English countryside. The plot is rather ridiculous and unlike other horror films based on similar subjects; this one doesn't quite have enough to distract from that fact. The film opens by introducing us to a scientist and his wife. It transpires that the wife has been having some mental health problems; and her husband has been treating her using snake venom. The wife also just happens to be pregnant, and naturally the snake venom treatment has an effect on the newborn child. A local midwife/witch labels it 'evil' and pretty soon the villagers are trying to burn down the couple's house...but not before they manage to get the child to safety. We pick up the story some years later; and some of the villagers have been dying in snake related incidents.
The biggest problem with this film is undoubtedly the script, which at times is just mind-bogglingly stupid. Some of the lines of dialogue are absolutely shocking and many of the characters would be strong contenders for the 'most stupid character of all time' award. It takes many of them an eternity to work out the most obvious of conundrums and it makes the plot a bit harder to swallow. The film is very short, running at just over an hour...and to be honest this is probably a good thing as I can imagine it would become tiresome if it went on for much longer. The film is without special effects for most of that duration and relies mainly on the story to pull it through. It does work fairly well; we don't really get that much information on anything (a shame, since a bit of back-story could have been really interesting!), but there's a few good ideas on display. Overall, I wouldn't really recommend that anyone goes out of their way to track this little film down - it is interesting in it's own right but in all honesty there's plenty of better examples of this sort of thing out there.
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