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Sssssss (1973) Poster

(1973)

Trivia

All the poisonous snakes featured were authentic and the cast actually did have to interact with them for filming. Only in the shot where Strother Martin grabs the King Cobra's head during the show was a puppet snake used.
For the scene where Dr. Stoner first injects David, Strother Martin actually makes a real hypodermic puncture on Dirk Benedict's arm with the needle.
The poisonous snakes were not defanged during production. Five King Cobras were imported from Thailand for this feature, ranging from 10-15 feet in length. They had been recently caught in the wild and were in good health with full venom capabilities. The "Snake Park" milking scenes were real and meant to mimic what Bill Haast did at his Serpentarium in Florida daily. About one ounce of venom was collected during each take, with no harm to the snakes. A different cobra was used for each take. The filming of this took most of a day, as the cobras spent most of their time trying to escape the fenced enclosure rather than raising up in the traditional cobra attack mode.
This film was released by Universal as a double feature with The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973), making the program one of the last double bills released by the studio.
During the skinny-dipping scenes, the producers superimposed foliage over the footage to obscure the "naughty bits" of Heather Menzies-Urich and Dirk Benedict, most likely to achieve a PG rating as opposed to an R rating.
The house used as Dr. Stoner's (Strother Martin) place is the same house used as the Garth ranch house in The Virginian (1962).
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For his transformation into a snake Dirk spent up to seven hours in makeup and in the final stages of the transformation he had to be carried to the set on a stretcher.
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The film's title in Spain was "Ssssilbido de muerte", which translates to "Hiss of Death" in English.
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Film debut of Reb Brown.
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The library was a real herpetological library
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The python used in the film was imported from Singapore.
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Amongst the 100 snakes used were Rattlesnakes, Boa Constrictor, Pythons, King Cobra, Blue Racers,, Hognosed snakes, and Two Headed Florida Pine Snakes.
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The first Zanuck-Brown production.
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In an amusing example of how times change, the gas station attendant yells at David for pumping his own gas.
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There are seven s's in the title.
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Reb Brown's character in this was named Steve. He played Steve Rogers/Captain America in the 1979 TV-Movie "Captain America."
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