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Rattlers (1976) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
23 April 1976 (USA) See more »
What a horrible way to die! See more »
A herpetologist investigating a series of fatal rattlesnake attacks discovers that the creatures have been infected by a mysterious nerve gas disposed of in the desert by the military. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Rattle and ho-hum See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order)
Sam Chew Jr. ... Dr. Tom Parkinson (as Sam Chew)
Elisabeth Chauvet ... Ann Bradley

Dan Priest ... Colonel
Ronald Gold ... Captain Delaney (as Ron Gold)
Al Dunlap ... General
Dan Balentine ... Pilot
Gary Van Ormand ... Woodley (as Gary Van Orman)

Darwin Joston ... Palmer (as Darwin Jostin)
Cary J. Pitts ... Sergeant (as Cary Pitts)
Eric Lawson ... Guard
Tony Ballen ... Sheriff Gates
Richard Lockmiller ... Deputy
Jo Jordan ... Mother
Scott McCartor ... Rick (as Scott McCarter)
Tip McClure ... Plumber (as Tipp McClure)
Celia Milius ... Woman in Bathtub (as Celia Kaye)
Travis Gold ... Timmy
Alan Decker ... Doug
Bob Merchon ... Howard
Ancel Cook ... Sam, the Janitor
Matt Knox ... Pilot (as Matthew Knox)
John Landon ... Hines
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Directed by
John McCauley 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jerry Golding 
John McCauley 

Produced by
Irv Goodnoff .... associate producer
John McCauley .... producer
Harry H. Novak .... executive producer
Karl Tunberg .... associate producer
Original Music by
Miles Goodman 
Cinematography by
Richard Gibb 
Irv Goodnoff  (as Irvin Goodnoff)
Film Editing by
Sandy Glieberman 
Art Direction by
John Landon 
Makeup Department
John Landon .... makeup artist
Marjorie Montgomery .... makeup artist
Production Management
Karl Tunberg .... production manager
Sound Department
Sandy Glieberman .... sound effects editor
Mary McGlone .... assistant sound editor
Mary McGlone .... sound effects editor
Lars Nelson .... boom operator
Leslie Shatz .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Allan Goodnoff .... special effects (as Alan Goodnoff)
Harry Woolman .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeff E. Blosser .... gaffer (as Jeff Blosser)
Marty W. Eichmann .... key grip (as Marty Eichmann)
Michael Jablow .... assistant camera
Tom Talty .... best boy
Other crew
Ray Folsom .... snake handler
Ray Folsom .... technical advisor
Jerry Golding .... script supervisor
Betty Kelly .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
82 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Italy:VM18 (DVD) | Norway:16 (Video rating) | USA:PG

Did You Know?

Revealing mistakes: In some shots of Tom and the helicopter pilot flying through the desert you can tell that they are actually on the ground and that the helicopter's blades are not turning by the reflection in their sunglasses.See more »
Movie Connections:


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Rattle and ho-hum, 29 April 2011
Author: Chris. from Australia

When a couple of kids vacationing with their family in the desert are discovered deceased without apparent cause, an eminent herpetologist (Chew) is recruited to assist baffled police. Assigned a freelance photographer (Chauvet) to document evidence, covert enquiries lead the pair to discover that a secret military testing site might be responsible for the apparent aggressiveness of the local rattlesnake population. Sounds more exciting than it is, unfortunately.

Talky, clichéd time-filler at best, with little in the way of suspense or action; "Rattlers" may not rattle any pacemakers for shock value, and at times tends to look more like a glorified reptile lecture, than a motion picture. Sam Chew is tepid as the tertiary scientist reluctantly seconded to the Mojave desert to provide authorities with a professional opinion on the cause of two suspicious deaths. Chew does a realistic job of looking totally ambivalent about his task, whether it's the dialogue or the method he employs that's driving that motivation is unclear. His offhand approach is flawless, and his male chauvinist streak is neatly contrasted by his tenacious and equally independent tent buddy (Chauvet) who adds some dimension to the acting.

Little attempt is made to have the rattlesnakes realistically interact with the cast, either through props or stunts, and thus, the audience is treated to limited action, totally bereft of thrills or suspense. Even the scene in which Kaye is bathing, while a rogue rattlesnake stalks her, affects no suspense or shock value, despite the elaborate set-up and staging. But the most peculiar feature of the film, is the scene in which, amid all the simmering tension, the two leads digress to Las Vega$ for a night of fun and frivolity on the roulette tables. Like an intermission, no segway or explanation – just a random sojourn to the casino capital for a brief repose, and then it's back to the hard core snake facts and the job at hand.

Earnest in its attempt, there are some dedicated performances in the supporting ranks (Gold, Jostin and a brief but 'memorable' appearance by Kaye who was once a Hollywood most-promising-newcomer in the mid sixties) but this is a snake-movie, not a political thriller, and more action was desperately needed to combat the often soporific and somnolent narrative.

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