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Silent Predators (1999)

Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | TV Movie 13 June 1999
A small town deals with an invasion of rattlesnakes.

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(teleplay), (teleplay) (as William Gilmore) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vic Rondelli
...
Mandy Stratford
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Mayor Parker
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Vera Conrad
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George Mitchell
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Dr. Matthew Watkins
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Max Farrington
...
Ken
David Webb ...
Sheriff Howell
Carolyn Bock ...
...
Karen
Sandra Bell ...
Laura Holden
Kirsty Boden ...
Tammy Holden
Darce Florio ...
Anita's Friend
...
Stranded Motorist
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Storyline

In 1979, a delivery truck makes its way up a lonely southern California highway in a storm, bound for the San Diego Zoo with a deadly tropical rattlesnake as cargo. When the truck suffers a blowout, the driver loses control and hits a tree, shattering the snake's aquarium in the back and the window separating the snake from the driver. The snake slithers into the front of the truck, kills the driver with its bite and then moves off into the forest. Flash forward to 1999. The small southern California town of San Vicente has grown from 6,000 to 30,000, and the rattler, which escaped nearby years ago, has bred. There are now 25,000 of these hybrid rattlesnakes, and they are slowly making their way downhill into the town, attracted by the movement of the blasting as the town paves its way toward progress. Progress, in this case, brings terror, in this tale originally penned by John Carpenter. Written by DANIEL

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The hunt is on. You're the Prey.


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

13 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Angriff der Klapperschlangen  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was based on "Fangs", a script John Carpenter did back in the 1970s when he wrote as a gun for hire. In the original, according to Carpenter himself, there were scares and jumps all over the place. One scene included a man who hears a rattle, thinks it's his infant, and finds a rattlesnake in the crib. See more »

Goofs

After the flower buying scene, the woman driving her minivan home can be seen obviously driving the wrong way down a one way street. She also appears to be in the turn lane for the street. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not so silent predators
2 May 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

In 1979, a rare breed of rattle snake – naturally, a more ferocious variety than the typical species – is set loose after the truck carrying it overturns. After fatally striking both the occupants of the crash, it then descends on a disused mine shaft where it breeds with regular rattlesnakes, and 20 years later the effects of this lethal concoction are awoken by a housing development. Harry Hamlin is the new fire chief whose first day on the job sees him dealing with a fatal snake bite, after a pair of juveniles frolicking in a thicket stumble on a specimen. From there, matters deteriorate as locals are overcome by a plethora of the new breed, the venom from which is more deadly than any known to man, and predictably, for which no serum currently exists. A herpetologist is enlisted but with the local economy's purse strings being controlled by greedy developer (Scalia), action is far from swift or decisive. So, inevitably, several bystanders quickly become victims until Scalia decides to take matters into his own hands, with disastrous results.

Not bad for a tele-movie, with capable performances and well conceived sub plots. McCormack as the local snake enthusiast comes off best, in spite of her whacky idea to address the problem by introducing more snakes, while Scalia plays a remarkably restrained villain, whose worst trait is being unethical moreover than exhibiting any overtly sinister behaviour. The blossoming romance between Hamlin and Sturges offers gentle respite in the film's troughs, and generally speaking, the show moves along with reasonable momentum and pace. While the special effects aren't all that special, director Nosseck still manages to build the suspense and an effective balance between storyline and detail. Perhaps the only real faux pas is the film's title – unless fitted with a silencer, one would assume that rattlesnakes indeed rattle, and would therefore only be silent to the hearing impaired.

A sharp eye for detail will reveal that the location is clearly not the USA in which the picture is set, but actually Queensland, Australia, as such the peripheral cast will be familiar to Australian audiences with familiar faces in bit parts and some supporting roles. Not movie of the week material, but competent within in its own limitations and definitely worth a look for those who don't suffer from snake phobia.


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