Stanley (1972) Poster

(1972)

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5/10
Snakes in the Everglades
Chase_Witherspoon2 May 2011
Tim (Robinson), a returned service man clearly affected by his experiences in the Vietnam war elects to separate from his American Indian tribe and reside in a remote part of the Florida Everglades along with his slithering companions, Stanley (the snake) and Stanley's partner. Former TV actor Robinson and tough guy Rocco are perhaps the only recognizable faces in this cheap schlock horror, but while the supporting cast might be amateurish, they're committed performances. Avery is fantastically whacky as a pill-popping psychedelic poacher who goes crazy in Robinson's cabin, while buxom blonde Carroll offers mild excitement as Rocco's recalcitrant daughter and part-time rebellious tramp.

Director Grefe remade "Stanley" just four years later as "The Jaws of Death" with Richard Jaeckel in the Chris Robinson role, to cash-in on the success of "Jaws" at the time. Much of the cast and crew from this movie was transported into the remake. But where Jaeckel's character in the subsequent rendition imbued a sense of sympathy from the audience, Robinson's occasionally manic veteran is less likable. When he abducts Rocco's daughter (Carroll) she exposes his exploitative relationship and shambolic conservationist pretense as nothing more than a quirky condition of his mental instability.

Sets and location work is fitting, and there's plenty of eye catching scenery and quirky time pieces of the era that will emote a reminiscent gesture or two. Marcie Knight's washed-out exotic dance routine is a prominent plot diversion depicting the lurid struggles of the exotic cabaret business. Tim lends her snakes to use in her routines (she was a friend of his late father), but the friendship turns sour after he discovers her new "act". The "act" is quite shocking and unexpected and sure to become the immortal moment of this film. Despite some rather heavy handed moments, there is the occasional joke; the scene in which Tim describes the death of Stanley's 'partner' and the 'babies' to a shocked stage manager who thinks he's talking about people, is classic dry humour.

It's patently obvious that several creatures were harmed in the making of this picture, so it might offend.
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5/10
Not a Great Film, But Somehow Mesmerizing
gavin694221 October 2010
Tim Ochopee (Chris Robinson), an embittered Vietnam veteran of Native American descent, retreats from society into the Florida Everglades and becomes inseparable companions with a pet rattlesnake (Stanley)... a pet he teaches to kill on command.

A happy light rock soundtrack about saving trees opens the film, giving it a hippie nature vibe that is hard to reconcile with the actual picture (though, I guess, in some ways it's a pro-snake and anti-hunting film).

At 106 minutes, it runs a bit long, but is oddly enjoyable. That's 106 minutes on the Mill Creek disc. From what I hear, the BCI disc is only 96 minutes and some versions are only 92. I cannot tell you what is cut on each one.

Gloria the dancer (Marcie Knight) says, "any kind of love is better than any kind of hate", echoing the Indian warning that Tim's hatred is a cancer on his soul. I think that must be the theme, though it's really hard to say for sure.

I suppose this film could be scary if you're terrified of snakes, but they aren't really presented in a scary manner. The acting is good, besides over-acting Susie Thomkins (Susan Carroll) ruining an otherwise talented cast. Oh, and the drunk guy in the burlesque house provided the ten seconds of comic relief I needed.

This film isn't terrible. In fact, I found myself staring at the screen quite a bit. I suspect it would be a good flick for a small group of friends and some beers, maybe Milwaukee's Best Ice.
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Another bad killer snake movie
lazarillo9 January 2006
Crap! Another bad killer snake movie. Actually, this movie is pretty much just "Willard" with snakes instead of rats. Chris Robinson plays a Vietnam Vet and a Seminole Indian (neither very convincingly) whose only friends are poisonous snakes. He uses these "friends" to take revenge on greedy developer and snakeskin dealer (Alex Rocco, who appeared in "The Godfather" the same year)who was also conveniently responsible for the death of his father, and on a skanky stripper who bites the heads off of snakes as part of her act (because, of course, THAT'S a real turn-on).

There are several problems with this movie. First, it is somewhat believable that rats might have affection for humans and do their bidding, but it is far less believable that snakes would (and the character here isn't given any special psychic powers over them a la Jennifer Connelly in "Phenomenon"). Second, poisonous snakes aren't very good at attacking people. Even when confronted with a large number of poisonous snakes, all the victims would have to do is run away--it's not like snakes are going to chase you. (The most ridiculous scene has Rocco's character attacked in his swimming pool by dozens of water moccasins). The movie really goes off the rails at the end though when Robinson suddenly falls in love with and kidnaps Rocco's sexy, bare-midriffed blonde daughter. After she spurns him, he tries to get the snakes to bite her, but they refuse, so he reacts in an unintentionally hilarious "Willard"-esque fashion and finally gets his just desserts.

On the plus side this movie was directed by Willam Grefe who would go on to do equally ridiculous but much more entertaining movies like "Impulse" with William Shatner. It's also certainly no worse than many other killer snake movies-"Jennifer, "Rattlers" , "Spasms", "Venom", or more recent CGI crap like "Boa", "Python" and "Anaconda". Maybe filmmakers should just give up on these killer snake movies.
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6/10
Once a staple of commercial TV this film holds up nicely even after over 30 years of repeated viewings
dbborroughs31 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
When broadcast TV stations actually showed movies other than re-runs, infomercials and syndicated TV shows this film always seemed to in on every couple of weeks. the plot has an ex-vet named Tim living out in the Everglades because society doesn't take kindly to his being an Indian. Keeping pretty much to himself he makes fiends with the wildlife, particularly the rattle snakes including one he names Stanley. When he feels pressured he uses his snakes to get revenge on the people he feels have wronged him.

Good thriller isn't really scary. To be certain your feelings toward snakes will determine the amount of squirming you'll do since this film is full of snakes from start to finish. Well acted the film has a nice feeling of believability to it even as it hits all of the right exploitation high notes. Watching the film again for the first time in at least a decade I was shocked at how well the film has stood up. While no classic it does what it does nicely and then gets off the screen.

Definitely recommended. I'm rating it 6 out of 10 because I'm not sure what a fair rating is. My feelings toward the film are higher than that, but I'm not sure its not purely surprise that the film holds up as well as it does.
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Grefe knew how to churn them out
PeterBradford13 December 2009
William Grefe had a knack for turning out low budget yet effective films in the 60s and 70s. STANLEY is one of his more popular releases. The film is very dated (mainly from the guys' clothing), but worth a look. The film is at it's most creepy with scenes of real snakes crawling all over the home of the snake-man. You can imagine what it must have been like to be on the set - Grefe was probably the lone crew man. The film's weakness is in it's running time - more than an hour and forty-five minutes is much too long for this kind of drive-in/exploitation fare. The film would have been more effective if trimmed down to a 90 minute or so running time. Like one character who got bit on the ass, it hurt to sit down that long!
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7/10
Stantley is a Chris Robinson Winner
angelsunchained15 February 2005
I saw this film when it first came out in the early 1970s riding the coat-tails of the highly successful movie, Ben. Filmed in the South Florida Everglades, the film stars two sunshine state film "idols", Chris Robinson and Steve Alaimo. Robinson was best known to die-hard fans for his uncredited role as the "lisp" speaking Melvin in Frank Sinatra's, Lady in Cement. Alaimo known more for his singing career, made a name for himself as the singing drag racer in the Wild Rebels. The two play off each other very well, and for nothing more than a "B" film, it's surprisingly entertaining. Surely not their best acting roles, yet any fans of Robinson or Alaimo, or snakes named Stantley should see this film. Above average entertainment.
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6/10
Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1976
kevinolzak16 January 2010
1971's "Stanley" is one of director Wiiliam Grefe's better known titles, others include "Sting of Death" in 1965, "Death Curse of Tartu" in 1966, "Impulse" in 1973 (a rare starring role for William Shatner), and "Mako: The Jaws of Death" in 1975, all of which were shot on location in Florida. I found myself captivated by the two pop songs on the soundtrack, both written and performed by Jack Vino, and produced by Steve Alaimo, who appears on screen as the villainous henchman Crail (former singer and host of WHERE THE ACTION IS). The opening credits are accompanied by the beautiful "Sparrow," which is briefly reprised during the end credits, while the other tune, "Start a New World," features late in the film, as Tim drives Susie in a boat to his swamp hideaway. Lyrically, both tracks are odes to the environment and they lend a kind of stature to a film populated with unsympathetic characters and a clichéd storyline in which Tim Ochopee (Chris Robinson), a half-breed Vietnam veteran, turns his back on his tribe and the rest of society to live in isolation with a family of rattlesnakes in the Everglades. Shortly after completing "The Godfather," Alex Rocco returns to his exploitation roots ("Blood Mania") by playing the lead villain, making belts out of reptile skins, and is also responsible for the shooting death of Tim's father. He also shows an unfatherly and creepy incestuous desire for his gorgeous blonde daughter Susie, played in her one and only film by Susan Carroll (even the distracted director calls attention to her bikini clad assets by focusing on her perfect ass from her opening scene). Television veteran Chris Robinson made his movie debut in the title role of Roger Corman's 1959 "Beast from Haunted Cave," creating the beast himself. A native of West Palm Beach, now residing in Miami, Robinson proved easily available for this rare leading role, working very well with his dangerous co-stars. The recent DVD release makes up for the numerous truncated VHS issues, none of which were intact at a full 106 minutes. "Stanley" made four appearances on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater, on Nov 6 1976 (followed by Lugosi's original 1931 "Dracula"), and three more solo: Apr 28 1979, Dec 13 1980, and Jan 16 1982. As a footnote, I also have great fondness for another Chiller Theater classic with a terrific theme song, 1973's Texas-filmed "Horror High" aka "Twisted Brain," its song titled "Vernon's Theme," performed by Jerry Coward.
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7/10
So bad that it's good.
lore-53 May 1999
One of those movies that's absolutely, wonderfully, ghastly. The kind that came on TV one afternoon after school, when it was raining out and you couldn't do anything but vegetate in the shag-carpeted basement rec-room. You and your little sister watched, fascinated, as Stanley and his SNAKES OF DEATH wreaked havoc against all of his enemies! The pool scene in particular remained with you for the rest of your life, whether you liked it or not.
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5/10
Inert movie, but with some memorable scenes
gridoon20222 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"People are both fascinated and repulsed by snakes", a character in "Stanley" says. And with this movie, it's all about the "money shots" - the snake shots. Everything else has been built around them, and everything else is secondary. Some of those money shots are indeed memorable, like the quicksand pit scene, or the inspired freeze-frame of Alex Rocco's face as he realizes, mid-dive, that he's about to land in a snake-infested pool! Too bad the rest of the movie is so inert - not to mention overlong. And the acting of some supporting characters is amateurish. But the use of real snakes in most scenes does give it a certain authenticity that would be missing from a modern CGI-ed remake. ** out of 4.
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7/10
It may not be as bad as they say,but it scared the daylights out of me as a kid
raysond22 July 2004
Its one of those movies that came to be absolutely,wonderfully,ghastly, and one of the most terrifying films that maybe as bad as they say,but it scared the daylights out of me when I first saw this feature when it first came out,and from there the film spawn a chain of films about people and they strange pets that do terrible things when they get angry and go on a revenge spree against their human counterparts. This was in fact the creature feature that quickly became a cult favorite especially with the drive-in theatre circuit and also a late night feature on several syndication television stations most recently.

The film is called "Stanley", filmed on location in the Florida Everglades and areas of South Florida and was released by an independent film company--Crown International Pictures in 1972. Crown International was mostly a "B" movie studio specializing in biker flicks,teen sex movies and horror films. "Stanley" came out in 1972,basically using the same formula that was in "Willard"(that was released the previous year),but instead of furry rodents,it used snakes,since some of the snakes used in the movie were non-poisonous,it was only the sound effects of a "rattler" were used in scaring the audiences that went to see it which became a "drive-in" cult favorite during the 1970's.

The story concerns Tim, a Native American Vietnam Veteran living in seclusion in the Florida Everglades where he ekes out a precarious existence away from the rest of society. He spends most of the time with his unusual pet,and this is not just any ordinary pet---a venomous rattlesnake named Stanley whom Tim took in as a pet. However,Tim(Chris Robinson) clashes with the local petty crime lord(Alex Rocco)who wants to kill as many snakes as possible in order to turn their skins in for a quick profit. When Stanley's brood of baby rattlers are slaughtered,Tim strikes back using the snake as his instrument of revenge and sheer terror against the people who did him wrong,even as going far as to kidnap his rival's teenage daughter an event which precipitates into a bloody and fiery climax which at the end of the film,Stanley is killed by the Tim's bloody rival. However,the film is very graphic in detail as we watched Stanley and his SNAKES OF DEATH wrecked havoc against the enemies that did them wrong,but as far as the acting is concerned,its not that good,but neither is the movie itself since most of the entire picture is around the snakes themselves! The pool scene(where Rocco's character dives into a swimming pool filled with poisonous and venomous Mocassions) is the most shocking of them all and you may want to have a strong stomach,and its not for the weakhearted,so it will REALLY haunt you for the rest of your life,whether you like it or not!!! Its not for the squeamish at heart!!! "Stanley" may not that good,but it opened the doors for other snake pictures that were to come including "Rattlers",and "Venom",not to mention "Anaconda".

WARNING: "Stanley" is rated "R" for graphic violence and language and intense disturbing scenes involving unusual animals. Believe me,when I saw this at the drive-in theatre in 1972,it had people running toward the exits.
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5/10
Quite distinctive animals-attack flick
Red-Barracuda9 October 2015
This one is about a Native American Vietnam vet who is suffering from post-traumatic stress. He lives alone in the middle of the Florida Everglades with a collection of pet snakes. Soon, he and his favoured pet Stanley start biting back at local undesirables who have wronged him.

Stanley is another product from b-movie producers Crown International Pictures. It's one of those films from the period that focuses on the horror of animals attacking people, although admittedly in this case it's more a case of a disturbed human actively encouraging his creatures to attack. Whatever the case, it's the snakes which are the main draw here with plenty of interesting footage throughout; although be warned that there is one scene where it looked to me at least like a snake was battered to death off the floor by our protagonist, while on another occasion we are treated to a snake slowly eating a mouse which wasn't exactly very pleasant. Yet, despite these shock scenes, this is not really the scariest of films unless, or course, you have a phobia of snakes, in which case I'm sure it'll be unbearable.

It's not a bad film, although it's too long for what it is, clocking in at over 100 minutes. Consequently, it drags a bit in places. If it wasn't for this it would be more effective for sure. The central idea is distinctive enough to be memorable though and it does have occasional bizarre sequences such as a strip-tease act where the climax has the woman biting the head off a snake! Then there is Alex Rocco's character's demise in a swimming pool, which is to say the least memorably hilarious. On the whole, not a bad film; almost good in fact but it just falls short.
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5/10
Pretty watchable but only so so at best *Possible Spoilers*
callanvass19 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Pretty watchable but only so so at best. The performances are surprisingly bearable and it managed to have a couple of suspenseful moments here and there, but it has some laughable dialog and it looks a bit too cheap as are the effects. As i said it's pretty watchable but not that entertaining although it's not horrible either. The snakes were cool looking and it had a couple of pretty memorable moments especially the pool scene!!!. This was also on the 8 horror disc set i got. No gore except a tiny knife wound on a leg. The acting is bearable. Chris Robinson is actually quite decent here as the main lead and managed to convince me most of the time however he still wasn't all that great. Steve Alaimo does what he has to do well as one of Thonkin's workers. Ditto for Paul Avery. Susan Carol is gorgeous but only has 10 minutes of screen time near the end and she did okay. Alex Rocco is okay here and nothing more. Overall i suppose it's worth a watch if you got nothing better to do but it's nothing special ** out of 5
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2/10
Stupid, Barbaric, And Cruel
Squonkamatic15 June 2010
Sorry, I'm not going to give this one a pass, and whoever decided it would be a swell idea to repackage this barbaric little piece of tripe for the DVD generation deserves to be squashed with a gun butt like the poor little baby snakes unforgivably killed while filming the big massacre scene. Then another adult snake is blown to bits by a shotgun blast, with the film crew apparently using live ammunition on the set. They should have used it on each other.

Maybe that is the lesson of STANLEY. Here is proof that our culture has actually evolved since 1972, when all of these proceedings were considered good drive-in movie fun. They even slapped it with a PG, and I can't help but wonder how many kids were sent crying under the back seat at seeing the poor, helpless, barbarically exploited animals brutalized for the cameras.

But don't let me rain on your nostalgia parade, especially with the super duper restored special edition widescreen super limited edition restored direct to digital super remastered ultra super Grindhouse edition DVD releases. Go out and buy one and watch the animals murdered, laugh it up -- many reviewers here write mockingly about how FUNNY this movie is -- enjoy your walk down Memory Lane, remember what it was being the idiot who found this entertaining back when you were just a little Neanderthal crawling out of his cave. The guilt will creep up later when someone else bugged by it will ask, "Do you think those were real snakes they were killing in that stupid f***ing movie you made me watch?" Try to rationalize it away. Those poor little things were butchered, you sat there laughing until it happened, and then the fun was over.

I saw this on Sunday afternoon creature feature when I was about nine just like anyone else probably reading this. I was horrified and nauseated then too, only now it's for a different reason. Today it's shame, shame at our culture for having been so utterly devoid of compassion to have sanctioned the creation of a movie like this, and shame that anybody would cynically decide that it needed to be revived just to sell DVDs. Don't get me wrong either, I'm not Mr. Animal Rights granola bar Phish idiot hugging trees & eating chipotle tofu wraps. I just have a limit of how much cruelty I can witness, and this movie sailed right past that point and didn't look back. If nobody else will take a stand I will: This movie is evil, cruel, and wrong.

As a counterpoint to how animal killings can be redeemed, sort of, consider CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST with its turtle guttings, monkey de-brainings, pig shooting, and the truly traumatizing scene of someone consuming a hot dog with ketchup. At least that movie had the guts to get down in the slaughterhouse run-off drain with its dismembered animal parts and wallow in the bile & stomach contents flowing onto their shoes. STANLEY by contrast uses its animal killings as a plot point for character motivation like its just some sort of soap opera, like the guy wasn't motivated enough to get busy and make the movie end until his snakes were butchered. None of this was faked, nobody ate the snakes after the shoot, and the behavior is inexcusable.

Animal killings aside it was a sort of interesting ultra low budget social satire piece right up until about the last 20 minutes, which in my opinion weren't needed at all. The whole bit with the girl out at Snake Boy's cabin was retarded, the film not even caring enough about her to bother showing if she made it back home after the big reptile bonfire at the end. There is even a laugh out loud Stanely Puppet used for some of the snake attack scenes that is absurdly appropriate, but its not enough. The film ain't worth the bad karma it creates.

One thing did come to mind while sitting through this crap, which was wondering how many of these noted, respected thespians who elected to appear in this movie got bit by the snakes during filming. Not enough, I reckon, since enough of them survived to make a commentary for the soiled, unwholesome guilt-bomb of a DVD. They should all be ashamed of themselves, you should avoid watching it, and this movie's surviving elements should be burned.

2/10; My apologies for the vitriol, and the score of two is for the film actually having annoyed me enough to want to do something about it. Art that doesn't inspire a reaction within its audience doesn't deserve to exist, though this doesn't deserve to either for an entirely different set of reasons. What a shame.
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Utterly dreadful creature feature
lorenellroy5 June 2004
Stanley is a rattlesnake ,the companion of Tim ,a Native American Vietnam veteran who lives in seclusion in the Everglades where he ekes out a precarious existence .He clashes with a local petty crime lord who wants to kill as many snakes as possible in order to turn their skins into boots ,belts , purses -anything in short that will turn a quick profit .Stanley's brood of baby rattlers are slaughtered and Tim strikes back by using the snake as his instrument of revenge even going so far as to kidnap his rival's teenage daughter an event which precipitates a bloody and fiery climax This is dreadful on every level and in every department -the acting is wooden ,the script simplistic and the pace funereal Not recommendable even to 70's monster movie completists or the most undemanding of spectators.
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8/10
Nifty 70's killer snake horror opus
Woodyanders30 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Troubled and disaffected Native American Vietnam war veteran Tim Ochopee (a solid and convincing performance by Chris Robinson) lives in isolation in the Florida Everglades with rattlesnakes as his only companions. Fed up with mankind, Tim unleashes his slithery friends on anyone who rubs him the wrong way.

Director William Grefe, working from an interesting script by Gary Crutcher (who also plays the shady Dr. Everett), relates the compelling story at a steady pace, maintains an engaging sincere tone throughout, and offers a flavorsome evocation of the remote marshland locations. The sound acting from the capable cast keeps this movie on track: The always reliable Alex Rocco contributes a lively and amusing portrayal of sleazy local snakeskin clothing kingpin Richard Thomkins, fetching blonde Susan Carroll provides plenty of spark as Thomkins's sassy spitfire daughter Susie, Marcie Knight makes for a plausibly pathetic washed-up hag as aging nightclub dancer Gloria Calvin, Steve Alaimo does well as brutish lackey Crail Denning, and Paul Avery has a hilariously wacky ball as zonked-out hippie hophead Marty 'Psycho' Simpson. Tim's tender relationship with his reptilian pals proves to be surprisingly touching while the startling moments of appalling actual animal cruelty push the PG rating about as far as it can go. Kudos are also in order for Clifford H. Poland Jr.'s picturesque cinematography and the infectiously groovy theme song. A fun drive-in flick.
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2/10
Willard wannabe.
planktonrules4 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The 1971 movie, WILLARD, was a very clever film about a lonesome loser who uses his pet rats to exact revenge against the nasty folks who wronged him. Now, a year later, the film was essentially remade by schlock director William Grefe--but this time using rattlesnakes instead of killer rats. The films are very similar. Both involve an outsider who had weird and dangerous pets as well as had fathers that were destroyed by his evil business partners.

While STANLEY is not a good film, you can't put all the blame on schlock film director William Grefe (just most). While he was never a particularly competent or inspired director, this sort of trashy film was in style in the 1970s and lots of directors made a ton of them because people were willing to pay to see them. However, practically none of the ones made after WILLARD had decent acting or decent story ideas. They just churned out one low-budget crap film after another, starring such things as killer frogs, piranhas, ants and even bunnies! However, most were not like STANLEY or WILLARD--where a man fell in love with the animals and controlled them. The rest were simply mindless animals running amok--and it sold.

This film begins with Tim Ochopee living in the Florida swamps. He's been back from Vietnam for several months and is sick of society and its violence. Now he's like the Dr. Doolittle of snakes--living in a house filled with the critters. He earns money capturing rattlesnakes to be milked for their venom, but otherwise has no use for people. Into his ideal world comes Alex Rocco and his scum assistants--trying to get Tim to betray his beloved snakes and sell them for their hides! While this disgusted Tim, what eventually drives him over the edge is learning that Rocco's thugs had murdered his father--and Tim and his best snake friend, Stanley, are out to even some scores.

Having a killer snake is pretty funny, as much of the time it does what all real snakes do--not much. At one point he tells Stanley to bite a dying man on the hand...and the snake doesn't even more a millimeter towards the guy! It's all pretty funny and at least Willard's rats were mobile! Since Stanley is pretty much a bust most of the time, Tim also uses water moccasins (though they were really just harmless water snakes) and other nasties to kill off the enemies of the reptile world. It's actually pretty funny seeing the victims of these bites die almost instantly! These must be some snakes!!

After dispatching several well-deserving jerks, Tim decides to kidnap Rocco's sexy daughter. He says that he "needs an Eve in his Garden of Eden". Well, this plan works about as well as you'd expect--especially since by this point Tim and his snakes had already killed the girl's father! You'd think that even the college educated Tim would see the flaw in this logic!

Later, in a tender moment when Tim is trying to woo her, he says "I want to rape you...bed you...love you". Wow. It's hard to imagine any girl resisting this come-on line...unless she isn't brain dead!! During this dopey kidnapping and subsequent love(?) scene, the most insipid and cloying music drones on and on in the background. You see no snakes in this scene, by the way, because they were all throwing up...as were many in the audience!

Later after they made sweet love (i.e., he raped her), they awaken and she confronts him with the fact he's 100% insane as well as a lousy lover (insert your own snake comment here if you'd like). He doesn't take this very well and begins overacting horribly...at which point, she also begins overacting and screaming. Perhaps this is just angst in realizing how bad the movie is. When they quiet down, it's now his turn to overact as he yells at Stanley to "kill her"--and the stupid snake just lays there doing nothing. I think killer sloths or slugs would have been more animated than snakes. Finally, tired of the whole dull affair, Stanley finally turns on Tim and bites him--but you never see this! Tim yells and holds his neck--but the snake didn't move an inch!! I guess he was just too fast for the cameras to see (yeah, right).

Overall, this is a bad film but probably just about as bad as any other crazed animals attacking mankind film of the era--they were mostly all very bad and silly.
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2/10
Watch as a man exacts his revenge using snakes, but don't you even dare think this is a "Willard" ripoff!
Aaron137522 September 2010
Nah, in all seriousness this movie is exactly like "Willard" with the substitution of snakes for rats. Neither movie is what you would call realistic, however, I have to say trained rats are a bit more believable than trained poisonous snakes. This movie features a guy who is supposedly a Seminole Indian, though it took someone else saying this in the movie before I knew this fact as the guy looks nothing like an Indian, nor does he act much like one. He also does not act much like a former soldier, but he apparently was serving in Vietnam only a few months earlier. Well he is the type of guy now who likes to capture snakes and make them his friends, cause he can not stand man anymore. Well I can sympathize with his not caring for being around people much as I do not care for being around people much either, but to make friends with snakes? No thanks, not only snakes though, but rather venomous ones. Gee Tim (the main character), why not have a few komodo dragons a wolverine or two? Why stick with just one type of animal that just is not a good pet? Me, I would rather have a dog or something, but hey Tim is a man of nature and there is nothing that they can not do. So he has his favorite snake, Stanley of the title and he has his main squeeze who had a name, but I can not remember it at the moment! Crap, now Stanley will come for me! Well things are starting to come apart for Tim as this dude who is somehow responsible for his father's death is offering him a job tracking snakes to make belts, there is a new act in town as a former friend of the family is using Stanley's snakes in very yucky ways, and Tim needs woman. Well that last part seems to come out of left field at the end of the film and makes little sense other than to extend the already to long run time of the film and give our 'hero' a nice fiery send off. Nope, sorry, did not think this was a good horror movie at all and what is most perplexing is that it was in a DVD collection I got called Gorehouse Greats, I think they meant for this one to be in BoreHouse Yawns. I only give it a two because unlike a lot of other cheap horror flicks of the 70's this one actually has a good look to it and has some nice shots. I would give it a three, but no film that features that song sung as Tim is taking the daughter through the swamp anything higher! My ears are still bleeding after that one, I mean I did not care for that song during the opening credits, but it was not as bad after hearing this one. So what do you get in this one other than lots of snakes? Well a stupid quicksand scene as Hollywood thinks quicksand sucks you down into the pits of hell when in actuality you would simply be stuck bobbing in it from the chest up. You see the worst strip show ever as the gals at the club featured here seem to forget to remove their clothes (but that may be a good thing seeing as who was dancing). You see a guy strung out on cocaine and you also have what had to be a misplaced sequence in the film. Tim sends Stanley in to kill two guys stuck in quicksand. The next thing you see is him having a dinner with Stanley and his gal. The next the strung out dude starts walking around where he finds Tim's house and proceeds to kill Stanley's babe and his kids. What happened here? Did that strung out dude sleep for like ever so that Tim could have dinner with his snakes and then apparently leave out far enough to not hear the gunshot the idiot fired when he first entered the house? This film is a mess and not worth watching and is not gruesome. For snake lovers only, all three of em.
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Awful
Michael_Elliott14 March 2008
Stanley (1972)

1/2 (out of 4)

Tim (Chris Robinson) is a Seminole Indian just returning from Vietnam. Due to all the racist people in town, Tim spends most of his time out in the everglades where he soon starts to befriend rattlesnakes and one in particular named Stanley. The snakes see Tim as a friend in a world where people are out to kill them for their skins. With the growing tension of racists out there, Tim soon starts to get mad and sends his snakes out for revenge.

Director William Grefe is probably best known for his low budget shocker Death Curse of Tartu, which, while incredibly bad, was still mildly entertaining. I must also admit that I'm terrified of snakes so that film added a bit of charm because I was squirming in my seat. Stanley however is a horrid movie on all levels that is so incredibly stupid that I kept wishing one of the snakes would bite me.

There's no doubt this is a rip off of Willard only this time using snakes. The only somewhat entertaining moment occurs when Tim and Stanley celebrate the snake becoming a father. This is a rather cute and touching scene but everything else can be flushed down the toilet. The acting is horrible as is the direction, which is all over the place and at times the director seems to forget what the film is about. There are a few laughs to be bad at the badness but not enough for me to enjoy it.
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5/10
Pretty good for a pretty bad movie...
lemon_magic25 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was included in a recent "Gorehouse Greats" 12 movie pack collection which I picked up for about $5. Stuff in these collections tend to be public domain movies that no one cares about keeping the rights to anymore, so I wasn't expecting "good" movies, in the sense that the movies had budgets, or name actors, or even good writing and screenplays. But you always hope to find a hidden diamond-in-the-rough, or a minor "classic" that you'd never heard of before, or something to take you back to the drive-in/grindhouse/late-night TV movies of your youth.

Well, "Stanley" is about as good as this collection gets. There's a halfway decent, if somewhat derivative, film trying to get out from under the cheap film stock, the bad costumes, the crappy sets and the terrible,clichéd dialog and by-the-numbers plot. There's some very nice nature photography that someone must have spent a lot of time and effort to get right. There's a theme about ecology and respecting nature that never made it into "Willard" (either version). The lead actor has some charisma and manages to actually make some of the one-sided dialogs he has with his snake pal "Stanley" sort of work sometimes. The, er,snake wrangling was well done and the actors and reptile wranglers did a good job keeping the interactions between humans and snakes believable. The chief "villain" was kind of amusing to watch. And there were three very effective scenes - one where Tim (the "hero") throws snakes into the quicksand where a couple of the bad guys are trapped, one where the boss jumps into his pool only to realize, too late, that there are water moccasins in it, and the final shot of Tim's house burning down when his final breakdown leads to his personal Armageddon.

As for the rest, well...it's strictly drive-in filler. The screenplay tries to play the "Vietnam Vet" card to give the movie some depth, but in my book, you can't just use that as an all purpose cover story. You have to provide specific examples or flesh the character out better with personal tics and stories the character can relate to the rest of the cast. Tim just kind of looks generically broody and sad.

Also, Tim's main "opposition", the bad guys who work for the boss are the lamest caricatures you can imagine. They don't say or do anything that interests the viewer or surprises them - they're just there to be bitten by Stanley.

Still, as I said, there's some decent stuff in here. If you can't get enough of "Willard" themed movies, here's another one for you.
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4/10
Slithering Love
Coventry14 November 2010
Tim likes snakes… He lives all alone in the Everglades like a hermit and looks after a few dozen snakes that he keeps around the house. Stanley is the name of his favorite rattle snake that he takes into town. Timmy does all this in honor of his father, an animal-loving Indian who got killed by poachers. A big textile giant wants to hire Tim for his knowledge of the animals' brooding places in the Everglades, but naturally this strokes with his believes. This film is commonly known as "Willard" with snakes instead of rats, which is 100% true, but that doesn't mean it isn't a worthwhile film for fans of 70's animal horror. The Everglades setting is phenomenal and I particularly loved the atmospheric opening sequences with footage of the swamps guided by a typically 70's song. Particularly the first half hour is tense and sinister, but then the film becomes exaggeratedly slow-paced, overlong and ridiculous. There's an extended sequence where Tim sets the table for himself and his two favorite snakes, Stanley and his spouse Hazel. The snakes' plates contain a mouse trapped underneath a drinking glass that gets removed after saying prayers. It's a pretty bonkers sight to behold. Snake-boy goes completely berserk when a psychopathic poacher, sent by the belt-maker, kills Hazel and her offspring. There's also a bizarre and redundant sub plot about Tim delivering snakes to an exotic dancer for her act, but when her pimp forces her to bite off the snake's head on stage, she suddenly becomes an enemy as well. Albeit imaginative, this sub plot could easily have been cut. "Stanley" was directed by the outcast horror director William Grefe, whom I strangely admirer. He made quite a number of oddball horror flicks in the sixties and seventies, including the hilariously inept jellyfish monster mash "Sting of Death" and the experimental shark adventure "Mako: Jaws of Death". "Stanley" is arguably Grefe's best accomplishment, but still just a mediocre and overall tedious exploitation film.
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6/10
I just brought your wife some snakes
nogodnomasters21 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Tim (Chris Robinson) is a Vietnam vet who is a Seminole and is "off the reservation" literally and figuratively. He lives in the swamps near Miami where he supplies snakes for venom milking for research and live snakes for the snake lady (Marcia Knight) at "The Climax" night club. The antagonist is Mr. Thomkins (Alex Rocco) who wants to manufacture snake skin belts...and something about the death of his dad.

Stanley is the name of Tim's favorite rattler, because Ben was already taken. Yes, this is a Willard/Ben type film except with a snake instead of an intellectual rat.

Guide: No swearing, sex, or nudity.
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4/10
Watchable, but nothing extraordinary here...
paul_haakonsen14 June 2022
50 years after this movie was released, I had the opportunity to sit down and watch it for the very first time. Mind you, I had never heard about the movie from writers William Grefé and Gary Crutcher prior to sitting down to watch it.

But despite it being a movie that was 50 years old, I will say that the movie's synopsis actually sounded interesting enough.

The storyline in "Stanley" was a bland one. Sure, there were aspects to the storyline that were interesting enough, but overall this wasn't a particularly impressive movie. And yeah, while I managed to sit through the entire movie in its 108 minute runtime, this is hardly a movie that I will ever return to watch a second time. And the pacing of the narrative was a bit too slow for my liking, especially since nothing much exciting took place.

The acting performances in the movie were adequate. Nothing outstanding or memorable really, in all honesty. So there weren't any great performances to spruce up an otherwise mediocre storyline.

My rating of director William Grefé's 1972 movie "Stanley" lands on a four out of ten stars.
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5/10
Woah!
BandSAboutMovies24 November 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Tim Ochopee (Chris Robinson, who would write, direct and star in 1975's The Intruder) is a war damaged Seminole just back from Vietnam that wants to live out the rest of his life in the Everglades with his snake Stanley. He didn't count on Richard Thomkins (Alex Rocco), a maker of leather goods with mob ties, killing his father. Now, all the snakes that Tim has lived with will be the death of everyone who has done him wrong.

Only Grefe could take a ripoff of Willard and somehow make it more disturbing than you'd expect. Yes, this is a movie packed with snakes doing all manner of damage to people and people doing just as horrible things to them, including an exotic dancer playing a geek and biting the head off one on stage as she dances seductively with blood all over her bare chest.

Of course, Tim has to kill everyone in the way and kidnap Thomkin's daughter Susie (Susan Caroll), but any hope of true love kind of goes the way that you'd expect in a Florida regional horror film that doesn't stop with just stealing from one film and moves into being a reptile-obsessed Billy Jack.

That said - for a movie so much about protecting snakes, the actual snakes in this movie were defanged and some had their mouths sewn shut. There's enough human on snake violence in this that you'd expect that it was made in Italy. Grefe still owns the wallet that they made out of the skin of the main snake that played Stanley, which is pretty weird when you dwell on it as much as I have.

Gary Crutcher wanted to do a sequel called Stanley in Miami, but it didn't happen. He wrote this on two days under the influence of amphetamines, which is the most Florida thing you can say about a movie that is the most Sunshine State movie I've seen.
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6/10
Willard with scales.
BA_Harrison22 August 2018
Having survived his tour of duty in 'Nam, Seminole Indian Tim Ochopee (Chris Robinson) settles down in the Florida bayou. With all that nature on his doorstep, Tim could have easily had cute, furry critters like possums or raccoons as his friends; instead, he keeps the company of snakes, which he traps so that their venom can be extracted for medical research, after which he adopts the reptiles as pets or gives them to burlesque dancer Gloria (Marcia Knight) for use in her act. Tim takes his devotion to his scaly pals a bit too far though, exacting deadly revenge on those who do them wrong with a little help from his favourite snake Stanley.

A reptilian version of Willard, ecologically tinged horror/thriller Stanley should have been a lot of fun, but fails to live up to its potential largely thanks to an overlong running time: at 108 minutes, it's at least twenty minutes too long, and those extra minutes cause the film to really drag in places. The revenge scenes are cool - Tim and Stanley even the score with some nasty trappers who kill snakes for their skins, they make Gloria and her husband pay dearly for including animal cruelty in their act, and they deal with local businessman Richard Thomkins (Alex Rocco) by filling his swimming pool with water moccasins - but the stuff in between is less engaging, with the exception of those parts that feature Susan Carroll as sexy Susie Thomkins, who is so hot that even her own daddy can't keep his hands to himself.

5.5/10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb, but animal lovers be warned... there are quite a few scenes of violence towards the snakes that look all too real, while those who like small, furry rodents might find the sight of two live mice being devoured by Stanley and Hazel a little off-putting.
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4/10
Snakes are a weapon of revenge.
michaelRokeefe11 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Tim Ochopee(Chris Robinson)is a young Seminole Indian returning from the war in Vietnam with emotional scars, bitter and seeking revenge for his father's death. He wants to spend his life in seclusion with his pet rattlesnake Stanley and mate Hazel. Tim makes a meager living by selling snake venom to a clinic for snake bite antidote. He is being pressured to sell his houseful of snakes to a snakeskin clothing manufacturer(Alex Rocco). Tim refuses and is being bullied by the same men that "accidentally" killed his father. The young Seminole will rely on his pet Stanley and family of rattlers as protection from his attackers. This movie is filled with too much dead time between situations. This low-budget horror flick lacks dialoge and seems to lumber along. Also in the cast: Susan Carroll, Paul Avery and 1960's singer Steve Alaimo.
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