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Black Snake (1973)

Story of a slave revolt on a 19th-century Caribbean island.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lady Susan Walker
... Sir Charles Walker / Ronald Sopwith
... Joxer Tierney
... Isiah
Milton McCollin ... Joshua
Bernard Boston ... Capt. Raymond Daladier
Vikki Richards ... Cleone
... Jonathan Walker (as Dave Prowse)
... Bottoms
... Lord Clive (as Anthony Sharpe)
Robert Lee ... Informer
Carl Corbin ... Stalwart
Ebbie Clark ... Cart Driver
Sydney A. Harris ... Village Elder
... 1st Running Girl
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Storyline

In 1835, the San Cristobal Island located somewhere in the British West Indies is ruled by sadistic beauty, Lady Susan Walker, who forces the local men to join the black slaves on her sugar cane plantation and either work or die. She's always dressed in black and never lets go of her whip, the black snake. Her latest husband has gone missing making her a real black widow. Her right hand man, impotent, racist and violent Joxer Tierney, is in command of the slaves and he makes sure that they hate him even more than they do her. Young slave Joshua plans a revolt, but his religious father Isaiah is terrified of what might happen if the revolt fails. Sir Charles Walker, the brother of Susan's late husband, goes undercover as Ronald Sopwith to investigate what really happened to his brother. She hires him as the plantation accountant, gives him a black sex slave named Cleone and eventually tries to seduce him. Her sadistic gay assistant may no more about Charles' brother's fate.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Russ Meyer's Sweet Suzy... she ain't no lady! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 August 1973 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Sweet Suzy  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Russ Meyer stated in an interview that this film was his "statement" film against racial bigotry. See more »

Quotes

Lady Susan Walker: Wait! A snake in my tub, will you?
Joxer Tierney: What's going on here?
Lady Susan Walker: Killing him is not the answer. If you want to turn their guts to water, you're gonna have to come up with something special. Their blasted missionary's turned them into 'God-Save-Us' Christians... cramming their woolly heads with empty words like equality, justice and mercy.
Joshua: Honky whore!
Lady Susan Walker: [she slaps him] His only begotten son... Crucify the bastard!
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User Reviews

 
Russ Meyer tries Blaxploitation
20 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

Black Snake is a film that is somewhat hard to categorize. Despite being a Russ Meyer film, it doesn't have enough nudity to be a bona fide soft-core romp. While it sometimes tries to be funny, it doesn't have nearly enough humour to be a comedy. Even though it's about the evils of slavery, it's just not serious enough to work as a drama. While there are quite a number of scenes of violence, it never builds up any tension to make it a thriller. And irrespective of the exotic location, there is no adventure element to the narrative either. Black Snake is definitely, however, an exploitation flick. Taking the above into account, it really is very difficult working out what exactly Meyer was attempting to achieve with this film. At times he seems to be presenting the story about the atrocities of slavery absolutely straight but at others he most certainly isn't. It's not hard to see why this film struggled to find an audience – it doesn't really seem to be aimed at anybody! One thing is for sure though, like many early 70's productions it certainly seems to have one foot in the blaxploitation bandwagon. Although it's difficult to see that particular genre's core audience getting much out of this flick.

The key elements of Black Snake seem to be harsh racist language, bloody violence and a (very) little bit of nudity. The storyline is unremittingly grim, with a group of nasty individuals lording over a slave colony – a sexy female plantation owner, a thuggish Irish foreman and a black enforcer. An accountant travels to the island under a false name to try and find his brother who disappeared there. As it turns out the brother is now a mute vegetable who roams about the island independently. Throw in a rape, a shark attack, numerous whippings, a crucifixion, a burning and an attempted buggery and you have the makings of an exploitation movie. While it's a Meyer film it would be remiss not to comment on the women. There are only two in the picture, a slave girl and the sadistic plantation owner played by Anouska Hempel. The latter looks and acts the part but she really isn't a patch on Meyer's usual strong women. It seems that RM later realized himself that Black Snake was a step too far in an unfamiliar direction. After this film he would go back to basics with a string of 70's films that are far more typical - Supervixens, Up! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens.

This is definitely a lesser Meyer work no doubt about it. But still, it's entertaining in its grimy nastiness. It's just very difficult to label and is most certainly one for Meyer completists only.


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