3.8/10
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22 user 22 critic

Jaws of Satan (1981)

A preacher whose ancestors were cursed by Druids battles Satan, who has taken the form of a huge snake.

Director:

Bob Claver

Writers:

James Callaway (story), Gerry Holland (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fritz Weaver ... Father Tom Farrow
Gretchen Corbett ... Dr. Maggie Sheridan
Jon Korkes ... Dr. Paul Hendricks
Norman Lloyd ... The Monsignore
Diana Douglas ... Evelyn Downs
Bob Hannah ... Matt Perry
Nancy Priddy ... Elizabeth Perry
Christina Applegate ... Kim Perry
John McCurry John McCurry ... Sheriff George Tatum
Jack Gordon Jack Gordon ... Mayor Grady Thorpe (as Jack Gordan)
Allene Simmons Allene Simmons ... Nurse Peggy (as Alene Simmons)
Mary Lyons McEvoy Mary Lyons McEvoy ... Mrs. Carson
Bill Gribble Bill Gribble ... Trainman
Jamie Lawrence Jamie Lawrence ... Carnie Kid
Mark Richards Mark Richards ... Dr. Owens
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Storyline

A preacher whose ancestors were cursed by Druids battles Satan, who has taken the form of a huge snake.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

El rey de las cobras See more »

Filming Locations:

Alabama, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christina Applegate's film debut. See more »

Goofs

When Maggie Sheridan is calling Father Tom from a phone booth, there is no audio for her voice. See more »

Quotes

Father Tom Farrow: D'you know why a pig is like a saint?
Mrs. Carson: No, Father.
Father Tom Farrow: Because he gets more praise after he's dead that when he's alive.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Omen meets Jaws
30 April 2011 | by Chase_WitherspoonSee all my reviews

A giant king cobra escapes from a freight train, to stage a biblical war against a town priest (Weaver) whose faith is waning. Numerous deaths occur leading Father Farrow to the conclusion that it is Satan himself, incarnate as the biblical serpent of evil, sent from hell to bring about damnation to human kind. Or, as herpetologist Jon Korkes prefers, "it's just a big snake". Contaminating the plot, is a much anticipated opening of a local dog track that a local businessman – supported by the morally corrupt mayor of course – is determined to see through at any cost. End result, while the punters might have missed an opportunity to flush their hard earned, they are, on the other hand, spared a holy war of biblical proportions thanks to the renewed faith Weaver finds, just in time to save his soul.

Technically well constructed, with performances of conviction, and generally well paced, there's nothing ostensibly wrong with this mild shocker – even the make-up effects are generally better than most films of the snake ilk. The church organ inspired score can be irritating at times, and some of the supporting cast rank amateurs, but generally speaking, it's not unlikeable for the first 85 minutes.

Disappointingly however, the film peters to the climax and instead of some "Exorcist" or "Omen" style epic fire and brimstone, we're treated to an alter ritual in the catacombs, where "Satan" has abducted the good Dr. Sheridan (Gretchen Corbett) and is holding her captive in wait for the man of the cloth. Add in a couple of conversions to the deal, and what we've got here, is surely a miracle.

That's Christina Applegate as the token child victim, while veteran actor/producer Norman Lloyd looks as confused as the audience, trying to explain how Fr Farrow's bloodline is the cause of Satan's return, every three generations (or something like that). So, while not without some justifiable criticisms, this isn't that bad and certainly not the stinker that kept it in the tin for three years, before it was finally released in 1982. If the distributors were hoping for maturity in that time, alas, it didn't quite happen, but still worth a look.


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