Snakeeater (1988) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Just thinking ... I wonder if Lorenzo Lamas can tell the difference between his father and Ricardo Montalban.

There is something I really like about these Snakeeater movies. They are low budget movies, and they are quite bad. This film looks bad, the acting is awful, and the budget was about zero. It's like a low-budget Canadian ripoff of a Hal Needham movie with higher violence levels and some nudity. Yet the filmmakers manage to create a certain kind of watchable grade-Z entertainment by realizing everything is awful, and not taking it seriously.

For the record, Lorenzo Lamas plays Snakeater, a former Special Forces guy who is now a cop, but gets suspended in every one of the three films, because he breaks the rules, dammit. Once his superior takes his badge and gun, Lamas always takes on some high-minded crusade of his own. His character is a blend of Burt Reynolds and Charles Bronson. Like Bronson, he is always ready for bloody vigilante justice. Unlike the serious Bronson, but in the Reynolds tradition, he drinks a lot of beer, gets in a lot of bar fights, drives a lot of fast vehicles, and battles the bad guys with quips, insults, and snide remarks.

In this particular Snakeeater adventure, the Snakemeister's crusade was rescuing his own sister from some hillbillies who kidnapped her after killing his parents. That sounds like a pretty serious matter, but have no fear that it will become a tragedy. Snakeeater gets through it all with martial arts and sarcasm. He treats the guys who slaughtered his parents with the same jokey disdain he would use for somebody who cheated in a bar fight.

In order to battle various toothless rejects from the Deliverance auditions, Lamas must journey deep into the tropical jungles of Canada, where the hillbillies are generic Southerners, but the cops speak with heavy New Jersey accents. Go figure. The Canadian swamp hillbillies kick Lorenzo's ass, he kicks back with various forms of -Fu, and so forth until a bloody ending leaves our hero standing proud. Along the way he meets some naked chicks. The end.

Well, not quite the end.

After the plot is completely resolved, there is a comical scene in which Snakeeater, back on the force, captures Horshack the Arsonist. This scene has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the movie, and is completely anti-climactic after the bloody and tragic gun battle.  In Snakeeater's corner are two cops, one of whom is played by former Miami Dolphin running back Larry Csonka. Horshack was supposed to have Screech and Mr Kotter in his corner, but nobody showed.


Mowava Pryor shows her breasts and buns in a clearly lit scene.

Josie Bell is seen completely naked from the side.

DVD info from Amazon

  • bare-bones

  • no widescreen

Given the presence of Csonka and Horshack, I've deduced that the purpose of this scene must be to present a perfectly realized example of advanced Stanislavsky acting technique. By the way, compared to that other cop, Csonka's performance seemed like Kenneth Branagh in Henry V.

Csonka and his partner always complain that the boys at HQ don't show them any respect. Here's my advice, boys. Ditch the lavender colored police car.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 3.5/10. Yes, it is that bad, but enjoyably bad.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this movie could be called an F. It looks bad, the acting is awful, and the budget was about zero. I've decided to say it is a C-, based upon its "bad movie" entertainment value. I actually enjoyed watching it.

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