The late 1970's were inundated with “Nature Gone Awry” flicks, with such classics as Grizzly, Food of the God's, and even Frogs vying for our cinema dollar, some more successfully than others. Rattlers, is one that didn't even make a dent in the box-office, but over the years it's become a staple of cult cinema for inebriated film fans the world over.
The film centers on a herpetologist, Dr. Tom Parkinson (Chew) who is investigating two deaths in the Mojave Desert. When the culprit seems to be Rattlesnakes acting in groups and attacking with little- to-no motivation, Parkinson manages to wrangle a beast and finds that the creature has somehow been by a highly toxic biological weapon disposed of in the desert by the U.S. Military. Pretty soon snakes are crawling up drainpipes, attacking women in tubs, and dropping out of the sky like paratroopers, biting everything that stands between them and...er....more things to bite.
Rattlers is a very fun flick that takes me back to the halcyon days of Creature Double Feature Saturday afternoons. I remember seeing this back to back with Sssssss!, a made for TV snake flick that involved Cobras and the guy from the A-Team. While neither film is anything more than your average "when animals attack" sorta thing, they were great then, and watching it again took me back to the days when movies were just there to entertain, kill time and keep me out of my mother's hair while she made dinner.
Of course, as an adult, I've become increasingly jaded and have to point out all sorts of flaws with films because that is what I do. However, Something Weird Video titles have the unique position of being beyond criticism. They know they aren't releasing masterpieces, they are releasing schlock classics. Therefore my review for Rattlers is simple. It's a great flick if you are a) drunk b)stoned c) whacked out on black tar heroin. However, if you want to see a film that has a single shred of logic, look away, quickly! Rattlers is a goofy, hastily executed mishmash of flying rubber snakes, occasional close-ups of rattlers in an aquarium, and lots of people looking terrified as what appear to be lengths of hose being dragged along by fishing string roll after them. It's a riot to watch, and it's truly entertaining in that regard, so for folks like me, who love taking a break from the oh so serious entries in the genre to get down and dirty with a cheapie with some friends and some…ahem…party favors, this is a nice choice.
Something Weird Video has been raiding the vaults lately for extras and Rattlers features over 3 hours worth of slithering oddities and rare goodies, not the least of which is an entire film, the Mexican horror classic The Snake People, starring Boris Karloff, which is actually a pretty cool movie ( better than Rattlers actually, from a legitimate horror point of view!). There's also a truck-load of short films with snake motifs, including Snake Lover, where a dancer stuffs a snakes head into her mouth "seductively". These shorts are a riot, and add to the value of this already feature packed disc. SWV has also assembled a bunch of great Nature Gone Mad trailers for flicks like The Killer Shrews, Attack of the Giant Leeches, as well as a gallery of posters and pics from the genre.
There's really no way you can go wrong with the Rattlers DVD if you're looking for something funny and, well, weird, to fill that gap in your collection. It’s cheap, entertaining, and, with the abundance of supplemental material, something you’re bound to revisit again and again.