Rattlers
RATTLERS. 1976

Director: John McCauley

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



RattlersA psychotic general is the final villain in the silly horror telefilm Rattlers (1976).

When his misdeeds expose a den of rattlesnakes to a chemical weapon, the rattlers become strong enough to bite through the tires of trucks, & aggressive enough to enter peoples' homes en masse, to kill the residents out of sheer meanness.

Bear in mind very little such nature-revolts behavior is actually shown, & the rattlesnakes we do see are photographed quite separate from the cast. In the few scenes when snakes do interact with the cast they're so obviously not rattlers, but totally innocuous little snakes, that it's no more suspenseful than a kid playing with a garter snake.

We're just not supposed to notice the stand-ins are harmless, like the petshop colobrid that slithers into a housewife's bubblebath (through the hole where a plumbing fixture was helpfully removed).

RattlersIf you have a very active phobia against snakes, it may not matter that this ain't scary, cuz shit, there's a snake in the bubblebath. It's otherwise a lame joke.

Another typical scene has a housewife running around the house in a dither because there are rattlesnakes in all the rooms, on the bed, very neatly laid about by the snake wrangler & filmed in no threatening attitudes.

Then there's a scene where a farmer finds all his livestock is dead from rattlesnake bites so he goes looking for the super-killer rattlers until one of them pushes him off a ladder & sets the barn on fire.

Between the ultra-amateur acting & the ridiculous script, the most we can hope for is vicious snakes. But no matter how many times people say how big, strong, & aggressive the rattlers have become, the snakes we see are small & barely moving. Rattlers isn't even good enough to laugh at. It does, at least, answer the pressing question, "What's a herpetologist?"

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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