Year: 1973
Studio: Universal
Director: Bernard L Kowaksli
Writer: Hal Dresner
Cast: Dirk Benedict, Strother Martin

One of the last double bills in movie history, sharing the screen with the equally schlocky The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, I realised this film might have a loose remake from the mid 90s. I can't remember the film but a guy's arm gradually turns into a snake, which is as ridiculous as it sounds.

Here a young Dirk Benedict gradually and completely turns into a cobra, in a sequence that rivals the werewolf transformation scene in The Boy Who Cried Werewolf for sheer camp and cheap superimposed-fade special effects.

When he starts working for a kindly and brilliant scientist who appears to have a dark secret as well as a cute daughter, he receives regular injections of what the doctor tells him is a course of anti-venom for the inevitable nips he'll receive.

But it's actually a serum designed to turn a human into a snake, creatures the demented doctor finds more worthy of respect and higher on the food chain than himself and the rest of his species.

A mix of real animals and rubber toys were used, and I got the feeling the reptilian stars suffered in the days before animal cruelty awareness on film sets. The supertext at the beginning explains how the snakes used in the film were all dangerous and not defanged. But it's a 50s-style B movie hoot dressed up in 70s fashion, taking itself way more seriously than you will.

Ironic to think that while Universal were bankrolling crap like this on their front lot, Zanuck and Brown told Spielberg to take his stupid giant shark movie off the lot and film it all in secret so the brass wouldn't shut it down.

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