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The Snake Woman (1961) HD online

The Snake Woman (1961) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Horror
Original Title: The Snake Woman
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Writers: Orville H. Hampton
Released: 1961
Duration: 1h 8min
Video type: Movie
In 1890 England a doctor, in order to cure his wife's "sick mind", injects her with snake venom. She later gives birth to a daughter the villagers begin to call "The Devil's Baby". They soon burn the family's house down. Years later a Scotland Yard detective is sent to the village to investigate a rash of deaths that are caused by snakebite.
Complete credited cast:
John McCarthy John McCarthy - Charles Prentice
Susan Travers Susan Travers - Atheris
Geoffrey Denton Geoffrey Denton - Col. Clyde Wynborn
Elsie Wagstaff Elsie Wagstaff - Aggie Harker
Arnold Marlé Arnold Marlé - Dr. Murton (as Arnold Marle)
John Cazabon John Cazabon - Dr. Horace Adderson
Frances Bennett Frances Bennett - Polly, the Barmaid
Jack Cunningham Jack Cunningham - Constable Alfie
Hugh Moxey Hugh Moxey - Inspector
Michael Logan Michael Logan - Barkis
Dorothy Frere Dorothy Frere - Martha Adderson
Stevenson Lang Stevenson Lang - Shepherd


Reviews: [9]

  • avatar

    Halloween

    "The Snake Woman" is a brief (only 68 minutes long), painless, silly, and quite amusing British horror film with some decent atmosphere and capable performances. It's not memorable, overall, save for its sexy "snake woman", but it's entertaining stuff. It's low budget enough that the monster action is all off screen, and it's got a talky script, to boot.

    An early credit for Canadian born director Sidney J. Furie (whose diverse career has included things such as "The Ipcress File", "The Entity", "Iron Eagle"...and "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace"), it's not strong on story, but it has its moments. In a 19th century village, a herpetologist (John Cazabon) is treating his wife's mental illness by injecting her with snake venom (!). The result is their daughter is born with cold skin and blood, and other reptile like tendencies. A doctor (Arnold Marle) spirits the kid away and gives her to a shepherd (Stevenson Lang) to watch over. 19 years later, the doctor returns from an extended stay in Africa to find that villagers are perishing from snake bites. A Scotland Yard detective (John McCarthy) is put on the case.

    The highlight of the piece has to be the presence of beautiful Susan Travers, who plays our snake woman. Her appearances in the woods have just the right slightly spooky touch. McCarthy is a moderately engaging hero who of course believes in sane, routine, believable answers to questions, but realizes that there's something genuinely strange going on here. Geoffrey Denton offers likable support as the retired colonel Clyde Wynborn who asks for the Yards' help. As befitting a character of her type, Elsie Wagstaff is a hoot as the witch-like woman Aggie who knows the girl and the village are "cursed". As one can imagine, the resolution to this is rather abrupt, which prevents it from being completely satisfying.

    Still, one could do much worse than this and even those who dislike it won't have to put up with it for long.

    Six out of 10.
  • avatar

    Simple fellow

    A funny little camp flick set in early 20th century northern England.Has stock in trade, flaming torch carrying villagers,a mad scientist,an eye-rolling doctor,an old crone with "second sight",a handsome young detective wearing a sidearm and a neat chick who, by metamorphosis, can change from stunning girl to stinging cobra in a trice! High point of the film for me was the way the snake girl shed her skin-complete with her clothes-how modest can you get? It is a bit of a pity she wasn't afforded the opportunity to explain why she has such a nasty biting habit. On the scientific side(what's that?),players comment on the cold but the poikilothermic snake lady seems pretty active. A great little flea pit movie!
  • avatar

    generation of new

    Fans of atmospheric and story-driven 60's horror all over the world should urgently combine forces and catapult "The Snake Woman" out of oblivion and into the list of favorites! Despite the compelling storyline and an acclaimed director in the credits (Sidney J. Furie), this early 60's chiller incomprehensibly got neglected over the years, whereas other – much worse – horror films from that period received unnecessary fancy DVD-releases. This is a solid thriller, filmed in stylish black & white and filled with fluently written dialogues. The events take place during the late 19th century in a little Northern English town inhabited by superstitious and easily petrified people. Since many years, a brilliant scientist successfully keeps his wife's mental illness under control by injecting her with snake venom. When the wife dies whilst giving birth to a daughter, a local witch claims that the newborn child is pure evil and must be destroyed. The scientist is killed by an angry mob but the baby girl is miraculously saved with the help of an understanding doctor. 19 years later several corpses are found in the Moors, containing a lethal amount of snake poison. The frightened villagers believe that the curse of the snake woman has struck them, but the young Scotland Yard inspector doesn't believe in old-fashioned witchery and investigates the case. Sidney J. Furie impressively manages to maintain the mysterious atmosphere throughout the entire film and makes great use of the rural locations and spirit of the era. You can truly sense the fear of the villagers when they're confronted with yet another new murder and their belief in the supernatural, voodoo and evil curses is impeccably portrayed. The subject matter of venom and reptiles in general apparently got researched in detail. For example, the snake girl has no eyelids, she's highly sensitive to certain sounds and she regularly sheds her skin. It's little details like this that make mythological horror so great! My only complaints are that the movie is too short (runtime 68 minutes) and that there isn't enough background to Atheris' (the snake woman) character. What happened to her in those 19 years? Does she hold a grudge against the town or does she just kill by instinct? The acting performances are very adequate and the paranoia end sequences are typically 60's.

    This baby just screams for a proper DVD-release!
  • avatar

    Sorryyy

    It's obvious that The Snake Woman was made on a shoestring budget: the production values are very low, the special effects nonexistent and the film only runs for little over an hour, but in spite of that; Sidney J. Furie's film is at least an interesting example of early sixties horror. The film proclaims itself to be based on a legend and is set somewhere out in the English countryside. The plot is rather ridiculous and unlike other horror films based on similar subjects; this one doesn't quite have enough to distract from that fact. The film opens by introducing us to a scientist and his wife. It transpires that the wife has been having some mental health problems; and her husband has been treating her using snake venom. The wife also just happens to be pregnant, and naturally the snake venom treatment has an effect on the newborn child. A local midwife/witch labels it 'evil' and pretty soon the villagers are trying to burn down the couple's house...but not before they manage to get the child to safety. We pick up the story some years later; and some of the villagers have been dying in snake related incidents.

    The biggest problem with this film is undoubtedly the script, which at times is just mind-bogglingly stupid. Some of the lines of dialogue are absolutely shocking and many of the characters would be strong contenders for the 'most stupid character of all time' award. It takes many of them an eternity to work out the most obvious of conundrums and it makes the plot a bit harder to swallow. The film is very short, running at just over an hour...and to be honest this is probably a good thing as I can imagine it would become tiresome if it went on for much longer. The film is without special effects for most of that duration and relies mainly on the story to pull it through. It does work fairly well; we don't really get that much information on anything (a shame, since a bit of back-story could have been really interesting!), but there's a few good ideas on display. Overall, I wouldn't really recommend that anyone goes out of their way to track this little film down - it is interesting in it's own right but in all honesty there's plenty of better examples of this sort of thing out there.
  • avatar

    Gaeuney

    Snake Woman (1961)

    * 1/2 (out of 4)

    Rare and incredibly silly horror film has a mad doctor trying to save his dying wife by injecting her with snake venom. She eventually becomes pregnant and gives birth to a little girl who grows up to transform into a snake or does she? This isn't a very original idea, not even for 1961 but what really kills the film is some of the worst acting I've ever seen. The acting provides many laughs but this goes against the serious mood of the story trying to be told by the director. A few better performances would have made this much more entertaining.
  • avatar

    Early Waffle

    1890. A doctor tries to cure his crazy wife by injecting her with snake venom. However, the wife gives birth to a freakish daughter who twenty years later grows up to become a lovely, yet lethal young woman who embarks on a killing spree in a small Northern England hamlet. Although this film suffers from sluggish pacing and an overly talky script, director Sidney J. Furie nonetheless manages to present a neat portrait of the remote village and its superstitious inhabitants, makes nice use of the bleak English moors setting, and does a sound job of crafting a spooky dark fairy tale-like atmosphere. Moreover, the alluring Susan Travers radiates a strong sense of ethereal menace as sexy serpentine siren Atheris. The capable acting by the sturdy cast holds this movie together: John McCarthy makes for a likable hero as the dashing Charles Prentice, Geoffrey Denton lends solid support as a pragmatic retired colonel, and Elsie Wagstaff has a ball with her juicy role as sinister old crone witch Aggie Harker. The interesting science versus superstition subtext gives this picture some additional depth and resonance. Stephen Dade's sharp black and white cinematography and Buxton Orr's robust score are both up to par. A rather flawed, but still enjoyable enough shocker.
  • avatar

    Joni_Dep

    An old-fashioned English horror/mystery. Great atmosphere, fairly good performances all around, and an interesting premise. The Snake Woman was somewhat disappointing though; it's too talky, slow-paced, and has lapses in logic.

    Elsie Wagstaff's witchy character Aggie really steals the show. She's sort of a collective expression of the villager's fears. It was smart to set the film in the late Victorian/Edwardian eras, as our suspension of disbelief works better in an age when science was still regarded as a sort of modern magic.

    Most of the characters are interestingly flawed. Susan Travers, as the Snake Woman Atheris, is an innocent albeit evil presence. She's sympathetic, whereas the creepy Aggie, technically a 'good' side, couldn't be more abhorrent. Dr. Adderson is certainly evil for creating the snake child/woman, yet he faces the dilemma of risking the child's mental condition if he does nothing. Dr. Murton is morally compromised to a lesser extent. He wouldn't have fled the house if he didn't think Adderson was in danger. It's not surprising, therefore, that the sheppard gets stuck with Atheris. Even the stalwart Col. Wynborn isn't blameless; he egged on the mob that sacked Adderson's house.

    It's difficult to accept that a constable would condone, let alone lead a lynch mob, especially in that time when privacy was sacrosanct; i.e., that 'a man's home is his castle.' Another thing that doesn't add up is that the villagers set fire to the lab, but then it looks like the entire house burns down. In later scenes the main house has survived intact.

    One cool touch in the mob scene is the snake writhing through a skull. It's fitting that Adderson is killed by one of his own snakes. Fast-forwarding twenty years makes some sense, as it allows for the child to develop into the beguiling Artheris. Given the obvious attraction that Prentice had for her, it's too bad the movie ends before this plot line is pursued.

    It might've been more interesting if Prentice escapes with her. As it is their last encounter has a sort of sci-fi flavor, as though he's trying to communicate with an alien. The ultimate ending would have them together long enough to conceive another generation of snake-children.

    Cool viewing experience overall; a few tweaks here and there would've made it very memorable.
  • avatar

    watchman

    In a remote English township a scientist is treating his wife's dementia with snake serum. The woman dies immediately after childbirth; it is easy to note that the baby girl is a "little different". A housekeeper, believing in witchcraft, alarms the townsfolk that the child will mature with snake-like tendencies. For the next twenty years, area citizens are dying with two puncture wounds. Suspected is a pretty teen that lives in a field full of snakes. Scotland Yard sends an inspector to investigate the mysterious deaths. A chance middle of the night meeting of the inspector and the young girl brings suspicion as deaths and suspense continues.

    Starring are Susan Travers, John McCarthy, Geoffrey Denton, John Cazabon, Frances Bennett and Arnold Marle.
  • avatar

    Forcestalker

    Yes for a snake woman movie don't expect to see any transformation scenes. If you go into this with these appropriately lowered expectations you'll find a fast moving movie with an engaging music score by Buxton Orr centered around a snake charmer's theme and various serial music technique's, the score is the most worthwhile element.

    Mainly if you look up the writer's credits and see he later gave us THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE you'll know you're in for, silly but fast paced nonsense and overheated under thought dialogue. It's a bit shocking to see dialogue this bad in a British film and the performers are either encouraged or allowed to play it loud and big. Without fake special effects to drag the story down you have instead fake acting--from the supporting players. Should make you appreciate LEE and CUSHING who could sell this type of thing--none of these actors can. It's the type of thing where evil becomes a three syllable word.

    The snake woman herself, Travers, isn't allowed to do much which is too bad as she sees alluring and has a spooky music theme augmented by bells.

    The director doesn't show much promise--something you could argue his whole career fails to do, but in fairness this moves along at a fast pace. There is a nice shot of a shake slithering out of a skull's mouth and a couple of shots behind or through foreground objects--something he became briefly famous for after THE IPCRESS FILE. It all cuts together and seems like a movie, if only he could have controlled the actors--he may have had no control over the script.

    The abandoned farm location is rather impressive. This movie is fun because it's never dull. Snake attack scenes aren't very good but there is a good lab fire sequence early on. Despite budget limits the plot just lurches from one unlikely premise you have to accept to ultimately come to an equally unlikely ending. Final scene adds a, ahead of its time, government conspiracy angle.

    It's like but better than The Giant Leeches or Leach Woman--so I give it credit for that. I prefer the same director's other early horror film Dr. Blood's Coffin.