A mysterious snake is transported from the Amazon or Africa or somewhere like that, a snake with night-vision whose bite causes lumps under people's skin, causes other people to melt and makes Oliver Reed telepathic. Why does this happen? Fuck knows, and neither does Peter Fonda as he blunders his way through Spasms trying to work out what the hell is going on and losing interest rapidly. Al Waxman squeezes himself out of Danny Baker's armpit to play some greasy criminal type trying to get his hands on the snake for some hardline Christian priest - or is he Satanic? Well, we never actually find out who he is, what he is or why he wants the snake so much because he disappears halfway through the movie.
But first time viewers will find themselves on the edge of their seats for most of Spasms waiting to get a good look at the snake creature. But William Fruet would have been well advised to spend a little more of his budget on the film and less on the leading actors bar-tab, because Spasms' special effects are fucking atrocious. The shitty monster looks like a Muppet impaled on a manky drainpipe, although it has to be said that the melting scenes (well, actually just the one) are well ahead of their time, and I don't necessarily mean that as a complement - they'd seem perfectly at home in one of those crappy straight-to-video releases that used to clog up off-license shelves like a 21st century smoker's aretery during the late eighties. And speaking of late-eighties straight-to-video crap, Fruet has managed admirably to emulate that made-for-cable aesthetic here way before it became fashionable. Reed and Fonda should also be given an honourable mention for managing to blot their careers so effortlessly.
So, in case you haven't guessed, Spasms is nothing to shout about, or even talk about, although if you are going to mention it I suggest you whisper lest anyone thinks you actually like the goddamn thing. I've always thought that mediocre is the worst thing a movie could ever be and this has all the charm of that copy of People's Friend you couldn't be arsed looking at, not even the ads for everlasting shoes, in the doctor's waiting room last week. A real mind-number that is only partially saved by Tangerine Dream's mind-numbing soundtrack and a pert pair of erect nipples during a single shower scene.
Canadian director of low-budget horror and thrillers. Best known for the 1976 revenge shocker Death Weekend, Search and Destroy, Spasms with Oliver Reed and the voyeuristic thriller Bedroom Eyes. Has mostly worked in TV since the mid-80s, on shows like Friday the 13th and Poltergeist: The Legacy.