The Snake Woman – UK, 1960

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‘Nothing ever struck you like…’

The Snake Woman is a 1960 British horror film directed by Sidney J. Furie (The Entity; Doctor Blood’s Coffin) from a screenplay by American Orville H. Hampton (The Alligator People; Mesa of Lost Women; Lost Continent). It stars Susan Travers (Peeping Tom), John McCarthy and Geoffrey Denton.

Buxton Orr, who provided the score, also contributed the music to First Man into Space; Doctor Blood’s Coffin; Corridors of Blood; Fiend Without a Face and The Haunted Strangler.

Over many years, a scientist in a turn of the century English village in Bellingham, Northumberland, successfully keeps his wife’s mental illness under control by injecting her with snake venom.

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When she dies giving birth to a daughter, a local witch claims that the 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.

Nineteen years later, several corpses are discovered on the moors, containing lethal amounts of snake poison. Fearful villagers believe the curse of the snake woman has struck, but Charles Prentice, a young Scotland Yard inspector, is sceptical of the supernatural as he begins his investigation…

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Reviews:

” …this black-and-white programmer blatantly misses all the cues that would insure even the slightest spark of box office fire. The script is clumsy, overly-talkative and there is practically no action to alleviate the plodding pace.” Video Confidential

” …a competent enough B-movie programmer, entertaining in its own way and enjoyable enough to fit into the ‘cosy horror’ subgenre.” BritMovie

“Amateurishly directed, the film fails on all levels.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

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Cast and characters:

  • Susan Travers as Atheris
  • John McCarthy as Charles Prentice
  • Geoffrey Denton as Colonel Clyde Wynborn
  • Elsie Wagstaff as Aggie Harker
  • Arnold Marlé as Dr. Murton
  • Michael Logan as Barkis
  • Stevenson Lang as Shepherd
  • John Cazabon as Dr. Horace Adderson
  • Dorothy Frere as Martha Adderson
  • Hugh Moxey as Inspector
  • Frances Bennett as Polly, the barmaid
  • Jack Cunningham as Constable Alfie

Choice dialogue:

Aggie Harker, the midwife: “It is evil! It has the eye! It is the Devil’s offspring!”

Plot keywords:

snake | venom | scientist | pregnant | midwife | police constable | pub | landlord | village | angry mob | Northumberland | cobra | Scotland Yard | inspector

Wikipedia | IMDb | Thanks: The Dwrayger Dungeon

 



Categories: 1960s, British

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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