torsdag 3 juni 2021

Rattlers 2

I remember a very unique VHS store outside the city of Trollhättan, pretty close to the West Coast of Sweden. It was right outside of the city centre, next to a big furniture store. This was in the year of 1989, and it was early summer. I did not know at that time that this VHS store was located there, but i remember walking in. There were so many shelves with VHS films, in all genres from action, horror, thriller, sci fi, comedy, adult films, they really loved VHS. And i especially remember the action section, with a lot of ninja films, and military action films. If i could have bought them all, i probably would. Because i have never been to a VHS store with such a big selection of films, it was a VHS paradise. At the horror section, i remember seeing a lot of B movies that i have never heard of. Especially two titles called Humanoids From The Deep and C.H.U.D, who both had a very cool VHS covers. Further up on one of the shelves with horror, i also found a horror film called Rattlers. This was a film i knew nothing about, but it did look like fun, with snakes included. I did not buy Rattlers at that time, and i ended up buying C.H.U.D, Prey For Death ( a classic Ninja film with legend Sho Kosugi ), The Return Of The Living Dead and Red Scorpion. Let´s move many years ahead to the year of 2004, when i was doing some DVD shopping from America. And this is where i came across that film i mentioned earlier, called Rattlers. There was a Special Edition of Rattlers on DVD, so of course i had to take a look at this film. A snake horror film from director John McCauley, that includes legendary actor Sam Chew Jr. ( who you might remember from TV series The Bionic Woman ). The story takes place in a small California desert town, where two young boys are killed by a legion of rattlesnakes. Local Sherrif Gates ( Tony Ballen ) but together a team of Los Angeles herpetologist professor Dr. Tom Parkinson ( Sam Chew Jr. ) and war photographer Ann Bradley ( Elisabeth Chauvet ), to try and find answers to this abnormal agression that these rattlesnakes are showing. Rattlers is a cult classic 70´s horror movie, and especially thanks to the cast. The snakes themselves add some fun scenes in this film, especially for those who enjoy animal / insect horror films. I have known about a sequel to Rattlers since late last year, but i finally got a chance to get myself a DVD copy. Considering what a cult classic the first Rattlers film is, does this sequel manage to respect the original film and work as a sequel as well, or is this a sequel that disappointed me?

45 years ago, a series of rattle snake attacks caused chaos in the California desert. Now, 45 years later, the rattle snakes have returned. Unless they are stopped, no one knows how many victims they could kill.

Making a sequel to a cult film like Rattlers, is of course a big challenge. You have to respect the source material of the first film, and also bring in new characters, as well as add something different than the original 1976 film. Rattlers 2 do manage to handle this in a positive way. But let´s talk about the best part of Rattlers 2 ( a part from the snake attacks ), and that is without a doubt the screen presence of legendary actor Mel Novak ( who most of you definetely remember from classics such as Game Of Death and Chuck Norris cult film An Eye For An Eye ) as the character Commissioner Lewis. The scenes where we get to hear Commisioner Lewis talk, proves once more why Mel Novak have no problem with delivering dialogue, in his own unique way, I would have liked to see more of him in this film, since he is one of the most interesting characters in Rattlers 2. Actress Dawna Lee Helsing ( who can forget her wonderful performance in the 2015 film Ballet Of Blood, a must see ) is also here, in some short scenes. I was hoping to see her a bit longer as well, since i know she is good at portraying characters, in her own uniqe way. I have to mention actor D.T. Carney ( who fans of the romantic horror comedy April Apocalypse will recognize ) as Sheriff Wilson, he is a great choice for this role. What else is positive about Rattlers 2 a part from these performances? I would say some of the red snake visions looks pretty cool, as they sneak up on their victims. I would also say that some of the snake attacks are cheesy fun as well. We do get some flashbacks to to the original film in certain scenes, that connects this film closer to the original. Anything negative? The runtime is about 1 hour and 10 minutes, and it feels like we could have had at least one more snake attack scene added, just for the fans of Rattlers. Director Dustin Ferguson is a well known low budget director, with a lot of films in his backpack. He is clearly a fan of the original film, and he manage to capture that through the desert scenes, and the rattle snakes that we see looking for their next victim. I do think he did the right thing, adding some scenes from the original film, to make the connection between these films feel closer to each other. As a sequel, Rattlers 2 will most likely be enjoyed by fans of the first film. If you love snakes attacking, then give this film a chance. I have a feeling you will dig this one, especially if you appreciate independent low budget horror films.

Rating: DDD

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