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Jaws of Satan

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Jaws of Satan (1981) starring Fritz Weaver,  Gretchen Corbett, Jon Korkes, Norman Lloyd
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Jaws of Satan (1981) starring Fritz Weaver,  Gretchen Corbett, Jon Korkes, Norman Lloyd

Synopsis of Jaws of Satan

In Jaws of Satan, Satan appears in the form of a large cobra in a small town where long ago a family was cursed by a Druid priest.

Cast of characters in Jaws of Satan

  • Father Tom Farrow (Fritz WeaverMarathon ManThe Thomas Crowne Affair).  A Catholic priest, who seems to be having a crisis of faith.  A man who is descended from someone who cursed a group of druids, a long time ago.
  • Dr. Maggie Sheridan (Gretchen CorbettLet’s Scare Jessica to Death).  The local doctor, who realises that the various deaths occurring in her community are due to snake bites.  From a variety of snakes, with a reaction to snake venom that she’s never seen before.  So she calls in:
  • Dr. Paul Hendricks (Jon KorkesCatch-22).  The snake expert (herpetologist) who is also stymied. But rescues Maggie when a deadly snake snuck into her bedroom.  And helps her out of her hysterics.  And spends the night.
  • The Monsignor (Norman LloydLimelight, SpellboundSt. Elsewhere).  A mentor to Father Tom, who later brings up the father’s family history.  The Monsignor lets him know that he’s the target of Satan. He also clues him in on what the father must do to win.  A minor, but very important, character.

Review of Jaws of Satan

Jaws of Satan is an odd mix up of Jaws and The Exorcist.  There’s even a greedy politician who doesn’t want to close the beach postpone the opening of the new dog track.  (Trivial Pursuit tidbit: his daughter who nearly dies from a snakebite is a very young Christina Applegate in her first appearance).  And the priest looks deep, realizes that he hasn’t lost his faith, and faces down Satan.  Satan’s taken the form of a snake, and the priest burns it alive.  With the light from a reflected cross.

For the record, Father Tom is “tolerant” to the point of ridiculousness.  He has no problem with a Wiccan-practising witch.  Even after she sees untold horrors in his coffee cup grounds.  He walks in on the two doctors the morning after, as they’re having breakfast outdoors in only their robes, without so much as an awkward glance.

In short, Jaws of Satan is interesting, but not dreadfully compelling.  The acting by Fritz Weaver and Norman Lloyd is good, with everyone else being only average.  And, if you’re a snake lover, you’ll be offended by numerous snakes having their heads shot, decapitated, etc.  I’m not a snake lover, and I still only rate Jaws of Satan 2 stars out of 5.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Editorial review of Jaws of Satan

Satan takes the form of a cobra in this spine-chilling tale of terror. Commanded by the Prince of Darkness, snakes terrorize a small town in Alabama just as the town’s new dog racing park is about to open. The local doctor, the town priest and a “snake expert”, must band together to save the town from his evil scheme! Fritz Weaver (Creepshow), Gretchen Corbett (Let’s Scare Jessica To Death), Jon Korkes (Syngenor) and a young Christina Applegate (Married With Children, Streets, Anchorman) star

[Updated February 11, 2022]

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