Sssssss (1973)

sssssss poster 1973 movie
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 7/10

The snakes are cool

Stupid story and characters

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Sssssss

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  July 1973

MPAA Rating:  PG


This is perfectly normal…no need to see a real doctor!

Dr. Carl Stoner (Strother Martin) is a snake expert fighting a losing battle.  His radical experiments are frowned upon by the university and he’s running the risk of losing what little funding he has.  Recruiting a new lab assistant named David Blake (Dirk Benedict), Stoner is out to continue his experiments regardless of the cost.  Blake is falling in love with Stoner’s daughter Kristina (Heather Menzies), and Kristina is about to discover her father’s plans…and what happened to his previous lab assistant.

Directed by Bernard L. Kowalski, Sssssss (sometimes called Ssssnake) is the bad ’70s horror movie with the fun title.  The B-Movie combines aspects of horror and science fiction and was originally released as a double billing with The Boy Who Cried Werewolf.


No, this is all typical…nothing odd at all…

In the ’70s, there were so many “animal attack” movies but this was one of the earlier ones.  Movies like Sssssss gave way to movies like Squirm and The Swarm.  It is easy to see how the movie could inspire sequels because though it is bad, it is kind of fun in a bad horror movie sense.

The story of Sssssss is ridiculous.  An inept scientist decides the future is combining snakes with humans and transforms his assistant into a snake…without really giving a reason why this is an advancement.   Plus the transformed snake immediately is offed by a mongoose…and not a human mongoose…just a regular one.  Way to advance the human species, Dr. Stoner!


Please, my hair is a mess!

The acting is also quite bad.  Strother Martin is the mad scientist and seems made and potentially dangerous through most of the movie…I don’t know why anyone would trust him.  Dirk Benedict is the idiot who does trust him and allows him to just keep injecting him with an unknown substance he claims is antivenom for the snakes…and only really gets worried when he turns green.  Heather Menzies (who is best known from The Sound of Music as Louisa) is a decent scream queen and it is odd that she didn’t do more…but she did return to evil animals in Piranha.


I’m the King of the Cobras!

The movie’s saving grace is the snakes.  The movie did use real snakes and real king cobras.  This did cause problems in that the cobras didn’t want to stand in attack stance most of the time and just wanted to get away.  Regardless, the cobras are pretty cool.  The movie went for a PG rating so a skinny-dipping scene has some well placed leaves.

Sssssss is a great bad movie.  If nothing else, see it so you can tell your friends you saw “Sssssss” and have them ask you a million times what it means.  I just wish Sssssss had been followed by Buzzzzzz or Roarrrrr!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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