- 1 hr 39 min
"Sssssss" is a 1973 horror film that revolves around a young man named David (Dirk Benedict) who accepts a job as an assistant to a herpetologist named Dr. Stoner (Strother Martin). The job entails helping Dr. Stoner with his ongoing research into developing a formula that can transform humans into snakes, with the ultimate goal of developing a serum that can cure diseases.
David is initially excited about the job and his friendship with Stoner's daughter Kristina (Heather Menzies-Urich), but he soon becomes uneasy when he discovers that Stoner has actually been using the serum on unwitting human subjects. As David becomes more involved in Stoner's twisted experiments, he begins to realize that he may be in danger.
The movie features a tense and suspenseful plot as David tries to unravel the mysteries behind Dr. Stoner's research and save himself from becoming a victim of the herpetologist's twisted experiments. Along the way, he must cope with his own growing fear and anxiety, as well as Kristina's conflicted feelings about her father's work.
The film's pacing is slow and deliberate, building tension gradually as David becomes more embroiled in the dangerous world of Dr. Stoner's lab. The direction and cinematography are excellent, with well-crafted shots that emphasize the claustrophobic atmosphere of the laboratory and the creepy, crawly nature of the snakes that play a central role in the film.
The acting is a standout feature of "Sssssss", particularly the performance of Strother Martin as the sinister and manipulative Dr. Stoner. Martin conveys a deep sense of malevolence and obsession that makes the character one of the most memorable villains in horror film history. His interactions with Dirk Benedict's character are particularly effective, creating a tense and unsettling dynamic between the two men.
Heather Menzies-Urich also delivers a strong performance as Kristina, a conflicted character torn between her loyalty to her father and her growing disgust at his depraved experiments. Her chemistry with Dirk Benedict is evident, adding a layer of emotional depth to their relationship.
The special effects in "Sssssss" are a mixed bag, with some impressive snake transformations and creepy snake imagery, but also with some visibly fake snakes that detract from the film's overall quality. However, the film's strengths more than make up for any weaknesses, creating an unforgettable horror classic.
Overall, "Sssssss" is a thrilling and suspenseful horror movie that delivers a satisfying blend of scares, suspense, and memorable performances. It is a must-watch for fans of classic horror films, and a testament to the enduring power of the genre.