Of Snakes wowed movie audiences (both Asian and especially Western)
in 1982, Shaw Bros had their own Willard take-off in Sun Chung's
Fangs Of The Cobra (1977). If a man can befriend rodents, so can
a woman befriend a cobra. And let's not forget the seminal Shaw
Bros' snake movie, Kuei Chih-hung's Killer Snakes (1974).
ASIAN VALUES VCD REVIEW
and the nature-runs-amok genre, featuring films such as Frogs,
Asian cinema has always included animals in its cast. For example,
snake princes and princesses in Thai movies are probably a dime
a dozen and just the previous year in 1976, Shaw Bros released
The Snake Prince starring action idol Ti Lung.
In Sun Chung's
Fangs Of The Cobra, virginal Hsiao Yao is the shy country girl
whose best friend is a cobra. Viewers hoping for some hanky panky
between the two will be sorely disappointed though such a movie
would have been much more enticing and probably more entertaining
as well. Just to show that the relationship is anything but chaste,
an early sequence shows the two innocently playing on the beach.
scheming couple... Dana (left) and Frankie Wei.
One day, Hsiao Yao happens to meet Tsung Hua, the son of the local
landlord who has just returned from studies overseas. Having been
away for a couple of years, he is taking a look at the family's
property. Tsung Hua's car breaks down on the country road and
who should happen along but Hsiao Yao. Being a gentleman, he first
asks Hsiao Yao to help push the car to get it started. When that
does not work, he suggests that she takes over the wheel while
he does the pushing.
At the farm,
Tsung Hua meets Frankie Wei, his childhood friend and who is also
the farm's supervisor. Helping out at the farm is Tsung Hua's
sultry cousin, Dana, who is carrying on with Wei.
erotic Shaw movies with a much larger cast, the nudity and sex
in Fangs Of The Cobra rest on Dana's shoulders... well, chest,
bum, back... No stranger to Shaw's erotic films, Dana, who has
appeared in Girl With Long Hair (1975), provides much needed visual
and stimulating interlude to the proceedings.
that Wei, who is already cooking the farm's accounts, is eyeing
Tsung Hua's properties and is planning to get Dana married to
Tsung Hua (with Dana's consent, of course). As he tells Dana,
he's a modern man and doesn't mind sharing his woman, as long
as he gets all the money. In an attempt to get Tsung Hua and Dana
together, Wei's men inevitably lock Tsung Hua and Hsiao Yao alone
in an abandoned house.
physical happens between the two, Tsung Hua, who has developed
feelings for Hsiao Yao, decides to marry her. While courting in
the woods, a group of thugs hired by Wei attacks Tsung Hua but
it is the cobra which saves the day. During the wedding, a bomb
is planted in the bride's car but the presence of the cobra in
the car scares everyone out before anyone is injured or killed
in the explosion.
couple has a baby, Wei lets a giant rat into the room and again,
it is the cobra that is engaged in a fight to the death with the
rat. And as such movies are structured, Wei and Dana get their
big moment, before the cobra gives the two greedy villains the
might have helmed exploitation films such as Big Bad Sis (1976),
The Sugar Daddies (1973) and later Human Lanterns (1982), but
he is better known as a director of action movies - Avenging Eagle,
Deadly Breaking Sword, Kid With A Tattoo and The Kung Fu Instructor,
to name a few.
director seemed to elicit a decent "performance" from the cobra
(no snake handlers are credited) and Hsiao Yao the thankless task
of handling the snake throughout the movie, viewers will still
remember the love scene between Wei and Dana before they are attacked
- at least they put a rocking chair to good use!
Fangs Of The Cobra DVD (IVL/Celestial) is banned in $ingapore.