While it’s not common for a sequel to have no connection to the previous movie, it is something that happens from time to time. I think the biggest example of this that I can think of is Halloween 3: Night of the Witch. Halloween 3 didn’t even have a sinew of muscle that kept it in the same universe as the other movies in the Halloween franchise – it didn’t have the one character that tied all of those movies together – Michael Myers. Curse II: The Bite isn’t as big of an offender as the aforementioned Halloween 3, but it doesn’t have any connection to the original Curse. It doesn’t have any meteors, it doesn’t have any goopy vegetables, and it’s worst offense… It doesn’t have Wil Wheaton. What it does share, however, is a man that gets bitten by a snake and starts to transform, just like the people who ate the goopy vegetables in the original Curse. But, before I get a little ahead of myself, let me tell you a little about the story of Curse II: The Bite.
Lisa (Jill Schoelen) and Clark (J. Eddie Peck) are two lovebirds who decide to drive across the Arizona desert and run into a large group of snakes that have been terrorizing the towns in the area of a nuclear power plant. When they stop to change a flat tire, a snake sneaks into their car and slithers around for a bit while they try to find a local service station to get their flat fixed. While at the station, the owner warily agrees to help them out for a measly sum of $200, and Clark snoops around to find a dog that the owner claimed was dead in an earlier conversation. The dog isn’t dead… in fact, it’s turning into a giant dog snake!
When Clark and Lisa make it to a hotel for the night, Clark is bitten on the hand by the sneaky snake. Luckily for them, salesman and amateur doctor Harry Morton (Jamie Farr) is there to administer an injection of snake venom antidote and save the day. Later that night, Clark is still feeling the effects of the bite and is having a hard time dealing with the effects. After a passionate night of whoopie, Lisa finds a snake in her bed and beats it to death, leaving a bloody pool on the bed. After they’ve left, Harry thinks maybe he’s given the wrong snake venom as an antidote and starts a campaign with his trucker friends to try and track down the couple so that he can give him the right medicine and remove himself from any liability that the wrong antidote may have caused.
Clark’s hand starts transforming into a snake and taking a mind of its own in the next few days. He begins to change and he can’t control it. He beats a man in a bar bathroom after he tries to get into Lisa’s pants, and the snake hand shoots down the mouth of a sheriff’s deputy and pulls out his still beating heart after being taken into custody. Now, Clark is on the run from the law, and Lisa has to try and protect him before he ends up hurting himself or more people. Clark on the other hand (no pun intended) has bigger problems to deal with, besides his hand – now the “curse” is starting to take over his whole body, and he’s desperate to find a solution for his problem.
When I heard that there was a sequel to the original Curse, and this is what it was about, I was anxious to give it a watch. After watching the whole thing, I have some mixed feelings on it. While I thought the special effects were great, and the sequence leading up to the very ending was entertaining and honestly pretty cool, the beginning and middle of the movie were boring. Not a lot was happening and I felt the pacing was too slow. You have a pretty good idea that after Clark gets bitten that he’s going to eventually have a problem like the dog that he encountered earlier in the movie, so why don’t they get to the point instead of dragging out the transformation for 85% of the movie?
In my ongoing education after watching all of these movies is that big name actors are in cheesy b-movie horror films too. Everybody has to pay the bills somehow and actors (and directors for that matter) are no different. When starting this site, I would have never imagined that I’d be seeing some of the actors I’ve seen acting in these movies, so I wasn’t surprised when Jamie Farr (from MASH) was one of the top billed characters. He was pretty good in his role, as was just about everyone else. The acting overall was better than I would have expected, and everyone played their roles well, except for maybe the two dude truck drivers – and even they played their stereotypical dirty, horny, toothless truck driver roles to a T.
Screaming Mad George is credited for the special effects, and they’re all done well. While you don’t really get a good look at Clark’s hand for most of his transformation, when you do get to see it, it’s pretty messed up looking. I actually laughed out loud at one point when he was in a hospital and a doctor was unwrapping his hand. His hand had almost fully transformed into a snake at this point and it had an actual eyelid and eyeball in it. The full transformation scene was also done really well. Honorable mention goes to a scene where the couple are driving down the road and it’s covered with snakes. The snakes are obviously rubber hoses and plastic snakes laid out in the road, but the squishing of the snakes is great. All the while Clark and Lisa have their heads sticking out of the window making faces at all the squished snakes. Later, the sides of their jeep are covered with blood – and I love that attention for detail.
So, the transformation and general effects are all well done, but the story itself is slow and plodding. On top of that, the film doesn’t have anything to do with the previous iteration in the franchise and it’s basically a sequel in name only. I think I would have been a little more forgiving if it had just been called “The Bite”. I’ve always kept the opinion that these types of movies should be rated on their entertainment value and not for their artistic endeavors. The slow pacing and horrible ending contribute to the low score on this one, and that’s why I have to give Curse II: The Bite 2 razor sharp snake tongues out of 5.