Just when I think that I’ve seen all the great eighties movies, another one pops up and blows me away. Granted, I did see Snake Eater once or twice when I was younger, but I considered it just another forgettable action movie. However, I didn’t forget that unmistakably cool and in-your-face title. So, when it was time to pick my backup eighties movie, it just popped in my head. I recommend that you always have a couple of movies from the eighties ready to go at all times. Mostly because a lot of the latest releases turn out to be complete disasters. Like the 2021 reboot of the Candyman.
First of all, you should know that Snake Eater is not a gay porn movie, despite its glorious title. It’s a delicious B action movie building on all the eighties action hits like Lethal Weapon and First Blood. Although I must say that Cobra starring Sylvester Stallone was the biggest inspiration along with seventies masterpiece Deliverance. The movie doesn’t waste any time and it opens with probably its best scene to hook you for what’s about to follow. It’s cheesy, entertaining, and nostalgic at the same time, especially from this thirty-year distance. I wish they stayed in the city longer as it offered a lot of opportunities for classical setups and cheeky dialogue.
The name is Jack, Jack Kelly, but to most of the people, he’s known as simply the Soldier. A dangerous, resourceful undercover operative ready for anything. We find him waiting for the bad guys in a rundown building, ready to pick them up after a successful drug deal. However, he doesn’t know that just in a couple of days time, his whole world is about to change.
Lorenzo Lamas is Snake Eater and Snake Eater is Lorenzo Lamas. He’s just so damn smooth and good-looking that it comes as a surprise that he didn’t become super famous. He’s got all the necessary skills and loads of charisma. And although the fight scenes are awkward here, he does have black belts in Taekwondo, Karate, Jujitsu, and Aikido. While the first third of the movie was somewhat easygoing and entertaining, there’s a distinct shift in tone in the second.
From then on, we get a mixture of entertaining action and some pretty disturbing and unnerving scenes. Only in the eighties would you get this mix where one scene is a silly motorcycle stunt and in the next one, we have full-blown torture. This is where you feel that Deliverance vibe combined with all the serial killer movies of the eighties.
Ultimately, Snake Eater is a fun romp through the eighties B action subgenre that will keep you entertained. The story is utterly predictable and completely open to playing the “this is what’s going to happen next” game. It was followed by Snake Eater II: The Drug Buster and Snake Eater III: His Law. You can expect pretty much the same stuff from both of them, with a little better production values. After hillbillies, Soldier goes after drug pushers and finally a biker gang. So, if you’re feeling nostalgic about the time when men had a nest on their chest and everyone was covered in denim, you might want to make a movie night out of this trilogy. It’s unpretentious and unintentionally hilarious at times, a winning combination.
Finally, if you’re looking to up your game when it comes to the entertainment factor I recommend Deadly Prey. It’s fucking glorious. Plus, you have our Rabbit Reviews selection of Movies So Bad That They Are Good. Have fun.
Director: George Erschbamer
Writers: Michael Paseornek, John Dunning
Cast: Lorenzo Lamas, Josie Bell, Robert Scott, Ronnie Hawkins, Cheryl Jeans, Ben DiGregorio, Ron Palillo
Fun Facts: The sequel for this movie began the production before the original was even released.