This review is of the TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
Jaws of Satan is certainly a very dramatic title. Right off the bat you can tell that this will not be your average snake attacking the world. That being said, it sort of plays out like one anyway so it’s not like there is a whole lot of difference here. It’s very similar to a frog film I saw a while back where you had this mysterious frog giving everyone orders. Here it’s a King Cobra instead but of course it may have a real identity which you can figure out based on the title.
The film starts off with two guys travelling via train with a shipment of a lot of animals in the cargo area. Unfortunately what they haven’t realized is that Satan has hitched a ride with them. He’s currently in the body of a snake and intends to destroy everyone that he can! Using advanced telekinesis he blasts one guy out of the train and takes the other one down. He’s not getting close to his actual target, Father Farrow. Farrow is warned by a psychic that he is being targeted but he doesn’t believe this until she is bumped off shortly afterwards. Maggie from the hospital calls in Paul, a snake specialist to deal with this epidemic of evil snakes but deep down Farrow knows that he is going to have to step in. Can they win this battle?
Now we are meant to believe that this is Satan himself from all the dialogue and such but it still seems like a bit of an odd move to have him show up as a snake to slowly order other animals to finish the humans off instead of doing it himself. All horror villains have some kind of rules by which they abide of course but we need something so we can understand what they are. Instead in this way I don’t really know why he’s doing things the way that he is. I also think some dialogue would have been nice.
So in a way it didn’t matter whether this was Satan himself or a generic King Cobra because aside from the telekinesis it wouldn’t really change much of anything. I guess it does give the title a bit more of a bite though and while I wouldn’t say this was a very good film it does handle the atmosphere well. The whole town starts to feel a little more spooky as everyone is taken down by the snakes so I would have to say that this part was very effective.
Now where the film trips up is first that the characters aren’t very solid. So you have Evelyn as the town psychic who is decent enough but needlessly cryptic. Look we’re not dealing with the FBI here so why couldn’t she have just told Farrow what she knew over the phone instead of having to drive over there? Of course she never ends up making it and as a result it takes him longer to piece together the puzzle. Then you have Maggie who is good at her job. She has to deal with a lot of traitors like the coroner who hides one of the bodies but ultimately she gets around that. I liked the scene of her commandeering the ambulance itself because after a while you definitely do have to go with some drastic measures here.
She has to get the body to convince Paul after all. Paul is also good at looking at a snake bite and determining things but he does get off on the wrong foot with Maggie and it’s completely his fault. He comes across as rather judgmental and quite a bit rude so it was funny when Maggie talked about how nice he was. That’s not really the first thing that comes to mind when you think about this guy…but hey I guess I am probably underestimating him a little bit here. I don’t think the dialogue in this film was always very well thought out.
The heroes have basically no teamwork here as they all get sent into the cave one by one. Again, if this is Satan here you’d think he would have some more powers than having to trick everyone into a cave one at a time but I guess that’s just how it goes. It’s hard to be all that afraid of the snakes though as even with the music and all you feel like the humans should beat them most of the time. Snakes can move really fast through lunges but that’s about it so if you are standing away from one then you should definitely be able to outrun it right? I mean it shouldn’t be as crazy or scary as the film would have you believe.
There’s one long scene where the snake gets on the bed and has a stare down with the heroine. I think at that point you just have to jump up and run. Your odds shouldn’t be terrible and I’d argue that they’re better than waiting for Paul to show up with his net. Just make a break for it and you should be good! Feels like the film basically squeezed in the whole scene just as an excuse for some fanservice early on though which you tend to see in the B grade horror films so that tracks even if it is unfortunate. I guess it’s also a way for them to get closer but after the first impression you’d like to think that this wouldn’t be in the cards either way.
The film can have some disturbing images like with the bites and some of the usual violence but for the most part I would not say that it is as excessive as other similar films. It seemed to show just a little bit more restraint which is always nice. I also liked how some of the snakes could actually be defeated at least like the farmer who captured it and showed the body to Paul. I mean at the end of the day they are just snakes aside from the leader. That said, having snakes as a villain also inevitably means there will be some animal violence and unfortunately that does happen here. One snake gets shot to bits in what was a pretty intense scene and it’s why we need mecha snakes. Animal films are always going to be doomed because at the end of the day one of them is going to get hurt.
Overall, This film wasn’t going to be going very far either way. The cast isn’t quite good enough to hold their own film and the main villain may as well be a normal snake. We could get some good banter now and again during the film but for the most part we would just watch the snake slowly order the others to take people down and it felt like long periods of time would go by without much happening. The climax at least has a fun fire visual but you’re just not going to be taking much out of this film. It beats the average horror type film and at least has some semblance of replay value but there’s not enough here for me to recommend you give it a watch.