Fangs (1975)

Genres - Horror, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Natural Horror  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   MPAA Rating - R
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This thoroughly odd outing doesn't exactly deliver on the scares its title promise but what it does deliver is truly one of a kind. Although the premise directly borrows from animal-themed horror films Willard and Stanley, Fangs is more of an offbeat black comedy with horror elements. The script takes its time to set up a variety of eccentric characters as its oddball outcast-hero is pushed to the edge and then takes delight in playing his revenge for sick laughs (along with the occasional chill). B-movie vet Les Tremayne delivers a uniquely charismatic performance as Snakey, growling his lines and gesticulating wildly as he carries the "crazy old coot" character archetype to feverish new heights. There is also amusing support work by Bebe Kelly as school teacher with an unnatural attraction to snakes and Marvin Kaplan as a sleazy, closet-alcoholic minister who hates Snakey and his pets. Fangs further benefits from fascinatingly odd direction by Arthur Names: he keeps the story moving fast with a punchy approach to editing and uses blaring John Philip Sousa marches to underscore the murderous triumphs of its anti-hero. The end result isn't what one would call scary -- but it is entertaining in a hypnotic, morbidly humorous way. In fact, Fangs is kind of like an E.C. Comics story brought to life and as a result it can be recommended to any viewer in the market for offbeat, vintage exploitation fare.