EDITOR’S NOTE: This sequel article originally ran during our Junesploitation coverage on June 15, 2021.
The only thing better than a sequel is one that’s in name only. That’s exactly what The Curse II: The Bite is all about. It’s really a movie called The Bite, which was directed by Fred Goodwin, who is really Frederico Prosperi, whose only other credit is producing the nature on the loose movie The Wild Beasts.
The film came to be after the success of The Curse. Producer Ovidio G. Assonitis and his company TriHoof Investments started making this film and another called The Train, which also became an in-name-only sequel as well called Beyond the Door III (AKA Amok Train).
Our heroes are young lovers Clark (J. Eddie Peck, the star of Lambada) and Lisa (Jill Schoelen, who is one of my favorite unheralded scream queens with roles in The Stepfather, Cutting Class, The Phantom of the Opera, Popcorn, When a Stranger Calls Back and Chiller) whose cross-country trip has taken them right past an abandoned nuclear test site crawling with mutant snakes. Clark gets bit and starts to slowly mutate into a snake himself.
Luckily, Lisa has some help from a sheriff (Bo Svenson) and Harry Morton (Jamie Farr) a traveling salesman who is also a doctor of sorts. He tries to treat the snakebite and uses the wrong medication, which pushes the mutation further as he furtively seeks the couple out to save them as much as he’s trying to save himself from a malpractice lawsuit. Why is a traveling salesman also a doctor? That’s just how the world of this movie works.
Also, if you ever wanted to see a movie where Jamie Farr has conjugal relations with trucker women, come on down to Curse II: The Bite!
There are some great Screaming Mad George effects in this, as well as an astounding scene where Clark tries to use his hand in a Biblical manner on Lisa. His mutated snake hand. Man, I was screaming at the television! Stick with this movie because while it starts off slow, but it gets ooey, gooey and great by the end. And by great, the kind of great when Italian filmmakers are let loose in America. You know what I’m talking about.
This worked out so well that a movie called Panga became Curse III: Blood Sacrifice and Catacombs was retitled Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice.