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The Horrors of Alabama: ‘Jaws of Satan,’ Part 1

The second in a series on movies filmed in Auburn and around Alabama.


Jaws of Satan” aka “King Kobra.” (Thanks to SallyT for letting me know about the existence of this movie. I’ve actually enjoyed watching it. A lot!) Filmed in 1979. Released in 1981. I’m sure the lag time between was to let it simmer. It was undoubtedly too hot, too controversial for the general public. The movie’s shooting locations were Childersburg, Eutaw and Tucaloosa. I’ll be sure to locate any landmarks so you can be sure to hold a silent vigil at that location in this movie’s honor next time you find yourself in the Black Belt.

The movie centers around a big snake. And the devil is that big snake, or King Kobra, whatever. I think I’ve read somewhere once that Satan once took the form of a snake? I can’t seem to place where that was written.

So what happens when an Alabama town decides to build a dog racing operation? Well, according to this movie, you invite all sorts of evil and whatnot to invade your town like a boxcar hobo in the night …

So let this morality play, the never-ending battle between a big snake and a backwoods priest, begin!

(I’m using the super-secret technology War Blog Eagle uses to break down plays. Well, at least I think I am. A camera, right?)

00:00 — No expense was spared for the opening titles of “Jaws of Satan.”

00:24 — Our first victims. Notice what they are doing here. Remember the old saying and take heed: “If you’re gamblin’ man, a snake will bite you right in the face.”

00:43 — Aha! The train’s cargo? Racetrack dogs and a carnival snake. The plot thickens!


00:57 — Er … the devil? I see the eye, but where’s the titular “jaws”?


01:14 — Ooh! Ooh! Someone tell YouTube! I see boobies on the wall! Also, please take note of the correct way to drink whiskey straight from a flask: Pinkie up, like a damn gentleman.

01:17-18 — “Field life?” “Field lice?” “Feeled lice?” What?

01:50 — “We paid for the train, so damnit, film the train!”


03:03 — There they are: JAWS O’ SATAN!


03:12 — You laugh, but the air pressure change at the altitude of that boxcar would suck you out of there too.

03:28 — Notice how the greyhounds are quiet now? I think they are down the with snake’s doings.


03:43 — Jesus … this guy needs to feel the touch of a real woman badly.


04:15 — Ridiculous. You can see smudges on the glass.

04:23 — See? See? You play with dice and bingo! Snake bite right in the face. Little known fact: Snake bites sound like someone kicking a canoe. (That snake hit his/her head on that glass crazy hard. “No animals were harmed” my ass.)

05:20 — The protagonist, (Father Drinky McDrinkenstein?) is played by actor Fritz Weaver. He is “Father Tom Farrow” here. From “Gentle Ben” to “Magnum, P.I.,” Weaver has been all over television. According to imdb.com: “Since 1995, Weaver is known as the narrator of programs on the History Channel.”


06:14 — Now that’s how I like to see my priests: lonely and drunk.


06:43 — Old timey filth doodles! Snakes! A drinking, smoking Catholic priest in central Alabama! I’ve seen enough. Get me my coat and hat! We’re leaving!


07:56 — I think we have our first landmark here. Does anyone recognize this house?

08:21 — A young Christina Applegate? She’s playing “Kim Perry” in this movie.

08:41 — “Witches do a lot of good. We heal the sick. We foretell the future …” You can use us as kindling …

09:24 — The witch “Evelyn Downs” played by Diana Douglas, mother of Michael Douglas. Yes, that Michael Douglas.


09:48 — “I foresee …” a sitcom with a shoe salesman, an undersexed mother and a horndog brother.

Next: Part 2. Happy Halloween everybody!

About J.M. Comer

J.M. graduated from Auburn in 1998 and again in 2000 with bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. He is currently a copy editor in Washington, D.C., and lives in Baltimore, Land of Pleasant Living. If you find yourself in beautiful Baltimore, he recommends Faidley's crab cakes, a stop at Atomic Books, an O's game at Camden Yards and plenty of Natty Boh.

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