Christina Applegate Movie Debut Is A Horror Fan Favorite Being Lost To New Generations

By Brian Myers | Published

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Film and television star Christina Applegate had her big break in the business when she landed the co-starring role of Kelly Bundy in the long-running syndicated series Married… with Children in 1987. Prior to that breakout role, Applegate had made brief appearances in a handful of TV shows and films as she spent her early teenage years building experience wherever she could find it. In 1981, Applegate made her film debut in the critically panned horror film Jaws of Satan, a film that has unfortunately faded into almost total obscurity.

Christina Applegate In Jaws Of Satan

Jaws of Satan is a tale of diabolical vengeance that has been carried out for generations. The film opens with a carnival train that is carrying a giant king cobra in one of its cars. The deadly snake escapes, but not before killing two workers on its way to freedom.

In a rural Alabama town, Father Tom Farrow (Fritz Weaver) is overwhelmed by the sensation of evil invading his community. His suspicions are confirmed by the local librarian, a woman who purports to have psychic visions, after she tells him that his soul is in grave danger.

Snakes, But Not On A Plane

Jaws of Satan sees venomous rattlesnakes attacking the townsfolk while the watchful eyes of the escaped king cobra are hidden from sight. After a rash of deadly snake bites, a herpetologist is summoned to the town to determine a solution.

Desperate for answers, the priest seeks help from fellow religious leaders. But when the elderly Monsignor (Norman Lloyd) confides in Father Farrow that his bloodline was cursed centuries before by the ancient druids, it’s revealed that the king cobra that’s been on the loose is the devil himself in reptile form. As more community members are attacked, it’s up to Father Farrow to track the snake to its lair and rid the world of its evil once and for all.

A Poorly Executed Creature Feature

Jaws of Satan doesn’t work hard to earn much praise. The snake effects are poorly executed, the acting barely on par, and the story line bordering on ridiculous. At one point, the film even becomes a blatant rip-off of the hit film Jaws when the mayor downplays the attacks so that the town can keep business revenue flowing through it.

A young Christina Applegate plays the part of a girl who suffers a snake attack late in the film. Jaws of Satan also co-stars Applegate’s mother, Nancy Priddy, as her on-screen mom.

Ineffective Scares

Jaws of Satan is a poor example of the deadly animal attack films that were a popular horror genre in the 1970s. Rattler, The Swarm, and even Night of the Lepus were easier to slog through than this poorly written king cobra film. Even the snake attack sequences lacked the elements of fear that the movie should have been able to capitalize on. Instead, audiences get ill-timed jump scares that barely get them off the ground.

Harder To Find Than It Is To Watch


Sadly, Jaws of Satan isn’t available for streaming or VOD on any platform or subscription service. It’s possible to get the movie on Blu-ray as a double feature with the 70s B-movie Empire of the Ants, released in 2015 by Scream Factory.