Spasms (1983)

Canada, 1981
87m (USA – video), 89m (UK – video), 90m
35mm film, colour
mono, English

A Canadian horror film directed by William Fruet.

Plot Summary

On a remote tropical island, a giant snake is captured by explorers. The beast, which appears to be psychic and a deity to the locals, is taken to the United States for examination but escapes and starts killing everyone who crosses its path.


Directed by: William Fruet
Cinequity Corporation & Martin Erlichman present a film produced with the participation of the Canadian Film Development Corporation and Famous Players Limited
Executive Producers: Martin Erlichman, John G. Pozhke, Maurice Smith
Produced by: John G. Pozhke, Maurice Smith
Co-produced by: John Newton & Gordon Robinson
Screenplay by: Don Enright
Based on the Novel [Death Bite] by: Michael Maryk & Brent Monahan
Director of Photography: Mark Irwin
Editor: Ralph Brunjes
Original Score Composed & Conducted by: Eric N. Robertson
Location Sound Mixer: Stuart French
Wardrobe Designer: Gina Kiellerman
Key Make Up: Bandi Duncan
Hair: Barbara Alexander
Make Up Illusions: Dick Smith, Carl Fullerton, Stephan Dupuis
Designer and Producer: Raymond A. Mendez
Mechanical Effects: Lewis Gluck
Special Effects Director: Brian Warner
Art Director: Gavin Mitchell
Locations: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Peter Fonda (Dr Tom Brasilian)
Oliver Reed (Jason Kincaid)
Kerrie Keane (Suzanne Cavadon)
Al Waxman as [Warren] Crowley
Miguel Fernandez (Mendes)
Marilyn Lightstone (Dr Claire Rothman)
Angus MacInnes (Duncan Tyrone)
Laurie Brown (Allison)
Gerard Parkes (Captain Novack)
William Needles (Dean Franklin)
Denis Simpson (abo shaman/choreographer)
Patrick Brymer (sailor/agent)
George Bloomfield (Reverend [Thomas] Thanner)
Al Maini (abo interpreter)
Denise Fergusson (psycho patient)
John Bayliss (chauffeur)
Barry Flatman (reporter)
David Bolt (customs officer)
Les Rubie (janitor)
Walker Boone (Sgt Brody)

Alternative Titles

Avanaida – Todesbiss der Satansviper – German title
Death Bite – early title
Hiljainen kostaja – Finnish title
Spasmes – French title



  • Cinefantastique vol.12 no.2 (April 1982) pp.88-93 – illustrated production notes (by Dan Scapperotti)
  • Cinema Canada no.80 (December 1981 – January 1982) p.33 (Canada) – review
  • L'Écran Fantastique no.52 (January 1985) p.80 – illustrated video review (Video show)
  • Fangoria no.213 (June 2002) pp.64-68, 82 – illustrated article (Fruet of the Doom by David Grove)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.50 no.598 (November ) p.308 – credits, synopsis, review (by Kim Newman)
  • Variety 6 June 1984 p.20 – credits, synopsis, review (by Lor)


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.382
  • The Films of Oliver Reed by Susan D. Cowie and Tom Johnson pp.212-213 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.536
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.248-249
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.360-361 – credits, synopsis, review
  • What Fresh Lunacy Is This? The Authorized Biography of Oliver Reed – by Robert Sellers pp.365-367; 488 – notes; credits

Other sources

  • British Board of Film Censors Monthly List April 1983 – note