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Snake Dancer [Import]

Glenda Kemp , Wilson Dunster , Dirk de Villiers    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 28.04
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slither hither for Glenda and Oupa Jan. 4 2008
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Very loosely based on the life of the famous Glenda Kemp, this special edition of Snake Dancer is packed with extra features, interviews and information on the history of South African film. Some well-known SA actors like Bruce Millar and Christine Basson appear in the movie which takes us from Glenda's childhood, her early fascination with snakes, adoption by foster parents, school years, ballet training and teacher training, through her stormy career as exotic dancer and stripper to the macabre and unbelievable finale.

Glenda was indeed the sensation of the seventies in South Africa where she and her python Oupa (Grandpa, pronounced Oh Pah) shocked polite society but were press favorites widely admired by the general public. The story line includes police raids, court appearances, tours of small-town South Africa, and many dance scenes, not only with Oupa but also solo and with glove puppets, plus her love relationships. It evokes nostalgia for its vivid portrayal of Johannesburg night life in the period, especially the inner city scenes and those of the then highly cosmopolitan suburb of Hillbrow which was considered the Manhattan of Joburg in those days.

Extras include a short text section about Glenda and the making of the film, the informative featurette Escape From Apartheid: A History of South African Cult Cinema which is an interview with critic Trevor Steele Taylor on SA film - in particular the vibrant underground cinema scene and the tearoom cinema phenomenon - from the late 1940s to 2006 with mention of the work of various pioneers Jamie Uys, Ian Kerkhof/Aryan Kaganof, Ken Gampu and others, and 3 interviews with Dirk de Villiers, director of Snake Dancer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical artist vs. censorship movie, but with nudity and snakes Jan. 29 2007
By Lord of Dance - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The story of Snake Dancer isn't particularly original, or even put together very well, but there's plenty of 70's atmosphere and nudity to make up for it. It's supposed to be based on the life exotic dancer Glenda Kemp (who plays herself) and her troubles with censorship in South Africa, but the real reason to watch it is for the nude dancing. The movie is cheesy and a little odd at times (particularly the ending, which couldn't of actually happened), but the dance numbers are usually interesting. Glenda Kemp had ballet training and her body type is definitely one of a ballet dancer, so don't expect huge [...] to be bouncing around during her performances. Regardless, there are some decently sensual scenes, especially toward the end.

There isn't that much actual snake dancing in the film, at least for a movie called Snake Dancer. I liked it anyway, but the story could have been a little more coherent. Glenda Kemp is pretty hot, though.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slither hither for Glenda and Oupa Jan. 4 2008
By Pieter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Very loosely based on the life of the famous Glenda Kemp, this special edition of Snake Dancer is packed with extra features, interviews and information on the history of South African film. Some well-known SA actors like Bruce Millar and Christine Basson appear in the movie which takes us from Glenda's childhood, her early fascination with snakes, adoption by foster parents, school years, ballet classes and teacher training, through her stormy career as exotic dancer and stripper to the macabre and unbelievable finale.

Glenda was indeed the sensation of the seventies in South Africa where she and her python Oupa (Grandpa, pronounced Oh Pah) shocked polite society but were press favorites widely admired by the general public. The story line includes police raids, court appearances, tours of small-town South Africa, and many dance scenes, not only with Oupa but also solo and with glove puppets, plus her love relationships. It evokes nostalgia for its vivid portrayal of Johannesburg night life in the period, especially the inner city scenes and those of the then highly cosmopolitan suburb of Hillbrow which was considered the Manhattan of Joburg in those days.

Extras include a short text section about Glenda and the making of the film, the informative featurette Escape From Apartheid: A History of South African Cult Cinema which is an interview with critic Trevor Steele Taylor about SA film - in particular the vibrant underground cinema scene and the tearoom cinema phenomenon - from the late 1940s to 2006 with mention of the work of various pioneers Jamie Uys, Ian Kerkhof/Aryan Kaganof, Ken Gampu and others, and 3 interviews with Dirk de Villiers, director of Snake Dancer.

Some of the dance scenes are a bit wild but I wouldn't say crass, although that's a matter of opinion. I'm sure by today's standards they'd be considered soft "pawn." I had a terrible flu when I watched the DVD and seeing the adorable Oupa definitely made me feel better, just like Moses' brass serpent in the desert helped heal people when they watched it after they got sick from over-indulging in quail. People who are into TT's and stuff will enjoy it, but I also recommend Snake Dancer to students of the history of SA film and for those who hanker after a bit of 1970s SA nostalgia.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sexy piece of censorship history Feb. 10 2010
By Erik Herrmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A reasonably good print of a not-so-good picture.
Interesting as mainly the only historical document
we're likely to have of the legendary Glenda Kemp -
who, if you know anything of international obscenity
trials, was South Africa's version of Bettie Page.
A highly moralistic young woman who just happens
to like dancing naked with snakes in nightclubs.
Plus Miss Kemp actually plays herself in the film,
and does her own routines. How truthful she is in
the autobigraphical sense is hard to judge - since
at the end of this movie (spoiler alert) she dies.
Interesting acting choice, though, I must say.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD MOVIE.... WORTH WATCHING Feb. 13 2008
By Charlie Spivey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I rented this on VHS about 14 years ago. I didn't what expect as it was a
South African Film. It turned out to be a somewhat factual story and had you solidly in Glenda's corner from the gitgo. I didn't think much of her
Manager ( pimp?). I was glad to see this released on DVD. Everybody has focused on the snake, and I guess it does play a pivotal role, but,I kinda liked the puppet act even if the authorities didn't. This is another of those movies that most people would pass up without a second
glance, but is really a very good movie. Charlie S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Snake Dancer Aug. 7 2012
By Ed B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having recently watched Snake Dancer on Netflix, I knew I wanted to own it. I found it available on Amazon & ordered it. As is usual with Amazon, I had the d v d in just a few days. I found it to be a very provocative movie, based on a woman's actual experience. While some of the story line and music did not appeal to me, the
dancing and interaction between the young girl and the snake(s) was most interesting. That action was most as
arousing as most soft porns I have seen, but actually done in good taste. If you like seeing some female flesh
and some unique interplay between a girl and a snake, I would certainly recommend this.
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