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Curse of Snakes Valley

Marek Piestrak
Klątwa Doliny Węży
Poland, USSR 1987 / 99’

Two Polish ambassadors for the New Age of Adventure Films, director Marek Piestrak and special-effects expert Janusz Król, invite audiences to enter the cursed Valley of the Snakes. There is a jungle in Asia that emanates a mystical energy, a place that is fraught with terrifying dangers – corpses falling from trees, wobbly bridges, and, in particular, cobras, which can best be overcome with the aid of poisonous gas - for anyone brave enough to enter. The heart of the jungle hides secret ruins, wherein lie countless wonders: statues that fire lasers, gigantic beasts, and an ancient artifact left on Earth by aliens that lends unimaginable power to whoever possesses it. This camp oddity is filled with scenes in which a vision fueled by Western cinema competes with a more realistic Eastern approach to filmmaking. Shooting was filled with problems and glitches – Curse of Snakes Valley was filmed, in some cases, with the use of DIY methods rather than with the proper equipment and professional support. The result is a festival of gleeful kitsch.

Piotr Mirski

Marek Piestrak

Born in 1938, Marek Piestrak first studied architecture and then direction at the National Film School in Łódź. He gained some experience in Hollywood, where he worked on the set of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. After his return to Poland, he became one of the very few makers of fantasy films in the country, coming to grips with both science fiction (adapting the prose of Stanisław Lem in Pilot Pirx's Inquest) and horror (The Wolf and Return of the Wolf). Inspired by the work of Steven Spielberg, Piestrak’s Curse of Snakes Valley has for years been listed as one of the worst films of all time.

Selected filmography

1978 Test pilota Pirxa / Pilot Pirx's Inquest

1982 Wilczyca / The Wolf

1987 Klątwa Doliny Węży / Curse of Snakes Valley

1990 Powrót wilczycy / Return of the Wolf

1992 Łza księcia ciemności / Tear of the Prince of Darkness

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Cast & Crew

director Marek Piestrak
screenplay Marek Piestrak, Władimir Wałucki, Wojciech Niżyński
cinematography Ryszard Lenczewski, Janusz Pawlowski
editing Maria Kuźmińska-Lebiedzik
music Sven Grünberg
cast Krzysztof Kolberger, Roman Wilhelmi, Ewa Sałacka, Zbigniew Lesień
producer Michał J. Zabłocki, Anne Ałła
production Zespół Filmowy Oko, Tallinnfilm - wytwórnia filmowa
sales SF Kadr
language Polish, Russian
colouration colour