When a couple of kids vacationing with their family in the desert are discovered deceased without apparent cause, an eminent herpetologist (Chew) is recruited to assist baffled police. Assigned a freelance photographer (Chauvet) to document evidence, covert enquiries lead the pair to discover that a secret military testing site might be responsible for the apparent aggressiveness of the local rattlesnake population. Sounds more exciting than it is, unfortunately.
Talky, clichéd time-filler at best, with little in the way of suspense or action; "Rattlers" may not rattle any pacemakers for shock value, and at times tends to look more like a glorified reptile lecture, than a motion picture. Sam Chew is tepid as the tertiary scientist reluctantly seconded to the Mojave desert to provide authorities with a professional opinion on the cause of two suspicious deaths. Chew does a realistic job of looking totally ambivalent about his task, whether it's the dialogue or the method he employs that's driving that motivation is unclear. His offhand approach is flawless, and his male chauvinist streak is neatly contrasted by his tenacious and equally independent tent buddy (Chauvet) who adds some dimension to the acting.
Little attempt is made to have the rattlesnakes realistically interact with the cast, either through props or stunts, and thus, the audience is treated to limited action, totally bereft of thrills or suspense. Even the scene in which Kaye is bathing, while a rogue rattlesnake stalks her, affects no suspense or shock value, despite the elaborate set-up and staging. But the most peculiar feature of the film, is the scene in which, amid all the simmering tension, the two leads digress to Las Vega$ for a night of fun and frivolity on the roulette tables. Like an intermission, no segway or explanation -' just a random sojourn to the casino capital for a brief repose, and then it's back to the hard core snake facts and the job at hand.
Earnest in its attempt, there are some dedicated performances in the supporting ranks (Gold, Jostin and a brief but 'memorable' appearance by Kaye who was once a Hollywood most-promising-newcomer in the mid sixties) but this is a snake-movie, not a political thriller, and more action was desperately needed to combat the often soporific and somnolent narrative.
Review by Chris from the Internet Movie Database.