Spasms was made during the air bladder makeup effects revolution of the early 1980s where films such as The Howling (1980), An American Werewolf in London (1981) and The Thing (1982) did remarkable things using makeup effects to show actors transforming into creatures in real-time. For a brief period, everyone was trying to copy the trend and the makeup effects artists on these films, Rick Baker and Rob Bottin, even became stars in their own right. Spasms was one of the wannabes amid this fad, clearly produced on a B-budget. There are a handful of minor snake bite scenes, although the one major set-piece is a brief and rather silly sequence where Al Waxman is bitten and his skin swells up in massive pustules. The sequence was enough to make the front cover of Fangoria magazine.
Outside of that one scene, which gave the film more attention than was probably due, Spasms is no more than a standard Animals Amok film. We get various scenes of the snake attacking people during the transport aboard the ship and after it escapes and goes amok in the US, although we never actually see the snake in any of these scenes. Instead we get various blue-tinted point-of-view shots of it rushing at people. The only actual appearance we get of the snake is a full-size one with it rearing up to fight Oliver Reed in the final scene.
Spasms is shabby as a creature effects/Animals Amok film goes. This is par for the course for a good many films that were produced during the video era. However, what plummets the film into the realm of the ridiculous is the basic premise Oliver Reed has a psychic connection with a giant snake. It fairly much sinks the film to a point of near-risible. And yet for all that, very little is actually made of the premise just the snake setting out on a course to reunite with Reed.
Oliver Reed was a name star in the 1970s, particularly in his work with Ken Russell, but by the 1980s was appearing in some tatty horror films see efforts covered here such as The House of Usher (1989) and Severed Ties (1992) in order to pay the bills. You have to commend Reed as he makes a sterling effort to treat the material here seriously despite the silliness of the surroundings.