Snakes On A Train (2006)

Those numbers are more like 12 and 50

Those numbers are more like 12 and 50

The response to our review of “War Of The Worlds” was so deafening – zero comments, about 5 page views – that we just had to carry on with our Asylum mockbuster-skewering. Weirdly, my wife was pretty excited about this one, being a fan of “Snakes On A Plane”, but did it live up to those expectations?

As you will learn later, the film revolves around a young Mexican couple, who are desperate to cross over the border and get to the guy’s Uncle in LA. Why? Because they’re running from an arranged marriage, so her family put the Snake Curse on her. This involves snakes coming out of her body regularly, and…well, the endgame of this curse is a little fuzzy, but there’s your plot. They get to El Paso, Texas, board a train for LA, and that’s where the magic happens.

The train is mostly empty, thanks to the Asylum not wanting to pay extras, so we’re left with a collection of stereotypes. The three stoner surfer dudes; the family where the husband appears to be the victim of domestic violence; two young women off to try and be actresses; a helpful guy who seems to know the main couple; and a group of hispanic villains, who’ve paid off the porter to give them an entire carriage to carry out their nefarious activities.

snakes-on-a-train1

It’s a pretty gross movie. The snakes emerging from the woman’s mouth do so in gallons of green goo; she definitely has real snakes in there a few times too, which can’t have been great for her or the snake. Snake-bites cause bits of flesh to start falling off, and overall it’s a much gorier movie than its mockbustee. These effects – actual, real effects – all look decent. Talking of gross, one of the villains uses this line as an insult – “your mother’s c**t smells like carpet cleaner”. Say what you mean, guys!

Before we get to the events on the poster above – yes, it really happens – it’s important to mention how this doesn’t let us down in the incompetence stakes. The two wannabe actresses are also smuggling drugs, and their entire subplot, with a former DEA guy and another, unidentified, guy who’s tracking them all, is never resolved or really explained – we do get a scene where the former cop blackmails the woman into stripping and then almost rapes her, which is both uncomfortable and out of place in this movie. Rather than dragging a snake-spewing woman across an international border, why didn’t the Uncle come to them? Why does there have to be a scene on the roof in every damn train movie?

06

So, yes, the poor unfortunate cursed woman does eventually and inexplicably turn into an enormous snake and eat the train, but…ah, the ending is pretty OTT and funny. I’ll leave you to discover that for yourselves.

Wooden acting, confusing set (I can’t figure out what order the train carriages are in), unresolved plotlines, cheap, and dull. If the entire film were at the level of the last five minutes, I’d be shouting this film’s praises, but no, although there is something positive to say about this movie…

Award time! We’ve already got the Caroline Award, named for my wife, for films that have male, but no female, nudity. Now we have the Mark Award, for films where an annoying kid dies. Kids die so rarely in movies, almost always just plot devices that it’s refreshing to see a whining brat get eaten. Congratulations “Snakes On A Train”, the first recipient.

Rating: thumbs down

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