Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Snakes on a Train

This DVD lied to me. The menu flashed this tag line across the screen: "100 Trapped Passengers… 3,000 Venomous Vipers!" (See left.) Neither of those things turned out to be true. Look, if we're on a date, and you want to lie to me ("No, I'm not married, of course not!"), that's one thing. But don't tell me I'm in for 3,000 deadly snakes and fail to deliver. That, my friend, is just bullshit.

That part about 100 passengers is a complete lie too. According to the credits, there are 25 people in this film. That is about twice as many people as I recall seeing though. There didn't seem to be more than 10 or 15 people on this train. It sort of made me wonder how this line managed to stay in business, especially when you consider that half those on board were stowaways.

Okay, so here's the plot: A bunch of snakes get loose on a train.

There isn't much to say other than this seems to have been written by a 14 year old boy. Much like a kid that age, it's kind of stupid, a little gangly, not very interesting to adults. I wonder who a film like this appeals to. Are the producers hoping someone accidentally picks this one up at Blockbuster by mistake, thinking it's Snakes on a Plane?

I rented it because I can't stand Samuel L. Jackson. He's a vastly overrated actor. I don't think the ability to yell "motherfucker" a lot is reason enough to put someone in movies. I mean, I can yell "motherfucker" with the best of them, but you don't see anyone asking me to be in their crappy, killer snake movies, do you?

Anyway, a lot of nothing happens in this film, including a woman vomiting up snakes. Then there's some boobies, and some kung fu. Then the movie ends with the sound man trying to break my speakers. What the fuck, Matthew McGowin? You just made my list, pal. And let me tell everyone why:

The climax of the film is a giant snake eating the train. There is some really shitty CGI work here, but for reasons that can only be attributed to pure spite, there is the worst sound effect ever used in any film in the entire history of cinema. It's the sound of crunching metal, likely created wholly on a cheap synthesizer, and for some reason it's about 17 times higher in the mix than anything in the previous 80 minutes of film. And... AND! it goes on for three god damned minutes.

Look, if you want me to turn off your film early, just tell me. Or maybe, do something fun, like play that little sound effect that Disney used to use when it was time to turn the page on their little read-along book and record sets. But don't go abusing my surround sound system.

Obviously, a movie titled Snakes on a Train is going to suck. That's no surprise. A movie called Snakes on a Boat is going to suck. As is Snakes on a Bus, Snakes on a Motorcycle, Snakes at Burger King, and Snakes on a Boat II: The Revengening. (Actually, Snakes on a Motorcycle might be cool.) The question is, is this better than Snakes on a Plane? Probably. At least Samuel L. Jackson isn't in it.

Directed by The Mallachi Brothers • Unrated • 2006 • 91 minutes

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