HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
   
 
Newest Articles
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black Snake Moan Redemption SongBuy this film here.
Year: 2006
Director: Craig Brewer
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S. Epatha Merkerson, John Cothran Jr, David Banner, Michael Raymond-James, Adriane Lennox, Kim Richards, Neimus K. Williams, Leonard L. Thomas, Ruby Wilson, Claude Phillips, Amy Lavere, Clare Grant
Genre: Drama
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) is a farmer in the Deep South whose wife (Adriane Lennox) has left him. He attempts one last reconciliation with her in a cafe, but the conversation quickly turns to arguing and she storms out leaving him alone. Out of spite, he runs over her rose garden with his tractor, and when his brother tries to appease him in a bar Lazarus nearly stabs him with a broken beer bottle. Meanwhile, Rae (Christina Ricci) is saying goodbye to her boyfriend Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) who has joined the National Guard, but her nymphomania will soon land her in trouble...

Is there such a thing as nymphomania? It's handy for dirty jokes or plot contrivances in porn films, but stick it in a serious film as Black Snake Moan is meant to be and you're on shaky ground. This was writer and director Craig Brewer's follow up to Hustle and Flow, and while that film concerned itself with rap, this was supposed to be summoning the spirit of the blues. Even before it was released it was notorious as the "Samuel L. Jackson chains Christina Ricci to a radiator" movie, but there was more to the drama than that, although how much more was debatable.

On the plus side, this is a film that certainly has the courage of its convictions and Brewer obviously didn't mind invoking exploitation flicks to sensationalise his story. Yet at heart it's a pious work of redemption, both of Lazarus' anger and Rae's misguided sexuality as they find common ground and solve their problems by helping each other. It's just that the way they go about doing so is very odd, as Rae is found left for dead by the roadside after being beaten unconscious (the cocktail of drugs and alcohol she has taken can't have done much good either).

It's Lazarus who has found her, and he takes the woman back to his farmhouse realising she is in need of medical assistance. Yet he doesn't call the doctor, as he sees in Rae a chance to save a soul, and asking around town about her he discovers she has an extremely bad reputation, bolstering his conviction to help her out. He does this by, yes, chaining her to a radiator but apparently this is alllowed because it's a very long chain and she can reach the kitchen and bathroom. What she cannot do is leave of her own free will.

Mercifully, Lazarus doesn't turn psychologist for lengthy scenes of Rae being grilled about exactly why she has ended up the way she has, but he does probe her mind like a strict counsellor and of course, cliché of clichés, it's all because of bad treatment by her mother (former child star Kim Richards making a comeback). About two thirds of the way through the chain comes off and the previously rebellious Rae reaches an understanding with her captor, but the saucer-eyed Ricci's earlier performance of screaming, rolling around and grimacing is less brave than demeaning, and her character's coming to terms with her situation doesn't eclipse that. You might think that Black Snake Moan sounds electrifying and outrageous stuff in synopsis, but in effect it's curiously uninvolving with its conservative and traditional values swallowing up most of the expected controversy. The blues isn't bad, even if Jackson's singing isn't too convincing. Music by Scott Bomar.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4502 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: