Snakes on a Train (2006)

Snakes on a Train (2008)

100 Trapped Passengers.. 3,000 Venomous Vipers!

A powerful zombie curse causes a young woman to be devoured from within by snakes. Her only chance for survival is the shaman uncle of her runaway lover and the two hop aboard a train destined for Los Angeles. Unfortunately for the rest of the passengers, the snakes hatch inside her and spread throughout the train.


The internet phenomena known as Snakes on a Plane conjured up such a whirlwind of interest that it was only a matter of time before some bright sparks came along and decided to spoof what was pretty much a spoof anyway. And it wasn’t going to take much to come up with the cheesiest title possible. Snakes on a Train probably took all of two minutes to think of. What’s next? Snakes on a Bus? The sheer stupidity of the title of the bigger budgeted flick is going to open the floodgates in the future for these type of names. I mean the original story didn’t exactly take ages to write did it – throw a bunch of snakes on board a plane with Samuel L. Jackson and you’re set. So it’s not like the writers here were going to try and top that with anything. And they don’t even try.

The problem here is that the over-simplified plot of Snakes on a Plane has been meddled with. Now there are Mayan curses to contend with, transformations and magic. It adds more stupidity to the film, especially when plenty of things happen out of left field simply because they have to in order to further the film. Guys: keep it simple and easy and you wouldn’t have that problem.

The bigger budgeted Snakes on a Plane (commonly known as SoaP) was simply a B-movie with a big budget and an A-list cast. That was pretty much the whole novelty value. So when you replace the big budget and A-List cast with no budget and Z-List cast, you’ve taken out anything that people would remotely want to watch your film for. The Asylum isn’t known for their high budgets and production values and it shows. The snakes look like Playstation sprites and the film has a grungy, handheld camera feel to it which cheapens everything. You never get the feeling that these people are on board a train. The sets are dimly lit and sparse. Only at the beginning and the end of the film is it based outdoors. You’re never even given a glimpse out of a window at the passing scenery. The train is grotty and I wouldn’t want to shell out my cash travelling on something that looks like it belongs in India (you know the sort of trains where hundreds of people clamber to hold onto the sides).

“100 passengers…3,000 venomous vipers!” goes the tag line. Exaggerations don’t come much bigger than this. I counted about ten people on board the train but at least there was a variety of stock characters with pointless subplots that go nowhere. There’s a bunch of illegal immigrants hiding on the train, a conductor with a ridiculous moustache, some stoner guys, a pair of hot chicks, a family, a rather seedy-looking cowboy and an even more sinister-looking Middle Eastern. They’re all given a brief few moments to talk about some subplot and gain minor character development before they’re put to the back burner. At least one of the hot chicks gives some much-needed gratuitous nudity in a rather pointless scene with an undercover cop.

But where are the damned snakes? There were no where near three-thousand vipers either. They were supposed to be rattlesnakes too! But since when did rattlers grow to about the length of a finger? These tiny pitiful snakes could be stood on, let alone considered a threat, and they remind me of those sweet snakes you can get in the shops. The snakes do get bigger as the film goes on but I want to see big snakes to begin with, not little jelly snakes. Completely underwhelming is the snake quota here. At least SoaP used plenty of CGI snakes to fill up the background to make it look like the plane was crawling. Here it looks like the outbreak is confined to one measly compartment.

The film is reasonably gory though which does add a little extra exploitation factor to proceedings. There is a heart ripping moment (pretty slick) and the snakes have an annoying habit of tunnelling into the wrists of their victims (quite a few gooey times I have to add). The finale beggars belief too with a giant snake and a magic necklace coming into play. It has to be seen to be believed.


Snakes on a Train is a terrible cash-in. It ditches the tongue-in-cheek stupidity and novelty value of Snakes on a Plane and tries to play it as straight as possible with devastatingly bad consequences. Low on budget, low on talent and definitely rock bottom on entertainment.





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