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The Cult of "Black Snake Moan" - CinemaDave

Jul. 17th, 2007 10:28 am The Cult of "Black Snake Moan"

For those seeking more adult entertainment, "Black
Snake Moan" has been recently released on DVD. Last
seen on the big screen in early March, "Black Snake
Moan" failed to recoup it's initial investment and
was a critical disaster. Therefore the film is
destined to become a cult hit because of it's quirky
characters, arresting visualizations and bizarre

"Black Snake Moan" centers on the problems of Rae
(Christina Ricci), a newlywed nymphomaniac who is
beaten, abandoned and left on a dirt road. The
monstrous curmudgeon Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson)
finds Rae and nurses her to health. By helping Rae,
Lazarus learns to accept his painful past and his life
is redeemed. Lazarus reunites Rae with her husband,
(Justin Timberlake), a cowardly soldier who is AWOL.

Set in the deep south, "Black Snake Moan" combines
elements of pulp romance with blues mythology. The
title of the film derives from a Blind Lemon Jefferson
song recorded in 1927. Two grandchildren of blues
master R.L. Burnside have cameo appearances as band
mates who reunite with Lazarus at the local juke
joint. These scenes of musical purity redeem the
misogynistic elements and raises "Black Snake Moan"
beyond the wantonness of a Quentin Tarantino movie.

At one point Lazarus chains Rae like a junkyard dog
during her recovery. As Rae comes to realize Lazarus'
noble intentions, the chains are removed and they
discover a mutual interest in music. Whipping out his
Gibson ES-335 guitar, Lazarus strums the tune, "Black
Snake Moan," as a thunderstorms rages. Despite the
outside chaos, this two damaged individuals find
mutual healing in this memorable scene. This intense
visual from "Black Snake Moan" will stay in your
memory far longer than the overwhelming visual
showdown from "Transformers."

2 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry


Date:August 13th, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC)

Black Snake Moan

Cinema Dave, you said "a newlywed nymphomaniac who is beaten, abandoned and left on a dirt road. The monstrous curmudgeon Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson)" oh how these characters are so much more...Rae is more about her being an abused child which makes her into what she is the nymphomaniac, and I don't see Lazarus as monstrous, only sure that his way of doing things is the right way (Isn't that allot of people we all know? and could also loosely be viewed as the Religious Rights vision of how the world should live and believe...seeing the non believers as chained in Hell and that their only way of loosening the bonds of Hell is to believe and live as they see fit... as they interpret the Bible... But as a contrast in Black Snake Moan the Preacher is less dogmatic, an is open and accepting, which is interesting ) He is hurt and lonely and resentful of the path his life took. He becomes the isolating lonely old man as his way of dealing with his wife's betrayal with his brother. The music is much more central to the movie than the just the intensely powerful scene in Laz'z home during the storm, it is in this scene that we glimpse the torturous abuse that Rae must face from her past in order to heal. The interviews and background information on the making of the movie and about the title song by Blind Lemon Jefferson are facinating, especially for Blues lovers and should not be missed. The acting is superb (what else would we expect from Samuel L Jackson), and the casting is perfect. This movie's finely wrought character study, impeccable sound track and great cinematography has moved this into my top 10 movies! Sandee
Date:August 14th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)

Re: Black Snake Moan

You pinpointed why "Black Snake Moan" will be such a cult favorite. It is a simple story about healing...and sometimes it takes a beast to heal a beauty. Besides, I like monsters who are really heores.