CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,
CinemaDave
cinemadave

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
narrative.

"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."
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