Plot: Alma (Julia Ruiz) has just been transported across the border, but that doesn’t solve her most pressing concerns. She has been placed under a powerful curse, one that causes her to vomit up live snakes at regular intervals, which are then taken by her companion Brujo (A.J. Castro). He collects the snakes and tries to keep Alma safe, but she is really suffering from the curse’s bizarre side effects. The two stow away aboard a train, where Alma continues to throw up serpents all the time and as before, Brujo tries to collect each new arrival. But when the snakes escape, the other passengers find themselves hunted by these supernatural slitherers, with lethal results. Can anyone survive this train ride of the damned and what will be the end result of Alma’s horrific curse, as the snakes continue to pile up?
Entertainment Value: I love this premise, a low rent b movie knockoff of a big budget b movie, but Snakes on a Train is a total disappointment. I’m sure some might appreciate the serious narrative and social issues grazed here, but as a fun, when animals attack flick, this is a real dud. The narrative is bleak and weaves an immigration story, which sounds like it might be cool, but the movie never commits, so it never dives deep into the social concerns involved. So we have a ridiculous premise, a woman vomiting snakes all over a train, but it is treated like a dead serious narrative, which creates an uneven and often dull experience. I will say the movie has a wild, memorable finale, but the rest of this is one is lackluster and forgettable. If the entire movie could have lived up to the craziness of the climax, Snakes on a Train would have been a b movie classic, but no such luck. The pace is glacial at times and always runs on the slow end, though as I said, things perk up right before the final scenes. The snake attacks are infrequent and not all that creative or fun, again with the finale as the exception. I wanted to like this, as it seems right in my wheelhouse, but Snakes on a Train is a slow, overly serious slog that is tough to sit through.
A little sleaze crops up here, a topless scene and of course, bare breasts on a train are even better than just plain bare breasts, right? As for bloodshed, there is more here than most of The Asylum’s work, but the low end CGI blood effects look awful and aren’t that fun to watch. The snake vomiting is quite cool however and that’s good news, since it happens like all the time here. You can’t find many scenes where this chick isn’t upchucking one snake or another. The attacks have a little blood involved, but I wish the kills were more creative or involved, as opposed to basic bites and such. The finale ups the ante on the snake attack approach however, in an epic scene that is almost enough to salvage this wreck. The dialogue is bland and mostly serious, with no memorable or over the top moments to speak of. A few minor one liners or exchanges, but barely enough to even move the needle a little. On the craziness scale, the only element that contributes is the wild finale, but it is outlandish enough to earn a couple points, otherwise this one is overly serious and forgettable.
Overall Insanity: 2/10