Snakes on a Train (2006) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The story goes something like this.

The female lead rejected a rich suitor back in her Mexican village and ran away with her true love. To punish her for shaming them, her family cursed her with the dreaded Mayan Snake Curse which, as near as I can tell, means she will hatch snakes inside of her and they will devour her from within.  Except when they get out.  Her only hope is to find a shaman who can counter the Mayan curse, so she resolves to go where all Mayan shamans eventually go, Los Angeles. In fact, L.A. has an entire mini-city filled with them, kinda like a Mayan Shaman version of Chinatown. That's were Mel Gibson went to recruit the cast of Apocalypto. So the accursed one and her companion sneak across the border, and stow away on a westbound passenger train. Reptilarity ensues.

It's hard to supply any more detail because in order to do so I would have to pretend that this held my attention for long enough periods to make an impression. It didn't. In the early 1970s this would have been a third feature at a drive-in, probably ending about three in the morning. Too bad, really, because the concept had the potential to create a high camp romp, a sort of lower budgeted knock-off of its inspiration, Snakes on a Plane. But it isn't that. Not only is it altogether too serious, but long stretches of it are just plain boring ... just one-shots and two-shots of people sitting and talking on a faux train. One of the more interesting facets of the story is that the film's main characters are illegal Mexicans in the United States who start out unable to understand English, yet when they stow away with some gringos on the titular train for a few hours, they are soon speaking with a sophistication Norman Mailer would envy.

The filmmakers could only manage to come up with about ten snakes, probably from their gardens. You know the drill: Little garter snakes and ball pythons. In order to make the harmless little snakes seem scary, the sound guy added rattlesnake sounds for all of them. It didn't really help any.

When the film finally does get moving, with about three minutes left in the film, the little snakes morph into one gigantic snake big enough to swallow the entire passenger train. That would probably look dumb in a movie with a James Cameron budget, so you can't even imagine how silly it looks in this no-budgeter.  No problem. I'll show you:

Special effects by Lionel. Check out the bright green bushes on the hill.

After the train-eating scene, the final scene seems to show the giant snake ascending into heaven or something - featuring the snake's body double, which looks like a regular ol' fishing worm. Suddenly darkness becomes daylight and all the surviving humans just shrug their shoulders and walk away from the tracks while the credits roll.

Entertainment at its best.

I guess you won't be surprised to hear that it's rated a lowly 2.3 at IMDb, but that score actually gives an unfair picture. 

Unfairly inflated, that is! The top voters score it in the ones!

To tell you the truth, the blooper reel is actually pretty funny and if the rest of the film had been as downright silly as the last three minutes, this might have been an entertainingly bad package, but the bloopers and the last three minutes are all it has. The film before that point, if marketed properly, could put Sominex out of business.



  • widescreen anamorphic. Satisfactory transfer.
  • "making of" featurette
  • full-length commentary
  • blooper reel



Amelia Jackson-Gray shows her breasts in good light.

The Critics Vote ...

  • There are no major reviews online except Variety, which panned it.


The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a D+. Bor-r-r-r-ing.

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