“When ex-blues musician Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) finds the town nymphomaniac Rae (Christina Ricci) left for dead on the side of the road, he vows to nurse her back to health…and cure her of her wickedness. Until then, she’ll be chained to the immovable radiator in his home. But Lazarus has demons of his own: his wife just left him for his own brother. While Lazarus and Rae struggle to fix their broken lives, the situation threatens to explode as Rae’s boyfriend Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) – a roughneck soldier just back from Iraq – comes searching for his missing lover.”
“Black Snake Moan” is rated R for strong sexual content, language, some violence and drug use.
As I mentioned, there were some good aspects to the film. If you’re a fan of Samuel L. Jackson or Christina Ricci, you’ll probably like their performances. Their characters are tortured souls, so naturally they get to stretch their acting legs while putting themselves through hell. “Black Snake Moan” also has a fantastic blues soundtrack. I enjoy that style of music, so I was into the musical numbers more than I was the story. I also found the story to mostly be predictable, but the ending not so predictable. The way the movie is so dark and depressing, I was expecting something completely different from how it ended. The film certainly wins points for zigging when I expected it to zag.
The DVD has some fairly substantial bonus features. Kicking things off is your usual commentary by Writer / Director Craig Brewer. It is followed by “Conflicted: The Making of Black Snake Moan”. It is 27 minutes long and is your usual ‘making of’ fare. The most interesting thing to me was that Brewer gave Ricci her own choice of chains just how George Lucas gave Jackson his own choice of lightsabers. Next up is “Rooted in the Blues”, a 12 minute featurette showcasing the music of the film. You see Jackson and the other musicians performing the music from the film. “The Black Snake Moan” is 9 minutes long and goes in depth about the scene where Rae and Lazarus bond over the song “Black Snake Moan”. Rounding things out is 12 minutes of Deleted Scenes. Notable among them is a scene where Lazarus discovers that his ex-wife is pregnant with his brother’s child. Another scene shows how Ricci and Justin Timberlake’s characters met and bonded .while she peed. A final deleted scene shows Lazarus professing his love for Angela.