Written by Mr. Mouseburger 30th Mar 2009
Following on from the success of the wonderful Snakes on a Plane, comes this actionfest, which steals all the worst elements from the aforementioned film and then adds a few more terrible concepts to it. That said, the director still could have pulled this off, had the special effects budget been significant, but alas it was not, and so we have a series of bizarre circumstances that progressively stretch our suspension of disbelief to breaking point, and then for a thrilling conclusion, it blows our minds with something I had to rewatch a couple of times to ensure my eyes had seen correctly.
The film centres on Alma, a Mexican border jumper who is looking very sick. We find out that she is in fact subject of a powerful Mayan curse which has caused her belly to become full of snake eggs, which keep hatching in her stomach and she has to intermittantly vomit them out in a mixture of green goo, the exact reason for this is unclear, but it certainly is a bit gross. Be warned: do not watch this film within a couple of hours of eating a chow mein from your local Chinese takeaway, it might leave you a tad queasy.
Alma is desperately trying to get to Los Angeles, not in order to get expert medical attention for her affliction, but to meet a powerful Mayan shaman who might be able to cure her. It seems a little perplexing that the only Mayan shaman capable of helping her are not in their native country, but in LA. Still, this does help make the plot slightly more credible, so we can live with it.
Soon enough, the train is hurtling across the desolate Texan desert, and Alma is throwing up miniature snakes like itis going out of fashion. Her partner does his best to capture the snakes in a little jar, but it is not long before they start escaping and growing faster than the Zimbawan rate of inflation. With people dying left, right and centre (i will be adding some more deaths from this later), it falls on Brujo, Alma's partner, to gather up all the snakes he can and return them to her. ,
It is not really explained why he has to do this as far as I can recall, but by this point in the film, Alma is looking rather worse for wear with skin peeling off, and large, protruding fangs sprouting out of her mouth (i.e. she is looking a little bit snakelike). Having vomitted out the snakes earlier in the film, Alma now proceeds to re-eat them again (I can only assume the actress playing this role is a specialist in putting snakes in her mouth and not feeling too uncomfortable about it, as this plot device is used excessively throughout the film).
As she re-eats the snake something strange happens to Alma, she morphs into a large snake, that is half the size of the cabin. The next sequence of events makes Twin Peaks look logical and mainstream, as the huge snake punches out of the side of the carriage, and begins to slither its way up to the head of the train. The perspective of the snake suddenly goes haywire; one moment it is 20 foot long, punching out of the cabin, then it is a few hundred feet long as it is slithering alongside the speeding train (managing to keep up with the hurtling train, then, no more than 2 seconds later,the snake is ahead of the train and must be approaching 1/2km long, so big in fact, it is capable of swallowing the train in its massive maw.
The massive snake chomps down and bite-by-bite slowly eats the entire train. I was at this point asking my friend whether he had spiked my ovaltine with LSD or some other powerful hallucingen, but he assured me not! Some of the passengers escape through the back of the train, and fortunately for them one of them is a Mayan shaman character, who manages to kneel and pray to the ancient gods of the Mayans to come and help these people.
Sure enough, the gods answer this call, and send a whirlwind down to suck this abomination of nature into the vortex and kill it. The entire ending to the film is a very hurried affair and I am not joking when i say that it probably takes longer to read this review than it does for all of the events I have written about to unfold on the screen. One of the more bizarre deaths, but I wont be forgetting that in a long time. Chow mein anyone?