Black Snake Moan

(2007) * 1/2 R
115 min. Paramount Vantage. Director: Craig Brewer. Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, John Cothran Jr, Michael Raymond-James.

Welcome to the Lazarus Rehabilitation Center, where tarts become dear hearts since 2007. Our program is strictly based on treatment methods developed by our founder Lazarus, a great man with the face of Samuel L. Jackson, the Delta-blues vocal stylings of Son House, and the wisdom of Solomon. Amen!

Located in verdant, ramshackle Tennessee, the LRC boasts a dozen bungalows, each equipped with a radiator and a length of industrial-strength chain. Our trained staff will shackle your slutty daughters up just as soon as they arrive and believe you me, they're not going anywhere until they drive out that devil itch. You know the one I mean. It's like the serpent has crawled right up in through their nether regions and is just writhing around, rattling their hoo-hahs. Rest assured, your little nympho will be God-fearing wife material within two weeks. Mandinga to Maria—that's our motto.

The good works of the Lazarus Rehabilitation Center all began when a girl named Rae (now our receptionist) collapsed on the road near Lazarus' home. Wearing little more than the torn T-shirt of a Rebel and a whole mess of crusty blood, Rae was drunk, drugged, thoroughly worked over by most of the men in town, and still in heat. Lazarus, bless 'im, wasn't looking for trouble. An ex-churchgoer and ex-neighborhood blues performer, he had retreated from life and faith to stew over his own problems—mostly the anger in his heart over the exodus of his cheatin' wife. Lazarus too needed to be born again. But first he had to chain this girl to a radiator: that much was clear.

Turns out Rae was on a sexual rampage after her boyfriend Ronnie—who bore a striking resemblance to that darling boy from Mickey Mouse Club, Justin Timberlake—left her at home to enlist in the Army. He made her promise to stay faithful, but the devil came down to Tennessee, and he wasn't just looking to make Rae wear Prada! Lord, no, that girl was seized by the itch just the instant Ronnie drove away. That snake even made her plumb forget about what her daddy did to her all those years ago, but when you're chained up, you have time to think about these things. Of course, you have to want to be changed. As Lazarus told Rae, "We ain't gon' be moved." Mmm, that's good protest.

The Lazarus method has been tried and tested 50% more effective than a chastity belt. After all, we do more than just chain your daughter to a radiator. That would be crazy, wouldn't it? No, we also teach her that singing "This Little Light of Mine" will make her feel better and drive out that snake. Yes, the healing power of music worked for Rae, it worked for Lazarus, and it can work for your daughter, even if she's one of those godless celebrities. Some have called Rae's story one of exploitation—exploiting women, exploiting the people who hear it, even exploiting exploitation movies. To those people we say, maybe you need to be chained to a radiator. Think about that.

While you're chained up, you can watch Black Snake Moan, the very professional-looking film of our founder's story. Put together by Craig Brewer, the white man who truly understands the black experience (didn't you see Hustle & Flow?), Black Snake Moan is in the fine tradition of Quentin Tarantino and, oh, let's say Brett Ratner. I've never heard of those folks, but darn if this isn't a stylish work of art that even Mel Gibson would love. Junior-college students everywhere will be picking out their favorite new monologues for acting class. And it's not the least bit ridiculous, we swear. Or offensive. It's all about the love; the bruised nudity and Samuel L. Jackson blues numbers are just the, um, jelly rolls that help the medicine go down.

So if your daughter is a hussy, let us chain her to a radiator. If your girlfriend's a compulsive fornicator, we offer couples counseling led by our local preacher. And if you're like Lazarus, "trying to be the shepherd," why not take our blues-guitar lessons? No damaged soul poisoned with hate too small. Don't moan because of that black snake...make that black snake moan for you, at the Lazarus Rehabilitation Center!

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