It’s raining snakes in Compton, south of Los Angeles, but the hot Californian weather is not all that is stimulating the ophidians, the hatchling having been rescued by science student Vurkel who has exposed them to a growth ray in hopes of harvesting stem cells for research.
His friends Cam, Pinball, Neon and Beez Knees preparing for their audition with Uppercase Records as arranged by talent agent R.E.L., their demo having been financed by borrowing from loan shark Alley Jaws, they pay little heed when Vurkel tries to warn them that an accident has caused the snake to grow at an uncontrollable rate due to the unstable molecules it has absorbed.
Threatening the ‘hood and eating their neighbours, neither hard-nosed trigger-happy cop Denz nor his lactose-intolerant rookie partner Ethan are much help, nor is Alley Jaws likely to be of much use despite his gold-plated AK-47, preferring an advance to the rear when threatened, so it is up to Cam’s crew to get the snake outta Compton.
Directed by prolific low-budget producer and director Hank Braxton from a script for which he shares credit with four other writers, Snake Outta Compton is many things; serious is not one of them, mercilessly spoofing everything within sigh with character names taken from Training Day to Bill and Ted and dialogue referencing everything from Game of Thrones to Star Trek.
Sadly, despite the varied and topical subjects it attempts to satirise, race relations, police brutality, homelessness, homicide, fashion crimes and speciesism, the aim is poor and the instrument is blunt, the viewer bludgeoned by a barrage of juvenile humour in which only one line in a dozen approaches the target.
Effective neither as a science fiction parody or a horror spoof, Snake Outta Compton’s undoing is that presents itself as an outrageous comedy while remaining resolutely unfunny, and while the cast – Ricky Flowers, Jr, Motown Maurice, Donte Essien, Joston Theney and Jon Kondelik – are game for anything they are let down badly by the shamefully bad digital effects and compositing.
Boasting the least convincing monster snake since Kinda, Snake Outta Compton feels like a decades old MTV production aimed at particularly sweary children of short attention span, making Eight Legged Freaks seem a narrative masterpiece, and with nothing to pin the rest of the film on the whole collapses.
Worse is the rampant and unquestioned misogyny; that Alley Jaws refers to his posse and bitches and whores may represent a stereotype and Eric Paul Erickson is clearly smarter than the shouting-and-biceps part, but with even the producer and casting director (and director’s wife) Arielle Brachfeld obliged to humiliate herself as “token white girl in the ‘hood” the only female role significance and substance is Aurelia Michael’s talented singer Neon.
Snake Outta Compton is available on DVD from Signature Entertainment from Monday 28th January