There is a lot to talk about when it comes to Snake With A Human Tail.
For one the poster art is amazing. So often fans are let down by DVD cover and poster art. As of late, it seems as though our plight has been heard. This is no exception. Be sure I will be looking in to getting a copy for my collection, hopefully signed.
Be prepared, Snake With A Human Tail is one of those films that is upsetting on a natural, human, this could really happen, level. To sum it up, the film is Psycho meets Pink Flamingos, directed by a young Quentin Tarantino. It’s a thrill ride.
For most of us sane and rational people out there, corrupt religious authorities are angering and terrifying, Snake With A Human Tail feels the same way. Meet Father Fulci (Marv Blauvelt). As a survivor of sexual assault, he did not break the cycle of abuse, instead he mastered his seductions while working at Church. Presently dating a transgendered woman he finds himself becoming obsessed with his new girlfriend, Karma (Sheri Davis) and her talent for not feeling physical pain. The viewer learns quickly what type of horror this film is. There is no candy coating for the faint of heart in Snake With A Human Tail, it is not written or directed to protect its audience from the crudeness of its reality.
Karma was my favourite character. She is a woman with baggage. By carrying the baggage with her through life, she became stronger and more determined to seek out resolution for her past. During her earlier years as a young boy, she was abused by a Father in the Church she attended. The abuse changed her destiny. The desire for revenge continued until present day, when she was finally able to release her glorious blood-thirsty retribution. The conclusion (no spoilers here) is why I feel Snake With A Human Tail will redefine revenge-horror.
Snake With A Human Tail is a well done flick. Billy Blair (Dr.Bloom) understood how to express a false sense of caring for Father Fulci, whilst still keeping in line with the limitations of his job as a Therapist. However, it seems too many actors are not taking into consideration what the their character would typically look like. Blair fits in this category. As your audience, we want to see different sides of you, how you can take on a whole new persona. It bothers me, what can I say? It’s my main complaint about Blair as he appeared like he just finished playing a set with Eric Clapton and not what I know as common aesthetics for a Psychiatrist. My advice, shave the goatee. Once that baby blanket is gone he will be able to express his characters on their own merits. By doing so, Blair‘s acting abilities are going to appear stronger which is a great thing as I said, he nearly nailed it on ever level but, his appearance worked against him. That’s still awesome. Plus, hair grows back.
If Karma was key to Snake With A Human Tail, Sheri Davis was the lock. From her mannerisms, to her speech, to her loyalty to the role, Davis was able to emote what a woman in Karma’s drugged up lifestyle might behave like. I asked Davis what her first thoughts were when she was introduced to the character Karma. Her response was that of a true actor. “There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted the portray the role of Karma. I literally said to myself, “I finally get this incredible opportunity that I’ve longed for.”I desired a role where I could show my diversity as an actress. I wanted to break the typecast of the roles I had played. I literally pictured the transformation of Charlize Theron in “Monster” when I envisioned the physical transformation that I wanted to make from the “pretty brunette Southern actress” to something much different. I had been longing for this role. I felt so much empathy for what Karma had experienced and become because of Father Fulci’ s actions and I wanted Karma to be real to the audience. I wanted people to feel, see, and hear who Karma was and who she had to become to survive Father Fulci ‘ s abuse. I am very grateful to Spencer Gray for giving me the opportunity to not only play the role of Karma, but the creative freedom to change many things about my physical appearance and trusting me to truly bring him/her to life the way I also envisioned. I am also very thankful to Spencer for allowing me to also Co – produce and help cast as well“
Then, I had to ask the obvious question. Do you feel this film shines a positive light on the Transgendered community or, are you preparing yourself for backlash? Her answer was level-headed “I felt the minute that I first read the script that I would get a lot of backlash from numerous people and groups. I also knew that there would be people who would probably judge me or even change the way they look at me because of this role. Bottom line, I don’t feel that this movie is about a “transgender.” “Snake With A Human Tail” is about an innocent HUMAN BEING who as a child was sexually molested by a deranged priest. The innocence of Henry ‘O’Brien was stolen by Father Fulci and as Karma tells her prostitute friend Kennedy (Melina Lyon), “Karma Blake rose from his ashes!” This film is storytelling at its best! It’s a in your face kind of film which some will find offensive. If that happens then that means that we all did a great job because it became REAL for the audience. This is the raw sad side of life that does exist. It shows us that evil is real and you never know just who may be wearing the mask of pure evil
Marv Blauvelt portrayal of Father Fulci came across a little stiff for me. It felt like the things he was doing on camera were uncomfortable for him and it showed on-screen. His work in Slices of Life was great. He is not a bad actor. However, there were times in the film when the opportunity to give Father Fucli a little humanity cause feelings of sympathy for the monster, those times were not utilized. It was an unnatural performance. The plus side, there are worse things in life than not appearing at ease in the shoes of a child molester.
Clean lines and clear shots make for a good contrast between the psychoticism that transpires on-screen. Spencer Gray knew how to direct Snake With A Human Tail in the perfect way to draw in his audience and make them feel a part of the action, as uncomfortable as that action often is. The diner scene was well done. In sequence with Davis‘ emotional ups and downs the camera angle was constantly changing and there was the introduction of a number of nameless characters, and overload of information, some that didn’t matter, some that were important to the plot. Davis and Gray worked as a team to invoke feelings of unease and interest. One thing that could have been employed into the film would be the use of a hand-held camera during Karma’s scenes. This would aid in conveying the dizzy feeling in being high and can naturally cause viewers to become anxious and unsettled. Gray should be proud of his efforts with Snake With A Human Tail, it is a disturbing way to spend 31 minutes of your life. I asked Gray if Snake With A Human Tail, had a social message behind the story while writing it, and if so, what he felt that message was? “I wanted this film to be the real deal. To inhale America’s sins and spit them out, like Henry Miller’s “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare.” I wanted the raw, real side show for anybody interested in breaking through the POLLYANNAISH facade that is America. I feel so fortunate to have found so much talent that wanted to do the same and pulled it off beautifully. I believe Marv Blauvelt, Sheri Davis, Billy Blair, Jeremy Mitchell, and Anthony Gutierrez are just the beginning of what I feel will be a trend of BOLD new savage art. If you don’t like something in our film, write a nasty email and send it to yourself. It all came from you and the society each one of you helped create.” After watching A Snake With A Human Tail a minimum of four times, it’s really grown on me. Would love to see this made it to a feature or even a series as there could be many secrets held in the past that could be answered through flashbacks from the point of view of Father Fulci during therapy and Karma whilst under narcotics. Did I like it? Yes. Do I see room for improvements? Yes. But, what indie film doesn’t have set backs due to funding, time constraints and, other common issues that come with independent filmmaking. A Snake With A Human Tail will probably do quite well in the festival circuit and I imagine will be known as one of writer/director Spencer Gray‘s better early works. I will be recommending this to any true hard-core horror fans.