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Film / Black Snake Moan

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Fun little upbeat slice-of-life comedy where some nice Southern folks learn some fun things together about friendship and the blues. Memorable for the scene where Samuel L. Motherfuckin' Jackson plays an electric guitar in a thunderstorm, even if for no other reason.

In real life (aka not Sarcasm Mode), the 2006 film is about a cantankerous former Blues singer/guitarist named Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) who has fallen on hard times. His wife leaves him for his brother and his faith in both God and other people is rather low. Then he meets Rae (Christina Ricci): a nymphomaniac struggling with her sex addiction and other psychological problems now that her boyfriend Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) has gone off to the military. Lazarus finds her beaten and unconscious in the road near his home and decides to "cure" her: cure in this case standing for chaining her to a radiator. However, after much friction, Rae slowly starts to listen to what Lazarus has to say about life through his music and through learning how to deal with her problems.

A polarizing film, it made quite a splash with its controversial subjects that include but are not limited to rape, sexual addiction, parental abuse, anxiety disorders, and religious outlooks. Needless to say, it is certainly Not Safe for Work as the movie's TV Tropes page illustrates below.

Black Snake Moan provides examples of:

  • Above the Influence: Mercifully, Lazarus refuses Rae's initial advances to have sex with her in favor of helping her deal with her condition.
  • Abusive Parents: Rae's mother was content to just let her partner rape Rae while she was young.
  • Binge Montage: Rae getting drunk, taking drugs and having lots of unprotected sex at a wild party while Ronnie's away.
  • Blood from the Mouth: After Lazarus finds Rae beaten and near-dead, Rae coughs up blood from her mouth.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The chain. Rae uses it to wrap around her body to supress and control her raging libido. When she and Ronnie get married, she wears a gold bracelet shaped like a chain to wrap around her arm to control herself. It works.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: At the beginning, Rae starts coughing at a party but insists to her concerned friends it's just nothing. Eventually she collapses and her medical state worsens, leaving Lazarus to help treat her cough with codeine.
  • The Deep South: Not as Deep South as other examples though the film takes place in the Southern state of Tennessee.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: When Rae throws herself at Lincoln, Lazarus arrives home too late to catch them and they both end up in trouble. Though Lincoln gets praised by Lazarus for losing his virginity in the first place (albeit without consent) and tosses him a pack of smokes for it and it's Played for Laughs.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Lazarus hosts a wedding for Rae and Ronnie and begins to form a relationship with the local pharmacist, having finally banished his inner demons. Thanks to his influence, Rae is able to quell her hypersexual urges, leaving her in a better position to help Ronnie deal with his anxiety disorder.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Rae having sex with her boyfriend in the opening credits, and her boyfriend Ronnie vomiting into the toilet due to suffering from severe anxiety.
  • Extreme Libido: The film has Rae, a nymphomaniac struggling with her sex addiction and other psychological problems now that her boyfriend Ronnie has gone off to the military. Rae's hypersexuality is so out of control that literally the minute Ronnie's truck is out of sight she falls to her knees and is visibly trying to stop herself from masturbating right there in her front yard. She cries "no" to herself several times as her hand keeps gravitating to her thigh, and finally gives in. Cut immediately to her having sex with Tehronne.
  • Everybody Has Standards: Rae loves having sex to fill the void but when her boyfriend's "friend" Gill attempts to have proposition sex from her, she turns him down knowing that that's wrong.
  • Fan Disservice: Christina Ricci ate a diet of only fats and starches to make her skin look pale and pasty for her role. It worked a bit too well.
  • Fanservice: A sexually frustrated Christina Ricci chained up and struggling for release.
  • A Family Affair: Lazarus is bitter because his former wife left him for his brother.
  • Feigning Healthiness: Rae's friends notice she keeps coughing but she just blows it off and insists that it's nothing so that she can party. The drugs, sex and alcohol don't help either. She's eventually found in a worsened physical state by Lazarus.
  • Fever Dream Episode: After being beaten and left for dead, Rae falls ill and suffers hallucinations and nightmares from a severe fever brought about from untreated illness as well as severe stress and trauma.
  • Forceful Kiss:
    • Rae kisses Lazarus while delirious from a fever and suffering from other untreated ailments.
    • Rae also delivers this to Lincoln as she throws herself at him.
  • The Hedonist: After her boyfriend leaves to serve in the military, Rae gives in to her raging libido and leaps into a life of wild abandon.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Lazarus and Rae are generations apart, but they do eventually form an emotional bond.
  • Intimate Psychotherapy: A version of this is used. Rae and Ronnie pretty much keep each other sane by being together.
  • Jerkass: Ronnie's "friend" Gill, who savagely beats Rae for refusing his advances, dumps her body in the road, and then brags about it when Ronnie comes back, effectively crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Jump Scare: This happens to Lazarus when he find a bloodied and battered Rae lying on the side of the road and believes her to be dead...only for her to violently cough up blood in his face when checking on her.
  • The Kindnapper: Lazarus kidnaps Rae with the intent of helping her heal from her sinful ways and doesn't intend to let her go until he does so.
  • Lecherous Stepparent: Rae was raped by her mother's boyfriend numerous times when she was a little girl. What's worst is that her mother knew about it and never even did anything to stop it
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Both Rae and Ronnie are both warped individuals who need each other to keep their anxieties at bay. Things quickly go downhill for Rae when Ronnie leaves for deployment at the beginning.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Deconstructed with Rae. She dresses in skimpy clothes and is compulsively-driven to have sex. This is all a result of her hypersexuality disorder that came from a lifetime of sexual abuse and her proclivity is shown to be self-destructive.
  • Musical Nod: To the Mississippi Blues movement.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: But she honestly can't help herself.
  • Never My Fault: Rae's mother never acknowledge her role in Rae's child abuse and instead blames her for her boyfriend molesting her.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: All the advertising and posters for the movie make it appear to be a sexy, gritty, grindhouse film centered entirely on the aspect that Rae is a sex-kitten slave in chains. When really, she was barely wearing the chain for a third of the film, and Lazarus doesn't chain her up for any prurient reasons; quite the opposite, in fact.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: Lincoln, who arrived at Lazarus's house to pick up a delivery of vegetables, enters the house to find Rae chained up inside. As soon as she sees him, Rae, despite her best attempts to not give in to her sexual urges, immediately rips her top off and throws herself at him and it escalates into sex between the two pretty quickly as the door slams shut.
  • Promiscuity After Rape: After continuous childhood rape by her mother's partner, Rae becomes hypersexual.
  • Really Gets Around: Rae.
  • Resentful Guardian: Rae's mother doesn't take fault for her boyfriend molesting Rae and tells her instead "Only thing I'm sorry for is listening to my parents and having you...".
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After beating and seemingly killing Rae for rejecting him, Gill dumps her unconscious body outside on a road and takes off in his truck.
  • Sex Is Evil: Both played straight and averted in this movie. It acknowledges the importance of sex with someone you love while highlighting the danger of having sex irresponsibly, all without being too Anvilicious.
  • STD Immunity: Averted. It's implied that Rae has some sorts of venereal disease due to her promiscuity. However the only illness she suffers the most is a cough and a near-fatal beating.
  • Stress Vomit: Justin Timberlake's Establishing Character Moment in this film is him vomiting into a toilet, showcasing his crippling anxiety.
  • The Tease: Rae, in the beginning of the film. She gets better.
  • Tough Love: Lazarus holding Rae captive in his home to force her into going cold turkey is a very extreme case of this.
  • Useless Bystander Parent: Rae's mother knew along that her boyfriend was molesting her daughter and did nothing to stop it, putting the shame on her daughter instead.
  • Villainous Incest: Rae's stepfather molested her when she was a little girl and this haunts Rae, to the point of her having nightmares where he's attempting to rape her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lazarus's motives for keeping Rae chained up are to cure her of her hypersexuality and other psychological disorders but in Real Life, this would get him arrested and charged with false best.