DVD Release Date: August 14, 2007 Rating: Unrated Running Time: 75 Minutes
The village of Ban Kok Sa-Nga is very simple in their ways. Still relying on herbal medicines and spiritual healing, the village hasn’t changed much in many decades and that goes also for the way most of the men earn their money. A good number of the male villagers still practice the ancient art of snake boxing. Gathering at the village’s main center of worship and money-making, the temple, they practice this art in front of many other villagers and tourists. Here they risk life and limb in order to not only entertain, but to keep the traditional battles alive.
Kiss My Snake follows around many different snake boxers and focuses on how the art is done. These men literally are facing the risk of life and limb every single day they go into work. No disrespect is intended here, but this really is one of the dumbest documentaries I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s hard for me to say that considering I don’t live in Thailand and don’t exactly know the ways of life over there. Their entire history is not known to me, nor do I know exactly why they live the ways they do. But this film not only shows how insane snake boxing is, but it also shows how asinine the villagers’ methods are.
True that there are numerous countries and villages all around the world that believe in spiritual healing. They don’t think the modern methods could possibly work and they won’t even give them the chance. The problem with this small Thai village is that they also believe in spiritual healing and old fashioned methods. Herbs are mashed and rubbed or ingested by those bitten by venomous snakes in order to keep the venom contained and then taken out of the body. But if all of that doesn’t work, then they head to the hospital. So they believe in traditional methods, but the hospital is there in case they need something to fall back on? Talk about being hypocritical.
You’re going to notice many things that may disturb you and possibly anger you. Children take part in the art of snake boxing at very early ages, but don’t practice with venomous snakes until they get some experience in. It is quite obvious that some of the children don’t wish to partake, but they can’t say anything because it would be disrespecting their parents’ wishes. One boy in particular, who is said to be one of the more experienced young ones, admits he is afraid and very scared of being bit. Still he keeps on going because his dad wants him to. It just goes to show you how hypocritical it all is because his dad is merely the announcer for the snake shows and won’t go near the snakes.
The rest of the film shows that even the best are risking their lives as a long time great gets bitten four times in four days during a big celebration. He almost died after the second bite and was rushed to the hospital, but he went back the next day and continued to fight the snakes. It is a dumb sport and I don’t see how anyone other then those in Thailand would be interested in it at all. Watching Kiss My Snake didn’t make me respect these people or what they do. It made me pity them because they are doing a boring sport of slapping a cobra in the head and moving out the way of it when it strikes. And when they’re not quick enough, they get bitten. Don’t come crying to me when you lose your thumb boys.
The film is shown in 1.77:1 Full Screen format and looks like a documentary straight and simple. Colors are bright and vibrant all throughout the trees and villages without much distortion or things ever being too bright. It’s nothing to write home about, but it is a documentary and meant to look rather rough.
The film is heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and comes through fine for what it is. There is some background music from time to time that is not too loud but clearly heard. For the rest of Kiss My Snake, it’s mostly conversation and is usually heard nicely but you don’t really pay much attention to anyone but the narrator because it’s all in subtitles.
Biographies – There are two readable text biographies. One is of the director Tom Tavee and the other of producer Dan Nuxoll.
The Inside Pulse
Don’t waste your time is all that needs to be said here. Kiss My Snake is nicely filmed and has an interesting narrative that tells some interesting facts about snakes, but you can pick up an encyclopedia and get the same knowledge. The rest of the documentary consists of an idiotic sport that is boring and insane to continue doing. Some of the villagers fear that the children aren’t too interested and that the sport may eventually die out. I hope a few of the children somehow are able to read this review or have it translated to them because to all of them I say, let it die. Become a lawyer, doctor, or even a pizza delivery boy. It’s safer and the documentary itself shows that it is possible and can be done if you simply try to. The special features are nothing to care about and the documentary makes you angry, so steer clear of this one or I’ll send a king cobra to your house to take off your index finger.