A film crew are making a Reality TV show about a couple brought together by a dating agency. However, the couple are so incompatible that the crew must manipulate the relationship to get the footage they need.
The Tongan Ninja is sent by his master, to the island of New Zealand to help a floundering Chinese restaurant, but the mysterious Mister Big tries to stop the eatery's way by sending numerous villains.
A serial killer armed with a crossbow pistol is murdering people from their own rooftops. When three young coworkers at a poorly-attended slumber party start hearing footsteps on the roof, they fear the worst.
Mark Tapio Kines
Mary Lynn Rajskub
Alice (Lynskey) lives in suburban Christchurch, the 'safest place in the world', but she longs for an adventure of American proportions (guns, murder, sex, drugs etc). Her best friend Craig (O'Gorman) changes his name to Johnny because Craig isn't heroic enough for Alice. He is in love with her and waiting for her to settle down so that he can be with her. She likes hanging out with him because of the hot as car he did up himself, a convertible Valiant. Together they roam the roads around SE NZ picking up hitchhikers and looking for excitement. One day they pick up Seth, an American Texas type, with snakeskin boots and a cowboy hat. He is on the run from a gang of skinheads who he stole money from, a Mr. Trippy truck with a couple who he stole a whole crap load of drugs off, and a big Moari dude on a motorcycle. Alice is immediately enchanted by Seth, Johnny jealous. Seth tricks Alice into taking a trip with him. The chase leads them away from their home and toward the hazardous roads... Written by
New Zealand movies have a knack for being slightly 'quirky' and this film is no exception. The characters are somewhat enigmatic, the scenes are at times surreal, and the plot is suitably 'dark'. Unfortunately, "Snakeskin" is unable to live up to its premise, and the viewing experience is somewhat unfulfilling. However, this is not to say that the film is without its good points: Firstly, the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking and showcases the beauty of Southern New Zealand; secondly, the camera work is extremely effective (especially in the first half) thus adding an element of intrigue; and thirdly, the acting is slick and well-polished (in particular Melanie Lynskey and Oliver Driver).
Despite its good intentions, "Snakeskin" does not run as smoothly as it ought too. The first half of the film runs like a typical road movie, and this is reinforced by the use of humour and brisk action (car chases etc). The second half of the film takes a dramatic change however, and veers into thriller territory. The scenes become darker, more complex, and more serious. I found this shift in genres quite distracting, and it made the film increasingly difficult to comprehend. Obviously, the snake motif plays a central part in the film, but this is undermined by the 'twilight zone' treatment it receives in the latter stages. Ultimately, I think the film would have been more effective if it stuck to a simpler story-making formula.
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