King of Snake, (Snake King) has two things that help it stand out in what is getting to be a very crowded field of Chinese giant critter movies. Rather than a modern-day setting, it takes place during China’s Warlord Period between 1916 and 1928. And, rather than just being oversized like the one in Snakes, this serpent has two heads.
Forced to stop due to rocks on the track a train finds itself under attack. First from a horde of venomous snakes and then a huge two-headed one. Among the survivors are Jing Lan (Kang Ning, Dragon Labyrinth) who was returning to her home village, Mu Sheng (Chen Xinzhe, Exorcism Master) who makes traditional medicines out of snakes, and Mao Sho Yang (Shao Shuai, The Male Queen), leader of a small detachment of troops that’s about to get much smaller.
The survivors reach Lan and Sheng’s village only to find the snakes have attacked it as well leaving few survivors. Their only hope is to send a few daring souls to the Snake King Valley to get the Blood Orchids, I mean Serpent Flowers, needed to make a cure.
The opening attack on the train is well done and has some surprisingly good effects for both the swarm of regular-sized and the giant snakes. The scenes of the passengers panicking are effective as well, the train’s cramped cars and glimpses of the swarming serpents outside the train giving an added feeling of claustrophobia and of being trapped.