Henry Rollins is such a prolific guy that when I heard that he did a TV special about snakes it didn’t strike me as odd. I quite often stumble upon things he has done that I knew nothing about so for all I know he could have his own cooking show.
In the opening scene Rollins informs us that he’s “into hard rock music, big ideas and snakes”. He proudly states that he has three snake tattoos and says he is an “enthusiastic student of the serpentine science”.
First up Henry makes a trip over to Slayer guitarist Kerry King’s house. Turns out Kerry is a keen snake collector, breeder and seller. He has over 300 snakes, all non-venomous as one bite would ruin his guitar playing career. Over the course of the episode Henry visits different types of snake lovers, those who collect venomous and non-venomous snakes and those who breed, transport and acquire illegal snakes.
When I saw the cover I wondered about the word ‘Underworld’, I mean is there a snake underworld? Well yes there is and Henry exposes it. He meets up with illegal snake owners and a man who injects himself with Black Mamba venom. Tim injects himself with the venom once a month to let his system build up antibodies to fight the venom. He shoots up venom in front of Henry and the medical team on standby is stunned by how his body reacts to a deadly dose of venom. Henry also shines some light on reptile cartels which are the second largest black market next to the drug trade.
I’m not sure all Rollins fans will be wanting to run out and buy a copy of this but his enthusiasm and knowledge makes it really enjoyable. He’s like a little kid in a candy shop, for example: when a snake handler brings out a snake he virtually takes it off her and walks around with it whilst giving a lengthy lecture on its attributes. It’s worth a rental at least if you consider yourself a Rollins fan. For snake fans I am sure you’ll get a kick out of it.
In the ways of extras there’s a bonus episode “Land of the Anaconda” which runs for 55 minutes and some trailers.
Snake Underworld With Henry Rollins is available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.