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By Kevin Carr | January 30, 2003

There is no doubt that Americans have found great entertainment in violence. Actually, we can’t really blame the Americans for this one. Violence as entertainment goes back for centuries, even before the Romans threw gladiators into the arena to fight to the death. Let’s face it, as a species, we humans just dig violence.
In “The Snell Show,” director Andrew Black takes a satirical look at American’s fascination with the ultimate symbol of violence – the atomic bomb.
We open with Arvin Snell manufacturing a homemade atomic bomb, which he is going to set off in the middle of the yearly Snell family reunion. Apparently, it is a tradition for the family to gather outside Arvin’s Airstream to watch the detonation of such a weapon, purely for their own amusement.
The story of “The Snell Show” isn’t the strong point as much as the laissez faire attitude many people have about some of the dastardliest things when they are presented as a form of entertainment. The main thrust is how we will entertain ourselves however we see fit with no thought of consequence.
Actually, the real strength of “The Snell Show” is the cinematography and production design. The film captures the 1950s ideal appearance without looking forced. Plus, the subtle use of wardrobe and props make this period piece work seamlessly, which is a tough feat for many independent films.
Overall, “The Snell Show” is a look inward with some dry wit. It doesn’t over do things, and it doesn’t try to be something that it’s not.

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