Thursday, August 25, 2005

SNAKES ON A PLANE = B Movie Heaven

Ok, so by now this is probably old hat to most of you, but just in case, I figure I’d post a little blog about this new flick called.....SNAKES ON A PLANE. If you haven’t already read about it on Defamer or other random sites , read on here. My boss was talking about it a few days ago and then I got another tip off today from a dear reader with the link to the film’s IMDB page.


So what’s the deal with this movie? The title basically says it all “Snakes on a Plane” is about well.....snakes on a plane. Think Anaconda meets Passenger 57. (Always bet on black) The logline of the movie as listed on IMDB says:

On board a flight over the Pacific Ocean, an assassin, bent on killing a passenger who's a witness in protective custody, let loose a crate full of deadly snakes.

There have been tons of movies with creepy crawlies --Arachnaphobia, Creep Show (that cockroach scene is forever burned in my mind...), Raiders of the Lost Arc (snakes, why did it have to be snakes) and many more. Tiny confined spaces, are another phobia factor that movies have played upon to create sensations of clausterphobia --but small inescapable spaces AND vermin? Brillant. There are so many things that come to mind! Surely the pilot will have to be bit, and they have to convince some rogue badass passenger who hasn’t flow in ten years to take over. Will there be poisonous ones? Contricting ones? And what about weapons! These days you can’t even carry a damn eyebrow tweezer on board on the chance that you will use them to poke the captain’s eyes out and commandeer the plane. You can’t toss them out of the plane, because you’ll depressurize the cabin and then freeze or suffocate to death. Not to mix metaphors or anything, but talk about a can of worms!

There are four writers listed in the credits for screenplay,
Sebastian Gutierrez, John Heffernan, David Loucka, and Sheldon Turner. I have no clue which one of them actually came up with the conceit for the movie, but whoever did is genius.

I imagine if the filmmakers know what they’re doing, they’ll know how to build the tension and make it 100 minutes or so of sheer suspense. The film’s director, David R. Ellis, seems to be a chamelion of sorts. Ellis has done stunt man work for almost seventy movies since 1976. He’s also done 2nd AD and 2nd unit stuff for big stuff like Matrix Reloaded and the first Harry Potter. And he’s acted in a few features including ...you guessed it, Rocky III! Ellis’film directing roster has B movie written all over it, having done Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, Final Destination 2, and Cellular. Now I actually haven’t seen any of those movies, but I’ve heard that Final Destination 2 has some cool sequences in it. As for Cellular, it just seemed like an awful script that was a rip on Phone Booth (which I thought was pretty sub par in and of itself). Still, Ellis knows crazy stunts, and seems to be drawn to that “B-movie” sensibility, which I think will have drastic results. It will either be completely awesome, filled with just the right amount of tension, humor and action or awe-inspiringly terrible, with wooden dialogue, and foolishly improbably sequences, --and in its terribleness it will be truly great. Either way it seems like a win, win situation.

Sam L. Jackson is the star (another sign in my opinion that the movie will be great even if it is bad) and there are some other TV type actors in it, including Julianna Margulies.

Now a lot of head scratching has been generated by New Line Cinema, the studio behind the film, because they want to change the title to Pacific Air Flight 121. Obviously they don’t see the campy charm of having a title reminscne of all those insane 50’s films, like Attack of the 50 foot woman and Beast from 20,000 fathoms. Titles that told you exactly what sort of stupendous event and/or figure the movie centered on. Why you actively choose a title which sounds like part of an announcement made over an airport telecom system? I mean come on, Snakes on a plane, man, snakes on a plane!

Here’s a still from the movie which is currently filming and will be released next summer.

6 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

This movie is obviously a joke. Did you see the SNL skit with the exact same premise? John Goodman was hosting and Will Ferrell was a pilot. It was a semi-decent sketch. I assume this will be a parody or satire, not a thriller.

6:42 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

I actually haven't seen that sketch, though it sounds funny. But dude, its no joke, this movie is a for real thriller!

Thriller night!

10:39 PM  
Blogger The Moviequill said...

The original title was Pacific Flight 121 or something and then Samuel Jackson said some comment like 'snakes on a plane, mutherfucker!' and now the new title ha

12:57 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

I actually heard that the only reason Sam Jackson did it was cause of the title (see defamer link) and then he's the main guy volleying for changing it back from this pacific business. More power to him!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Elliot said...

I would like to see more films in this new genre.
Tigers on a Truck.
Vermin in a Volkswagen.
Fish on a Forklift.
Beavers on a Bus.
Crocodiles in a Car (I'll have to illustrate some of these...)

6:25 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Ooo, ooo, I like crocs in a car!

8:18 AM  

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