Bad Movies I Love #2 Snakes On A PlanePosted: February 15, 2012
The first thing you have to love about the film is the sheer lunacy of the plot- a young guy witnesses a gangland hit and is taken into protective custody by a badass federal agent and they catch a plane from Hawaii to LA so he can testify. The mobster however wants to off him and instead of doing something simple like shooting him or something he decides the way to do it by releasing a massive bed of snakes onto the plane (yes, “bed” is the rather disappointing collective noun for snakes).
Anyway from there on out the film is extremely good fun as the snakes bite and munch there way through the anonymous passengers, whittling it down to a few major players with obvious predictability.
You know what you’re getting with a creature feature and they can be quite good fun, and this one is definitely amongst the better ones, mainly due to having some extremely dark, funny moments in the early stages and being based around the sheer badassery that is Samuel L Jackson. Anyway, as with Independence Day, here’s a list of some of the things I love about this flick-
1. Samuel L Jackson
SLJ is quite possibly the coolest guy on earth, after Clint there is no greater onscreen badass, and in this despite the hokey plot and ridiculous events he still keeps his cool. Jackson’s clearly having a whale of a time in the film, but never hams it up too much, playing it like its just a regular action-adventure, and the film works all the better for it.
2. The KISS Principle
Keep it simple, stupid. Snakes. On a plane. Set up the reason for the snakes to be on the plane at the start, introduce the fairly two-dimensional characters and then release the snakes to bite, spit and constrict their way through the extras.
3. Old School Fun
The film has this really cool, old fashioned feel to it. The passengers are all fairly simple caricatures like in the best of the 70s disaster movies and like the best 80s horror movies there’s some gratuitious T&A in the start of the film. Its like a callback to the film’s exploitation roots, and I think a key part of the genre film tradtion.
Look at Aliens Vs Predator- part of the reason it falls so flat is because its such a neutered, bland version of the franchises. No swearing, no bloodletting and no nudity. Genre films are at their best when they kind of keep the sleazy elements in place, just like with rock music.
4. Black humour
The film actually has some pretty dark laughs early on- there’s the couple who get whacked while joining the mile high club and the guy who gets bit on his trousersnake. The scenes of panic amongst the passengers have a wondefully macabre slapsticky quality, prompting giggles amongst the gasps and winces.
Clearly the film maker’s had a long meeting where they just came up with half a dozen ingenious ways for snakes to attack on a plane and these add to the film’s best sequence of the film as the snakes take over.
5. The pre-film hype
Before the flick was released there was quite a buzz, and for me this was enjoyable in itself. People online started really having fun with it, making fanmade posters and spoofs, which the film’s makers allowed, mainly due to it being free publicity, but it made it kind of fun and lent the film a goofy charm it wouldn’t probably have had.
Jackson spoke of taking the movie purely on the title and it arrived to great fanfare.
However, it didn’t bust the blocks as hoped for at the cinema, but I imagine is the kind of film that would do well on DVD and will go on to be a bit of a cult classic.
6. The script and that Line.
The script has a couple of good lines throughout and in amongst all the cheese there are some nice touches, but the major success is the film’s most famous line. Noone can match Jackson’s delivery, but its fun to try, so all together now:
“Enough is enough! I have it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”
Any thoughts? You know what to do. TTFN