Thursday, 1 December 2011

Snakes on a Plane

If you've never seen Snakes on a Plane, you're missing out. Without fear of contradiction, it is the greatest film ever made. When I first saw it, nearly 3 years ago, the early signs were not good: despite its ubiquity as a monument to the power of the interwebs, Snakes only received two stars in its Radio Times review. However, in their brief generic categorisation of the film - "nightmarish horror-thriller" - I noticed they had neglected to include the word "comedy". This is a sure indication that they missed the point somewhat.

Quite whether the director had comedy in mind is perhaps another matter, but rest assured that the ever-cool Samuel L. Jackson knew what he was dealing with. His delivery of the immortal line "I've had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane" rivals anything else in the history of cinema, whilst also acknowledging a profound debt to people on the internet who, like me, think they're so very funny. Meanwhile, as Juliana Margulies fought a pitched battle with a puff adder armed only with a spork, vipers, cobras and assorted asps bit the remaining passengers exclusively on areas of the body suggestive of the fact Benny Hill may well have been a script consultant. He wasn't, of course, having died in 1992. However, I remain unconvinced that the cause of his demise wasn't from a poisonous snake biting his todger. Or his tit, or his arse.

I greeted each of these little nibbles with howls of glee, but the film still had more to offer. The snake in a sick bag was a particularly nice touch, as was the late appearance of an enormous man-eating boa constrictor, which appeared to have lots and lots of teeth. Molars, everything. You can learn so much from watching Channel 4.

As the tubby one from Kenan and Kel landed the plane using video game skills alone, I began to reflect on this film's bafflingly as-yet-untapped sequel potential. Perhaps the producers of the original film were worried about things getting formulaic or, worse still, mildly risible. Quite how this could be a concern for anyone who has just financed a film where an Asian-American mobster fills a passenger jet with randy snakes, I don't know, it's just a suggestion. As a framework, though, the High Concept film is ideal for the postmodern 21st Century, where thinking is to be discouraged. Further, in these times of financial hardship, a film advertising its entire intentions and plot in the title would surely help save moviegoers spending money. No more would hard-earned cash be wasted on cryptically titled films which promise much nudity and an orgy of violence, but turn out to be a 3-and-a-quarter hour long exploration of the social and cultural impact of Dutch colonalism in Sub-Saharan Africa, pre-1900.

As such, and as a free (until you actually want to make them) service, I have some suggestions for additions to the inspired Snakes on a Plane franchise. Naturally, all these films are to star Samuel L. Jackson. And Bruce Willis, I want Bruce Willis as well.

Crickets on a Bus

CIA operative Zephod J. Motherfuck is charged with the responsibility of helping his great aunt Beatrice home with her shopping. Her house is just 5 stops down the road, but the bus is infested with crickets. They are jumping about, getting in people's pockets and their hair. The driver, getting one in his eye, almost loses control of the bus but doesn't quite, as Motherfuck rounds up the aggressors with a rolled-up newspaper.

British Snakes on a British Airways Plane

Returning to America after a mission to protect the American ambassador in London, CIA operative Walter X. Bumber discovers a terrorist plot to release a bucket of adders, grass snakes and slow worms on a packed Jumbo Jet just seconds too late. Rounding the snakes up, aided and abetted by the panicking passengers - one of whom finds a grass snake asleep in her bag and freaks out - Bumber faces a moment of panic when the pilot is bitten by an adder and has to have a bit of a rest for a while.

Swans on the Lam

Jake and Patty, a pair of mute swan outlaws tracked by CIA operative Jonas F. Hammalammer, make good their escape by riding a lamb across state lines...

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