Samuel L. Jackson in a scene from the motion picture “Snakes on a Plane.” Photo by James Dittiger, New Line Productions (Via MerlinFTP Drop)
This week on the B movie docket is Snakes On A Plane
B movies are the glue stuck in between all the other genres, oftentimes refusing to conform to any particular genre presets. Some but not all of the hallmarks of a B movie include scripts that read like they were written by a room full of eighth-graders, poor visual effects, cringe-inducing dialogue, low budget production design, and zany plot contrivances. You’re aware of the hallmarks, right? B-movies often reek of amateur flair. Thought you were about to watch a great white shark hunted in dramatic fashion like only Steven Spielberg can deliver? Nope, this is Sharknado.
Why do we love B movies? I think B movies are comforting. You know what you’re about to watch is bad. If you’re fortunate it may be so bad that it’s good. You’ll often scratch your head trying to work out the plot. Out of the many good films you’ve seen, I bet you can talk with more vigor about the worst ones you’ve seen. They’re unforgettable. There’s something comforting about that I think. Besides they’ve been around just as long as the movie industry.
Believe it or not, chances are there’s a B movie for you. So I compiled a list of 50 B movies you must see before you die. No decade is off-limits. No rating is too taboo. For the next 49 weeks, I will introduce and recommend a B movie for your viewing pleasure. Yes, these are exciting times indeed my fanatical friends.
WEEK 25 – Snakes On A Plane
Woohoo! Week 25 is upon us. Halfway there to 50, folks. So, to top off the twenty-four entries, today I have another B movie to present to you. So, get ready for a wild ride with Snakes On A Plane. Released in 2006, the movie stars my favorite F-bomb-dropping, Big-Kahuna-burger-eating motherf***er. Yup, I am talking about the man, the myth, the legend, Samuel L. Jackson.
Is there a more on-the-nose title than Snakes On A Plane? It immediately conjures up thoughts of some sinister flying deathtrap filled with snakes. Hell, I would watch a documentary called Snakes On A Plane. I’d even read a book titled Snakes On A Plane too. There is so little left to the imagination.
I know what I am buying when I choose to watch Snakes On A Plane. It has been my experience that the best B movies convey the film within a very neat title. Like Snakes On A Plane for instance, or Wolf Cop, or even Sharktopus. I mean, imagine if Snakes On A Plane were called Mystery Slithers, or Garter Travels, or Scaly Skies. None of those are as evocative as Snakes On A Plane.
I do not want to delve into the story part that much. Who gives a damn about story when you’re watching something titled Snakes On A Plane? But I will say this much. The acting is well done. There are no goofy actors in this one. It’s all pretty much solid. To top it off, we have Samuel. L Jackson, as stated above. But for the sake of transparency, here’s the story.
“FBI agent Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) boards a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, escorting a witness to trial. An onboard assassin releases a crate of deadly serpents in an attempt to kill the witness. Flynn and a host of frightened passengers and crew must band together to survive the slithery threat.”
Blah blah blah. All you really need to know is that there are snakes and they are on a plane. And at some point, those snakes will be told to depart the plane in the most eloquent way by thespian Samuel L. Jackson.
Planes, Trains, Automobiles
Now as far as I know there is no legit sequel to Snakes On A Plane. I did start to watch another B movie called Snakes On A Train. That film may or may not make it to this column of 50 B Movies To See Before You Die. I do hope we finally see this unholy serpentine trilogy completed with a film called Snakes On A Lane that aptly takes place on one freeway filled with bumper to bumper traffic.
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