|Snakes on a Plane|
|Directed by:||David R. Ellis|
|Produced by:||Craig Berenson et al.|
|Written by:|| Sheldon Turner,|
|Starring:|| Samuel L. Jackson|
Snakes on a Plane is a high concept horror-thriller feature film starring Samuel L. Jackson. It was released by New Line Cinema on August 18, 2006 in North America. The David R. Ellis-helmed film was created by David Dalessandro and written by Dalessandro, John Heffernan, and Sheldon Turner.
The film has been rated R by the MPAA, 15 by the BBFC and 14A by the CHVRS, due to its content of coarse language, a scene of sexuality and drug use, and intense sequences of terror and violence.
Due to its considerable Internet fan base, New Line Cinema incorporated feedback from online users into its production. The film wrapped up principal photography in September 2005, but after anticipation of the upcoming film grew to unexpected levels, the studio later ordered five days of additional re-shooting to raise the MPAA rating from a PG-13 to an R.
The storyline of the film is credited to David Dalessandro, a University of Pittsburgh administrator and first-time Hollywood writer, who received the idea in 1992 from a nature magazine. "I read about the Indonesian brown tree snake climbing onto planes in cargo during World War II." He originally wrote the screenplay about the brown tree snake loose on a plane and called it "Venom." He soon revised it to be about poisonous snakes, and then—crediting the film Alien—revised it again to include "lots of them loose in the fuselage of a plane."
Dalessandro's third draft of "Venom" was turned down by all 30 Hollywood studios in 1995. He lamented, "My big foray into Hollywood. They put it on a shelf." However, in 1999, a producer for MTV/Paramount followed up before New Line took over.
Originally, the film had Hong Kong action director Ronny Yu at the helm. Samuel L. Jackson, who had previously worked with Yu on The 51st State, read about the announced project in the Hollywood trade newspapers and, after talking to Yu, agreed to sign on without reading the script based on the director, storyline and allegedly the title. About two-thirds of the snakes seen in the movie were either animatronic or computer generated. However, about 450 live snakes representing about 25 different species were used, including corn snakes, mangrove snakes, milk snakes, rattlesnakes and king snakes.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
After witnessing the brutal murder of a prosecutor by gangster Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson) and his band of thugs, Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) is escorted by FBI agents Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) and John Sanders (Mark Houghton) to testify in a highly-publicized case in Los Angeles. Despite increased security for the flight, Kim arranges for time-release crates full of venomous snakes to be placed in the cargo hold of the plane, a Boeing 747-400 (although the interior used features spiral stairs, typically found in the 747-100 and 747-200 models), on which Jones will be flying from Honolulu to Los Angeles. The leis given to the passengers by airport staff upon their departure had been secretly sprayed with pheromones to make the snakes more aggressive in an attempt to bring down the plane before it reaches its destination.
Most of the supporting passengers and crew members are introduced at this point. The passengers include health-obsessed rapper 3Gs (Flex Alexander), with his two bodyguards Troy and Big Leroy (Kenan Thompson and Keith Dallas); a rich girl Mercedes (Rachel Blanchard) with her dog, Mary Kate; a Latin woman (Elsa Pataky) named Maria traveling with her baby; two young boys, Curtis and Tommy Brown, who are traveling by themselves for the first time; Chen Leong (Terry Chen), a kickboxer, Tyler (Tygh Runyan) who has a phobia of flying and is returning from his honeymoon with wife Ashley (Emily Holmes); and Paul (Gerard Plunkett), a British businessman who is unhappy with being moved from first-class to coach (all the first-class passengers have moved back this way so that the agents can have the section to themselves to guarantee Sean's safety). The flight crew includes Claire Miller (Julianna Margulies) who is leaving after the flight to become a lawyer; Grace (Lin Shaye), a senior attendant; Ken (Bruce James), a flamboyant crew member who displays effeminate behaviour; and Tiffany (Sunny Mabrey), a young, attractive attendant who flirts with Sean.
The crate opens midway through the flight, and the snakes make their way throughout the cabin due to a tampered access hatch. Numerous passengers, the pilot, and Agent Sanders are killed. The surviving passengers flee first to the front of the airliner, putting up a blockade of luggage. However, Mercedes (along with Mary Kate) and Maria and her infant daughter, Isabella are knocked aside by the crowd and are trapped in the rear of the plane. Chen Leong rescues Mercedes and Mary Kate while Grace hears Isabella's cries. Grace saves Isabella but gets bitten by a rattlesnake. The four break through the luggage blockade but it is quickly rebuilt. However the snakes break through due to turbulence caused by the co-pilot being attacked by a snake, the surviving passengers flee to First Class, hoping it will be safer. As they are making their way up the stairs, a Burmese python falls into the cabin from the lighting panel where it was hiding and turns on Paul and Mercedes. Paul tries to distract the python by flinging Mercedes' dog, Mary Kate, into the python's jaws. The tactic only provides a momentary distraction, as Paul is also eaten by the snake. A trolley full of snakes crashes into Tyler and Ashley and they are killed.
Agent Flynn contacts FBI Special Agent Hank Harris (Bobby Cannavale) on the ground, who arranges for emergency crews to be waiting at Los Angeles International Airport. Agent Harris then calls ophiologist Dr. Steven Price (Todd Louiso), who asks Flynn to gather the dead snakes so Flynn can describe them to Price and Price can identify the snakes and therefore the antivenom needed. This proves fruitless as the passengers don't know anything about snakes. Mercedes, however, comes up with the idea of sending Dr. Price photos of the dead snakes using her smartphone. It is learned that the deadly crate was full of exotic snakes from around the world, which leads the FBI, with Agent Harris and Dr. Price in command, to a man named Kraitler (Darren Moore), who is the only person in the Los Angeles area who would be capable of gathering the rare snakes found on the plane. Agent Harris extracts a confession from Kraitler, who says that he was the person who illegally obtained the snakes for Kim's use. He is then taken into custody, with his stock of antivenom being commandeered for the surviving snakebite victims aboard the plane.
"Enough is enough. I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!" Samuel L. Jackson, delivering the film's "already famous" catch phrase.
Meanwhile, Flynn goes into the bottom of the plane in order to restore the air conditioning/ventilation, without which the plane would overheat and plummet into the ocean. While searching for the switch, he discovers that a mechanical panel was intentionally left open to allow the snakes to reach the cabin where the passengers were located. Upon returning, he finds that the surviving copilot, Rick (David Koechner), has been killed by the snakes. Neville Flynn loses his temper and orders all the passengers to strap into their seats, while he uses his pistol to shoot out two windows, which causes the plane to depressurize, blowing the snakes out of the plane.
Flynn and Troy then take the controls and land the plane at Los Angeles International Airport, thanks to Troy's 2,000 logged hours on a PlayStation 2 flight simulator. Once the plane lands, the passengers ride the yellow exit slides to safety. As Agent Flynn and Sean depart the plane, a final snake drops from overhead and bites Sean. Agent Flynn draws his gun and shoots the snake, causing Sean to tumble down the slide. Paramedics rip open Sean's shirt to reveal a bulletproof vest with two bullets embedded in it. As the passengers and crew depart, Agent Flynn decides to repay Claire by taking her out for dinner, and Tiffany writes her phone number on Sean's hand. The film's closing scene features Jones and Flynn surfing, presumably in Bali.
Spoilers end here.
|Samuel L. Jackson||Neville Flynn|
|Julianna Margulies||Claire Miller|
|Nathan Phillips||Sean Jones|
|Rachel Blanchard||Mercedes Harbont|
|Mark Houghton||John Sanders|
|Byron Lawson||Eddie Kim|
|Flex Alexander||Three G's/Clarence Dewey|
|Bobby Cannavale||Hank Harris|
Deaths and SurvivorsEdit
- Cat - killed by a snake
- Two couple - killed by a snake
- Man in the bathroom - impaled in the penis by a taipan
- Fat Lady - impaled in the eye by a snake
- Man - impaled in the neck
- Mary-Kate (dog) - She is thrown into the python's jaws and is constricted to her death when the python swallows her whole and her owner screams out her name
- Paul Oswald - After throwing the dog to the python's jaws, her owner is furious at him and pushes him down the stairs. He is fed to the python by her when the python constricts him and swallows him whole as well
- Tyler and Ashley - killed by the snakes
- Snakes - thrown out of the plane
- Final snake - Shot and killed after biting Sean in the chest
- Neville Flynn
- "Don't you think I've exhausted every other option? HE SAW ME!" - Byron Lawson as Eddie Kim
- "Everybody listen up! We have to put a barrier between us and the snakes!" - Samuel L. Jackson as Neville Flynn
- "Sporks?" - Jackson as Neville Flynn
In mid-July 2006, New Line Cinema revealed that it would not be showing any advance screenings for critics. After the film opened, Snakes on a Plane received a 69% favorable rating among the consensus of critics tracked by Rottentomatoes.com.
Reviewers reported audiences cheering, applauding and engaging in "call and response", noting that audience participation was an important part of the film's appeal.
In popular cultureEdit
Snakes on a Plane is a product of popular culture as much as it's had an effect on it.
The film's title and premise generated a lot of pre-release interest on the Internet. One journalist even wrote that Snakes on a Plane is "perhaps the most internet-hyped film of all time." Much of the initial publicity came from a blog entry made by screenwriter Josh Friedman, who had been offered a chance to work on the script. The casting of Jackson further increased anticipation. At one point, the film's working title was altered to Pacific Air Flight 121. In August 2005, Jackson told an interviewer, "We're totally changing that back. That's the only reason I took the job: I read the title." On March 2, 2006, the studio reverted the title to Snakes on a Plane.
In recognition of the Internet buzz for what had been a minor movie in their 2006 line-up, New Line Cinema ordered five days of additional shooting in early March 2006 (principal photography had wrapped in September 2005). While re-shoots normally imply problems with a film, the producers opted to add new scenes to the film to take the movie from PG-13 into R-rated territory and bring the movie in line with growing fan expectations. Among the additions is a line that originated as an Internet parody of Samuel L. Jackson's typical movie persona: "Enough is enough! I have had it with these muthaf**kin' snakes on this muthaf**kin' plane!". New Line hired two additional writers to smooth out the screenplay, the original idea dating back to Dalessandro's 1992 version, which carries the entire middle of the movie.
- In a move taking advantage of the attention for the film, a rip-off horror B-movie, Snakes on a Train, was released straight to DVD on August 15, 2006, only three days prior to Snakes on a Plane's theatrical release.
- The phrase "snakes in the cockpit," which is said in the film, is used by pilots in reference to the high number of complex tasks they have to accomplish.
- One of the snakes seen on the plane (specifically, the one that crawls into Mercedes' purse, and later is blown up in the microwave) is a Scarlet Kingsnake, a non-venomous snake that is often confused with the deadly Coral Snake.
- Although they will bite humans, their bite is not dangerous.
- The snake that attacks the couple having sex in the bathroom is known as the milk snake. The name is derived from the popular misconception that the snake would attach itself to a cow's udders and suck out the milk; the fact that the snake latches onto the woman's breast is a joking extension of this misconception.
- Rumors circulated that two live diamondback rattlesnakes had been released at a showing of the film on August 22, 2006 in Phoenix, Arizona. It was later revealed that one snake had made its way into the lobby of the theater on its own, and another had been found in the parking lot in a separate incident. The snakes were later released back into the desert.
- Snakes on a Plane Cast Interview at yourMovies.com.au
- Interview with Dylan Innes, Production Assistant on Snakes On A Plane at absolutepunk.net
- Snakes on a Plane : Phenomenon on the Net at National Public Radio
- Snakes on a Plane at Salon.com
- Slang definition of Snakes on a Plane at Urban Dictionary
- Mythology and Unconscious Symbolism behind Snakes on a Plane at Monomyth.org
- Snakes on a Blog
- "Copperhead in the Cockpit" Dallas Morning News story by Dave Levinthal and Michaell Grabell showing that non-snake animals are usually the cause of most animal related problems on planes
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