Every so often something comes along that shatters the conventional paradigms and alters the landscape around it to something unrecognizable. I have discovered that next revolution. It’s a new movie that I haven’t even seen yet due out in August entitled “Snakes on a Plane.”
No, I’m not kidding. It’s really called “Snakes on a Plane.” From the first moment I heard the words “Snakes on a Plane” I knew I had to learn more about the movie that was clearly destined to be the next “Godfather.” As it turns out, there is some kind of plot, though how much more do you really need to know besides the fact that there are snakes on a plane?
The movie follows a federal agent who is escorting an important government witness on a flight when an assassin releases hundreds of deadly snakes onboard to try to kill the witness. The best part is that it stars none other than Mr. Samuel L. Jackson himself as the heroic serpent-slaying FBI agent.
Most of my excitement stems from what I pray will be Jackson’s inevitable declaration of the situation in his unique speaking style. I’ve helpfully placed the number eight at the points where I feel Jackson is likely to interject a colorful word that can’t be printed. “Holy eight, there are mother eight snakes on the mother eight plane!” Goosebumps.
I think that it’s a testament to the power of “Snakes on a Plane” that I was so completely sold after hearing the title and that it starred Samuel L. Jackson. But apparently those geniuses in the Hollywood studios didn’t see the same beauty in the title. For a while last year the title was changed from “Snakes on a Plane” to the mind-numbingly dull “Pacific Air 121.” Luckily for all of us, Samuel L. Jackson is even more passionate about the title than anyone else, as he demonstrated in an interview with Collider.com.
Collider.com: “One of those films that you’re working on right now is … well, it’s called ‘Pacific Air 121.'”
Jackson: “‘Snakes on a Plane,’ man! …We’re totally changing that back. That’s the only reason I took the job: I read the title … You either want to see that, or you don’t … But we’re taking the name back!”
Jackson clearly understands the power of “Snakes on a Plane,” an absurd movie with an absolutely brilliant name, and he is not alone. Though no advertising or advance publicity has been done for the movie, a “Snakes on a Plane” movement has been born on the Internet. Googling “Snakes on a Plane” returns 96,900 hits, everything from comic strips to T-shirts. The Internet buzz began last year when Hollywood insider Josh Friedman blogged about how he was contacted to rewrite the original script. He was so taken with the idea that he spent the next three days walking around constantly repeating the words “Snakes on a Plane.” As he described on his blog, “I become obsessed with the concept; not as a movie, but as a sort of philosophy. Somewhere in between ‘Cest la vie,’ ‘Whattya gonna do?’ and ‘Shit happens’ falls my new zen koan ‘Snakes on a Plane.'” Unfortunately, he and the studio were unable to reconcile their creative differences once he found out that they wanted to change the title. Today the phrase “snakes on a plane” is fast becoming a favorite new slang term. But the introduction of the phrase “snakes on a plane” to the English language is just one of what I’m sure will be numerous contributions that the movie will make to humanity.
“Snakes on a Plane” is scheduled for release on Aug. 18, a day before my birthday, and it may be the greatest gift I ever receive. The wait may be excruciating but somehow I’ll make it through. I think I’ll just keep repeating to myself, “Snakes on a plane man, snakes on a plane.”
-The writer, a senior majoring in political communication, is a Hatchet columnist.
This article appeared in the January 19, 2006 issue of the Hatchet.