Home > Movies > Update: Snake (singular) on a plane

Update: Snake (singular) on a plane

A few weeks back, I wrote an item about Samuel “Motherf*cking” Jackson’s upcoming movie Snakes on a Plane. The entry — my most-read attempt with the exception of the Thea Andrews “high beams” saga — noted that the movie looks to be a delightful piece of crap, but it is definitely not worthy of a Jackson’s talents.

But, in a story making the rounds on the web, a man flying from West Virginia to Ohio found himself in the cockpit with an unexpected co-pilot – a four-and-a-half foot black snake. A good, brief round-up is available here.

Call me crazy, but I’m skeptical. We’re a bit under two-and-a-half months out from the release of Snakes on a Plane. The bloggers and general media have stopped talking about the film, so the hype may have been a bit premature. So, what does New Line Cinema do? They come up with another new way to promote the movie. Using the mainstream news to cover an event just as improbable as the movie’s premise.

That’s right, I’m calling bullshit! This is a hoax! It’s a sham! It’s a staged event! A neo-classical guerilla marketing campaign.

Here’s what I think went down. New Line got a little jumpy that the buzz was starting to die down. So, they hired a p.r. guy to do “whatever’s necessary” to jump-start the buzz. What would be better than a real-life example of the movie’s premise. So, they plant a large-ish (but not too large) snake (but not a poisonous one) on a small plane usually inhabited by 1-2 people. Just scary enough to make the news, but not too scary to get anyone killed.

They figure that if the snake gets loose in the cockpit, the pilot should be able to land it safely. Certainly, the appearance of a snake on a plane will lead to references to Snakes on a Plane. So, the buzz starts up again, helping Snakes on a Plane earn the highest-grossing opening weekend in cinematic history.

Oh, wait… it would probably be easier if the pilot was in on the whole thing. He could act all freaked out, but really, it wasn’t that big of a deal for the guy. Let’s face it… he’s from West Virginia. He might go to one of those freaky-deaky churches where they handle snakes to prove that God is with them. I saw the films in my college sociology class. Scary, man. So, a medium-sized black snake isn’t all that daunting… the day before, maybe he was handling a timber rattler while speaking in tongues.

All in all, I think this is brilliant. Maybe New Line will make a movie about a slightly pudgy, affable suburban dad who stumbles across $100 million dollars while playing a round of golf with three Miss Hawaiian Tropic contestants. And I know just the place to start the buzz.

New Line, I’m waiting by the phone.

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