The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Snakes on a Plane

Written by: Jost Goggins, special to CC2k

The litmus test for the online fan community 

Okay, okay. We wanted, nay demanded our Snakes on a Plane. This is the film we've been waiting for since … Shit, I don't know when. I just heard about this movie two months ago, but it’s supposedly a must-see, sight unseen.

Apparently we're so hard up for an original movie idea, and Samuel L. Jackson has become such a parody of himself, that a film in which a Federal agent must contend with a plane filled with computer-generated snakes has become the most anticipated movie of the year.

Ten years ago, this movie would've gone straight to the dollar bin at Walgreens, but for some reason, New Line is spending more money to go back and conduct reshoots that will take the film from a PG-13 to an R rating. We wanted to hear the word "motherfucker" used twice in a sentence expressing Sam Jackson’s desire for the snakes to get off the plane, and now we're going to get it, along with more nudity and violence.

Here's where things get interesting. New Line's move to pander to the whims of the online community is a risky gamble at best. I seriously doubt that anyone who doesn't visit CC2K, CHUD, Dark Horizons, or Aint It Cool on a regular basis will even see this thing coming. It looks like a stupid movie, and probably will be a stupid movie, and it's for that reason people like us want to see it.

It's becoming more and more obvious that when Snakes on a Plane is finally released, the filmmakers are going to hedge their bets that the lion's share of ticket sales will be coming from the online movie fan community. I don't disagree.

As a working professional in the film industry, I disagree with New Line's decision to make the changes. It's my opinion that filmmakers should be left alone to make their movies, and that the fans should just be fans. It's when you get too many cooks in the kitchen (or in this case, too many snakes), that things start to get muddled.

There are two possible results. A blockbuster weekend would change the way the movie industry views their fans, and add some actual street cred to folks like Harry Knowles and JoBlo. It would prove that the online fan community is a powerful voice that cannot be ignored, particularly when it comes to the financial success of a novelty film. Or, Snakes will flop, and we'll go back to watching Return of the King on DVD and endlessly flaming one another over which film or filmmaker raped whose childhood.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the latter.

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