Slithering into the public consciousness

first_img carol.rock@dailynews.com (661) 257-5252160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Hundreds of venomous snakes are released on a commercial flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, vexing an FBI agent (played by Samuel L. Jackson) who is trying to get a mob witness safely to court. Hilarity ensues.” OK, maybe not total hilarity. But “Snakes on a Plane,” which opens Aug. 18, already had a cult following a year before it hit the multiplex. The movie, which is not for the reptile-phobic, uses 500 real snakes on the jet set, where the hissers outnumber the humans about 5 to 1. They drop from overhead compartments, pop up from tray tables, slide out from under seats and inflict death and destruction until Jackson and his hardy band of fellow passengers save the day. Producers are quick to point out that snakes used in scenes resulting in a passenger’s death are computer-generated. This is supposed to make us feel better. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los Angeles“Snakes on a Plane” has slithered its way into the American lexicon (“a simple, existential explanation that has the same meaning as `whaddaya gonna do?”‘ according to urbandictionary.com) and has hatched litters of T-shirts, posters, trailers, novelty songs and parody films. The Internet hype began when screenwriter Josh Friedman wrote a blog entry (hucksblog.blogspot.com) about a script he’d been given “for a little work.” Long story short, he ended up not working on the film, but he is being credited for its incredible life on the Web. Input from bloggers influenced director David Ellis to bring actors back for five more days of filming after the movie wrapped, specifically to add elements suggested by the writers that changed the MPAA rating from PG-13 to R – including the line emblazoned on T-shirts and spoken by Jackson from computer speakers around the world – “I’ve had it with these (expletive deleted) snakes on this (expletive deleted) plane!” Boarding pass, anyone? last_img