Snakes on a Plane (2006) - Dread Central
Connect with us


Snakes on a Plane (2006)



Snakes on a Plane review (click to see it bigger)Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Nathan Phillips, Flex Alexander, Julianna Margulies, Kenan Thompson

Directed by David R. Ellis

Imagine a day in the not so distant future when a child who has grown up loving the SciFi Channel is now a ridiculously rich man. One day he is bored and decides he will take a small chunk of his money and fund a SciFi original movie. Just think, one of those fantastic B-movies with an A-list cast of quality actors and top-notch special effects!! His choices were Brontosaurus Carnivore-us, Demon Priest, and a little project called… Snakes on a Plane. The rest is history.

Of course this isn’t the way the film actually got made, but it would explain a lot.

**WARNING: There was no freaking way to do this review without spilling a bit here and there, so while I’d love to be spoiler free, it’s just not going to happen. Read on at your own risk!!**

Snakes on a Plane begins with ultra slick crime boss Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson) caught in the act of being the quintessential Hollywood psycho villain. Since Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh are both retired, it’s up to Federal Agent Nelville Flynn (Jackson) to protect the witness to Kim’s evil deeds long enough for him to testify. So, how does a ruthless crime lord stop a witness, traveling from Hawaii to LA, from testifying against him? SNAKES ON A MUTHA FUCKIN’ PLANE!!! Sure, it’s the equivalent of circling the world westward to get from New Jersey to New York… and yeah, it’s a plot straight out the 60’s “Batman” TV show, but it sure is fun to watch.

I’d first like to tackle the originality of this movie concept as I’ve been told many times by people attached to the film that this has never been done before. While an f-bomb shouting Sam Jackson defending a plane full of people from killer snakes has not been done, the whole peril on a plane at the hands of Mother Nature has been covered. I’d like to introduce you to Flying Virus aka Killer Buzz staring Rutger Hauer and David Naughton (of American Werewolf fame). The scenario was something along the lines of bees infected with a virus that could wipe out humanity being transported on a plane. When the bees get loose, the passengers fight for their lives in the cramped confines of their metal death trap. They also face the reality that even if they land safely, they still can’t open the doors as the bees will get loose and destroy the world. So, not to point fingers at all, but I just have to give credit where credit is due. MUTHA FUCKIN BEES, MAN!

Snakes on a Plane (click to see it bigger)While I did joke that this very well could have been a SciFi original movie, I’m not kidding when I explain that the concept is very much in keeping with the SciFi tradition. It’s such a ridiculous concept that you go into the movie knowing full well what you are in for (much like anything shown on SciFi, though I keep hoping for the best.) Hopefully this will allow theatergoers to loosen their brain cells enough to get past the improbability and just have a good time… because this IS a great time!

You begin with your typical big budget American movie setup where you meet several characters in the space of 10 minutes. Some you instantly care for, others you’re meant to despise, while still others have you taking bets on how quickly they are going to bite the big one (pun fully intended.) This plays out like a trivia game. Pay attention, folks! There will be a quiz later on! All the little details during these sequences always pop up in some form later on. Then you recognize that fact and go “ahhhh”… which makes you feel smart, and somewhere the director is saying, “You see what I did right there?” Once you move out of the setup sequence, the plane takes off, and it seems like only seconds before all hell breaks loose. Again, I point to the 60’s “Batman” TV show because not even the Frank Gorshin Riddler, Cesar Romero Joker, and Burgess Meredith Pengiun COMBINED could have come up with a more dastardly plan for taking out Batman in mid-flight! Seriously, they would all be clapping right now at the mere suggestion. Unfortunately, Agent Flynn is not coincidentally equipped with snake repellent, and so the chaos begins.

Snakes pour from every orifice of the two-floor plane, and with no visible means of escape the passengers meet their super sticky, downright gory, and freakishly realistic deaths. Victims swell up, quiver, and die… curled up as if their muscles all tightened simultaneously. The date you bring to this film will eventually freak out or your money back. Pick a nice crowd to hear the little girls scream! That’s always fun.

At the recent San Diego Comic Con, I was surprised when director David R. Ellis unflinchingly referred to Snakes as a horror movie. I was told that a lot of the fright in this film doesn’t come from the inevitable snake strikes but rather the after-effects of some of the deadliest poisons on the planet. I’m happy to report that Mr. Ellis delivered on both counts! Now it is damn near impossible to watch the snakes go to work without thinking of Anaconda or Boa Vs. Python, but I think that is where the film becomes genius. I mean, did you ever think you’d sit in an actual theater to watch a movie like this? In my opinion, Ellis and company have pulled off the greatest coup of 2006. Not since Edward Scissorhands has someone taken such a ridiculous sounding premise and made a thoroughly enjoyable feature from it.

Snakes on a Plane (click to see it bigger)The key to believability in Snakes on a Plane lies solely in the hands of its actors. Among the cast you’ll find flight attendants Julianna Margulies (of “ER” and “Sopranos” fame) and Lin Shaye (of 2001 Maniacs), passengers Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live” and “Kenan & Kel”) and Rachel Blanchard (Without a Paddle, Road Trip), and pilot David Koechner, who showed up thinking he was still playing his character from Anchorman. If this assemblage of noticeable faces weren’t enough, you’ll find a slew of actors among the cast that will have you saying, “What was that guy from…?” or “Whose girlfriend did she play?” For me at least, these connections stuck when the snakes are let loose and served to raise the tension level as you have no clue who is going to be taken down next! Passengers run frantically swatting at snakes and fellow passengers alike to get themselves to what they perceive as safety. To their credit, no two actors played it the same way.

I shouldn’t even have to mention Sam Jackson, but I will because not only was he enjoyable and delivered the forever quotable “I have had it with these MUTHA FUCKIN SNAKES on this MUTHA FUCKIN PLANE!”, but he hands in a performance that will make you believe the entire movie’s budget should go to him. The guy could have phoned this one in, but his range of emotions was fantastic. Sam Jackson delivers quips, reacts to terror, and saves the day with a level of intensity I haven’t seen since he played Jules in Pulp Fiction. “DO THEY HAVE SNAKES IN WHAT?!”

Snakes on a Plane delivers terror we haven’t seen in most modern horror films today. It’s not just the different ways a snake can creep up on you and deliver a bite, though that was pretty damn cool. It’s not just the FX guys going to town on some bubbling, twitching poison victims, though that did make me cringe more than once. It’s the “What If” factor thrown in. What happens to the guy in front when a bunch of people push down an aisle only made for single filing? What happens when a plane pitches and everything in the cabin comes loose? CARNAGE!! In reality, it wouldn’t just be the snakes you’d have to worry about.

Sure, Snakes on a Plane is about as subtle as opening the door to your house with a 50-lb. sledgehammer, but it never pretended to be. You have to respect that sort of honesty. This could have been the mysterious Pacific Air Flight 121. There is no mistaking a film called Snakes on a Plane. This is the swift kick in the ass this summer movie season has sorely needed.

4 1/2 out of 5

Discuss Snakes on a Plane in our forums!

And for another point of view in full-color comic style, don’t miss
Rick Tremble’s take on the film in our new feature, Motion Picture Purgatory!

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading


Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review



Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne

Directed by Charles Martin Smith

I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.

Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.

Now let’s get to it.

First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.

Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.

I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.

Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.

It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!

And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.

Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.

This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.

And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.

Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!

In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?

That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.

Rockstar lighting for days.

Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.

Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.

More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.

Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcornand if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.

Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.

All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!

Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!

  • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5


Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.

User Rating 3.59 (22 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading


AHS: Cult Review – Clowns, Cults, Politics, and Peters



Starring Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, and Allison Pill

Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk


It’s here. We’ve reached the end. The newest season of “American Horror Story” has ended and now we are here to provide you guys with our season review of AHS: Cult.

Spoiler free.

To start things off let me say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “American Horror Story”. It breaks down like this: I enjoyed the absolute hell out of the first season of the series (“Murder House”), couldn’t get through “Asylum” (I know, I know, I’ve tried), dug “Coven” for what it was, really enjoyed “Freak Show”, and again I couldn’t get into “Hotel” or “Roanoke”.

That’s the story of me and “American Horror Story”. Plain And simple. But what did I think of the new seventh season of the notorious horror anthology series? Let’s find out.

Back when the seventh season of AHS was first announced (then going by the title “AHS: Election”) I was immediately intrigued by the new season because I heard it would not include any supernatural elements. Like the fourth season, “Freak Show”.

Now I’m a fan of ghosts and weird creature-men with drills for d*cks, don’t get me wrong. But the series has thus far relied almost exclusively on horrors of the supernatural variety (other than “Freak Show”) so this major change of pace was again welcomed by this guy.

Instead of vampires, aliens, and witches this season relied on terrors of the mind. Psychological fears and anxieties. The horrors man does to man. Deep issues.

Oh, and clowns. Like a lot of clowns.

But just because this new season didn’t include anything supernatural, that doesn’t mean the 11-episode season wasn’t filled with twisted visuals and horrifically disturbing acts. No, sir. This season boasted some showstoppers including S&M, gimps, and a house of horrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rob Zombie flick. It was all good.

But let’s backtrack a bit here.

Allow me to rundown the season’s plot for those who may be unaware. “AHS: Cult” tells the tale of a world post-election night. The literal dawn of Trump’s America. In one corner we have Sarah Paulson’s soccer mom, trying to fight through life with a series of crippling phobias (including clowns, holes, blood, and being a good person).

And in the other corner, we have Evan Peter’s angry, white (blue-haired) male, looking to seize Trump’s new position of power to bring about the end of… Actually, I want this to be a spoiler-free season review, so I’m just going to say the dude’s got big plans.

Like Manson-size plans. Let’s leave it at that.

With these two characters established, the new season then proceeds to send them spiraling into a collision course of political sabotage, intrigue, and clown-based nope, nope, nope-ing that can only end with one – or both – of them dead as Dillinger.

Overall “AHS: Cult” belonged end-to-end to Mr. Evan Peters. The young actor has continued to show his striking range from season to season of Ryan Murphy’s horror show and this season was no different. Peters’ turn as not only Kai, the blue-haired leader of the titular cult, but as infamous leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson – to name a few – owed this season.

I can only hope he doesn’t pull a Jessica Lange and opt-out of more AHS next year.

Speaking of top performances, “AHS: Cult ” showcases some other chilling and memorable turns with Alison Pill’s strangely vulnerable, put-upon wife character being the best next to Peters in my eyes. This actress needs to be in more films/TV!

Along with Pill, actress Billie Lourd killed it time and time again. The “Scream Queens” breakout star and Carrie Fisher spawn was yet again a highlight in her second Ryan Murphy series. Bet she has the starring role in next season. Mark my words.

Add to that, the season also boasts a handful of fun cameos, including John Carroll Lynch’s return as Twisty the Clown, Emma Roberts as a bitchy reporter that will do anything to end up on top, and Lena Dunham as SCUM Manifesto writer Valerie Solanas. The cameo cast killed it and I wish they would have been present for more episodes. What are you gonna do?

On the sour side of the season, I didn’t dig Sarah Paulson’s character. At all. But I’m sure that was the point. Right? I’m still not sure. But, boy, I wouldn’t even want to be stuck in line behind her at a Starbucks for three minutes, let alone spend the better part of this season’s 11-hours with her and her whiny bullshite. Urgh.

That said, she pulled it out by the finale. That’s all I’ll say.

In the end, I enjoyed this season as much as – if not more – than any other of the series. “Murder House” will still no doubt go on as my favorite season of the series, but “AHS: Cult” will rank third after season one and “Freak Show”.

While I was on the fence about the season after three episodes, the show ended up ditching Paulson’s character (and/or shifting her arch) after a lull so the episodes picked up quickly. Whenever the season turned its focus back towards Peters (in whichever incarnation he was playing at the time) the show got better and better. Every time.

Not a bad way to spend my Tuesday night for the past 11 weeks.

Bring on season 12.

  • American Horror Story: Cult (2018)


The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story was Evan Peters’ show all the way through. The young actor pulled out all the stops time and time again to make what may have been a lackluster supernatural-free season a winner.

User Rating 4.13 (23 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading


The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror




Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods

The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.


  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom


In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

User Rating 3.95 (20 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

From Around the Web