What’s the most purely B-ish B movie of recent times? Snakes On A Plane, of course. And what would be the B-est kind of movie a modern crapiste could make now? A Snakes On A Plane ripoff. Snakes On A Train, Tarantulas On A Luxury Liner, Platypi On A Space Station... (did you know that platypuses have very dangerous venomous spines?) Well, what we got here is scorpions on a plane. Scorpions! On a plane! And they start stinging and mangling passengers, and the rest band together, and just like S.O.A.P. we make sure to include a Mile High Club scene so we can earn some R... But there’s one inspired thing the producers of this thing did to make it not just seem like a ripoff: they made it first.
Back up a minute, I hear some of you say... I see how scorpions could sting passengers, but what’s this about mangling them? Well, guess what: they’re GIANT scorpions. Once they escape, they grow rapidly from the size of a kid’s shoe to as big as a good sized dog. No explanation! And they crawl through the walls and stuff to pop out all over the plane, but once they do they’re nearly as big as the passengers they attack. One gets in the cockpit, and it’s the biggest of them all. How the fuck did it get there??? All part of the fun.
Their behavior is constantly un-scorpionlike. They almost never sting people face to face — instead, they sneak their stingers around corners so they can hover menacingly behind people’s shoulders, and then stab blindly (and never miss). Somehow they always find a big enough hole, like five inches across, to reach a stinger through. What kinda plane has five inch holes all over its interior walls?
There’s a heroic hero who’s supposed to be a Texan yet never does the accent. Other passengers even mimic the accent he was supposed to use but didn’t! There’s a heroic heroine who falls for him. They both gradually shed extra clothing so we can admire their (slightly) heroic physiques. There’s a bad guy who’s as evil and bad as a B movie bad guy can be... and for no good reason. There’s a scorpion perched calmly in a toilet bowl, defended by someone who wants to keep one specimen alive. There’s an improvised flamethrower. There’s an electric shock with goofy animated lightning bolts wrapping around the shockee. There’s people (and scorpions) getting sucked out when the plane loses pressure. (And then nobody has the slightest trouble breathing afterwards!) There’s sticky dripping slime. There’s stingers protruding all the way through people’s torsos after ramming in from the other side. There’s “It’s not over.”
And there’s a stereotypically jive-talking less-than-brave odious comic relief, and a stereotypical gay guy, and a stereotypical uptight businessman, and a stereotypical old meddler-in-God’s-domain who made the scorpions and of course pays the price... and naturally one junior scientist is a hot blonde... and there’s a plane flying from Australia with not a single Australian passenger on it, and without even enough extras to fill half of the seats, though everyone keeps acting like there aren’t that many empty spaces. There’s a pair of suspicious Moslem passengers who nobody saw come on board with the rest. There are two super h4x0rs who waggle their fingers over their keyboards, scarcely even pretending to be typing anything! There’s shorting out electrical wires, which apparently weren’t even caused by any of the scorpion mayhem — they hadn’t gotten loose yet.
There’s a film crew member hiding behind some boxes and stuff, at least one leg completely visible and moving... they left him in the finished cut.
And, of course, naturally, of necessity, as a matter of destiny......... there are rubber scorpions that are really really REALLY really lame and lousy. Even the worst CGI would have been more convincing, but I guess they couldn’t afford any. Or maybe they had complete and total confidence in their rubber modeler.
In sum, there is B from start to finish. There is a nearly ideal crap movie. There is every reason you should enjoy every minute of this.
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