I hear America singing—singing out some really bad (read: good) fake movie titles for the Snakes on a Plane reader contest. Thanks to the depraved lunacy that spews forth from you people’s sick imaginations, I’ve spent the last four days laughing out loud in inappropriate locations as I scroll … and scroll … and endlessly frigging scroll through the entries. The final total of responses clocked in at more than 700, so forgive me for overlooking many, many excellent titles as I list just a few of the standouts here. I’ve identified readers just as they identified themselves, unless they requested otherwise in their entry.
Responses fell into three basic categories. Despite my assurance that it wasn’t necessary to involve animals aboard forms of conveyance, or other threatening creatures in unexpected locations, there were many entries that followed the formula: “[Dangerous creature]+ [in or on]+[claustrophobic location.]” Some of my favorites in this genre include: Apes at a Rave, from Jonathan Wagner; Leeches in the Louvre, from David Parrott; and Zombies on a Zamboni, from Guy in the United Kingdom. Ileana Fred contributed the appealingly absurd, almost Warhol-esque Fruit Flies in the Fruit Basket; and Dan Mills had a nice all-purpose variant: The Creature Waits in the Structure.
The next most common category was that of titles that promise, in graphic and pithy language, a highly exploitive viewing experience: from Steven Vertel’s That’s Not Sangria!, to Manny Blacksher’s Thigh Nazis Dance!, to Craig Frank’s The Donner Dinner Party. Unpleasant situations were also deftly sketched by Handcuffed to Tigers, from Brendan Herlihy; Scorpion Sandals, from Vince Marchant; and Kittens for Breakfast, by jholziii.
A less common, but often very funny, category consisted of titles that were blandly explicit about their movie’s highly conventional content, like Brad Hall’s The Football Team Who Was Bad, But Then Became Good in the Championship Game. Ethan Gregory contributed Two Heterosexual Individuals Meet and Get Married, and Ryan Farrell hit a double with Stop Doing Crimes! and How Can I Prevent This Alarming Thing From Happening to Me? Dan Sullivan suggested The Lesson in This Prison Movie Will Be Learned by Viewers and Characters at Approximately the Same Time. Many entries in this category had a meta-Hollywood angle: Chris Cintino’s Catch Phrase! (starring Will Smith), TC in Honolulu’s Woody Allen Is Too Old for This,and Jordan Fish’s brilliantly simple Best Picture.
A few readers sent not only titles but entire pitches for their must-see films. In the interest of space, I’ll list just two of these. David Farley suggests Titanic Two: Two Titanics!: “They rebuild the Titanic, but not just one Titanic, two Titanics, one on each side of the Atlantic. One sets sail from NY, the other from Belfast, and they collide head-on in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.” And in Robert Anderson’s Hezbollahbaisse, “Lebanese militiamen crash a chef’s birthday party and get more than they bargained for.” And because no list of deliberately crass movie titles should be afraid of offending anyone, I must also mention Tim Weinmann’s The Uplifting Retard and Joshua Weinstein’s A Film About Black People (Made by Jewish People).
With entries this good, choosing a winner is almost beside the point, but let’s say that Brian O’Neill of Chicago takes the prize for his multiple-genre entry, which included That Guy From That Movie You Kind of Liked Gets Kicked in the Crotch But Learns Lesson Later; The Lord Helps Nonthreatening Southerners;an erotic foreign film called I Am Explosive, Bosomy; and possibly my favorite of all, This Movie Really Effing Scared Japanese People. Brian, please send me your mailing address and I’ll send you the inevitably disappointing bundle of Slate/Snakes swag. And to all the rest of you,thanks for the exploitive, offensive, and deeply stupid laughs.