Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Last night, in preparation for our airplane thriller movie, we watched the disaster movie classic, AIRPORT. The plot was pretty simple - a suicidal man plans to detonate a briefcase full of dynamite on a plane, to reap life-insurance money for his widow. When his plan fails, the bomb goes off anyway, and the plane is forced to land amid a DEADLY SNOWSTORM. For being quite straightforward the movie had a TON of setup (in 2 hours of movie only about 40 minutes actually took place in the air). We learned several important things:

1) It is impossible to live a monogamous lifestyle if you are involved in the aviation industry. Rampant affairs are the order of the day. Also, Dean Martin is a douche-bag.

2) A dynamite briefcase will only make a modest hole in a Boeing 707 - at least, one built in the 1970's. It is possible that row after row of orange-on-brown seat covers will absorb some of the blast.

3) Sweet, innocent looking old ladies can prove to be some of the most devious creatures you will ever encounter. In the movie, the (admittedly woefully shoddy) airport security of the time is made mockery of by 65-year old Helen Hayes.

If Al-Queda could harness the power of the elderly, the West would crumble quicker than a Walmart patio set.

4) TR has a disturbing affection for sweet, innocent looking old ladies. Paging Harold and Maude...

5) If you have wedged a jumbo-jet into a snow drift, there is only one solution...FULL POWER. Mother Nature is no match for the mighty Pratt & Whitney JT3D jet engine. You think your plane is going to explode into shiny splinters...that's when you have to crank it up another notch, to break free in a burst of glory and slush.

6) Lastly, the power of suggestive advertising - check out the poster for this movie - looks exciting, right? That plane, all engulfed in flames?

Shame that never happens in the movie.
That would have been neat.

I'm glad we watched the movie, and I'm sure we'll steal scenes from it shamelessly in BAD AIR - however, here's some things that would have made this movie a lot more awesome:

I know, there was a guy on board with a bomb, but he wasn't a real terrorist. We need some ethnically ambiguous (preferably vaguely Eastern European) nutcases with a political agenda, so that we can all feel fiercely patriotic in a quietly liberal way when they are either arrested or, better yet, violently decompressed through a cabin window.

The central tenet of the aiplane movie genre is that you can't escape from whatever problem you're having on the plane. Snakes are a thematically awesome problem to be having, because we hate snakes, we hate being on planes, snakes hate being on planes, and everybody hates getting bitten by snakes on planes.

Sadly, we did not have time to watch the awesomely titled FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I tremble when I think of the possibilities. I propose a crossover - SNAKES VS ZOMBIES: INFLIGHT REFRESHMENT OF TERROR...


  1. Being horribly selfish, I went home and watched FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD by myself. It was delightful and featured some great zombie flick / airplane flick combo moments. These included but were not limited to: a zombie nun, a zombie who couldn't get out of his seat because his seat belt was securely fastened, and a zombie taking a bite out of a screaming woman's breast. Okay, so that last one doesn't really have any connection to airplane flicks, but it was horrifyingly hilarious.

  2. now, don't forget the famed suction of auric goldfinger out of a plane's window in the james bond "thriller" goldfinger. or was it odd-job? either way, a fat guy being stuffed into a broken plane window is the only way to keep the plane for decompression.

    of course, the crewe of gci could crash their plane onto a island that keeps the fat people fat, screws up your helicopter's coordinates, and has a giant smoke monster.

  3. from decompression. FROM.