The movie Snakes on a Plane just got too real for passengers on a Malaysian flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, after an actual snake was spotted slithering through an overhead light of the plane’s cabin. The flight was ultimately diverted to Kuching so that the snake could be dealt with. Naturally, video of the snake on the plane has quickly gone viral on social media, as people can’t help but associate this incident with the 2006 cult-hit horror film, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Julianna Margulies – a film which only seems to grow in its cult infamy, every time real life mirrors its outlandish premise.
“As soon as the captain was aware, he made the decision to divert the aircraft to Kuching as a precautionary measure to fumigate the aircraft,” said AirAsia chief safety officer, Capt. Lion Tien Ling in a statement. “This is a very rare incident which can occur on any aircraft from time to time.”
Ling added that, “The captain took the appropriate action, and the flight will depart for Tawau as soon as possible. The safety and well-being of our guests and crew are always our top priority. At no time was the safety of guests or crew at any risk.”
Snakes on a Plane writer John Heffernan actually did a major retrospective on the film and its cultural impact back in 2016 – little could he have known that another six years later it would still be making headlines:
“And now, 10 years later, the love for the movie goes on. And its legacy endures, with studio marketing departments using the viral spread of awareness that our movie generated as a template for promoting their own new projects,” Heffernan in a Chicago Tribune column. “Turn on the TV and see the programming slates for the growing number of ever-more-ubiquitous cable channels: Sharknado, Lavalantula, Piranhacuda…it’s fair to say that these movies wouldn’t exist without Snakes on a Plane. The film created its own B-movie mashup subgenre.
I’ve worked on a lot of other projects, but none as immediately recognizable as Snakes on a Plane. The cultural cachet of being associated with the film continues to pay dividends professionally even now. I’ve been able to work in media I had no experience in previously, been given opportunities like writing for videogame publishers and creating a graphic novel series because of the cultural touchstone of that movie.”
Here’s the synopsis for Snakes on a Plane:
While practicing motocross in Hawaii, Sean Jones witnesses the brutal murder of an important American prosecutor by the powerful mobster Eddie Kim. FBI agent Neville Flynn persuades him to testify against Eddie in Los Angeles. They board the red-eye Flight 121 of Pacific Air, occupying the entire first-class section. However, Eddie dispatches hundred of different species of snakes airborne with a time-operated device in the luggage to release the snakes into the flight with the intent of crashing the plane. Neville and the passengers must struggle with the snakes to survive.