McSweeney's just posted a list of possible surprise endings for upcoming Oscar shoo-in Snakes on a Plane. I kinda like the third one... if the bus goes slower than 55 mph, snakes drop from the ceiling... but the others were pretty underwhelming to me. What's with the obsession with a nitroglycerin-explosion? How does "they all BLOW UP AND DIE!" end up on a reputable site like McSweeney's? That's how my Play-Doh action figure games used to end. When I was six. We can do better than that... and I'll prove it.
1) Samuel L. Jackson captures all the snakes. Plane lands, he screams "Get these mothafuckin' snakes OFF the mothafuckin' PLANE!" as we all expect. But while the TSA folks are dealing with the snakes, one of them escapes into a freight-shipping area. It meanders over to an international shipment, from Indonesia on its way to the San Diego Zoo, and slithers upwards, towards the cage's latch. The shipment's contents? Two dozen Bengal fucking tigers. The snake inadvertently undoes the latch, and the tigers run inside the nearest building in search of food, although not before eating the snake. This sets up the sequel: Tigers At The Airport: Snakes On A Plane II, in which the consumption of said snake represents both the conclusion of the first film and the launching of a franchise not dependent on the cinematic allure of snakes.
2) Samuel L. Jackson gets bitten by the snakes several times while attempting to land at LAX. He eventually chokes them shits, lands successfully, and passes out. He wakes up in the hospital, having been shuttled over hastily once the plan had landed. Of course, his fellow FBI agents are there when he comes to, glad to see he survived. They do some wisecracking and such, but as they're leaving, Samuel L. asks whether they got all the snakes... let's assume he counted 103. So he says "did you get all 103 of them summabitches?" And one of the agents says... "103? We thought there were only 102." Then the power goes out, and we hear a loud rattling noise, which sets us up for Snakes On A Plane II: Hospital Snakes, which combines the high-octane world of emergency-room medicine with the high-octane campiness of CG snakes. Get me 30 ccs of snakes, STAT!
3) Samuel L. Jackson has been bitten on the hands several times while trying to kill a large white snake. He eventually does, biting it in half and yelling, "Take a BITE outta CRIME, mothafucka! RUFF!" He then lands the plane, etc. and so forth. His wife is waiting for him at the airport. She embraces him, then looks down to examine the bites on his hands. She notices that his wedding ring is gone, and pulls a nuclear nutter on him. He realizes he left the ring in Hawaii. She rips him a new one and makes him get on another plane right back to Hawaii. This sets up Snakes On A Plane Again, which gladly relishes the exact-sameness of its premise as compared to its predecessor.
It does make me wonder how they'll prepare us for a sequel. There's gotta be some kind of "The End... or is it?????" conclusion. I'd love to see them go the Clue/Wayne's World route for the Holy Grail of ridiculous movie gimmicks: multiple endings. Even though everyone knows what to expect from Snakes at this point, that would be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It takes a special kind of movie to pull off the "but wait... here's what actually happened!" construct; I think Snakes could be that kind of movie. Let's keep our fingers crossed.