No wonder everyone's got Snakes on a Plane fever. Not only does it have the best title in years, but also it has a certain "B" movie spirit that, lately, has been all but lost.

A simple look at the movies playing on 400 screens or less this week confirms it. Sure, we've got movies based on comic books and cheesy sequels (or both at the same time). We've got chases and escapes and adventures and comedies, but they're all so serious.

Originally "B" movies were so called because they ran in front of the "A" feature. "B" movies were generally short and cheap and wallowed in all the lesser genres that never win any Oscars. No one noticed at the time, but later, it became apparent that certain filmmakers, like Edgar G. Ulmer or Andre de Toth, had a real touch within these confines. Many of these features burst with a certain kind of furious energy, mainly because the studios didn't care. As long as these cheapies didn't go over budget and came in on time, they could tell the dramatic story of a violent hoodlum or the story of a giant gorilla wrestling on the Golden Gate Bridge with a blob monster from outer space.

categories Cinematical