Monday, August 2, 2010
The Life and Times of Snake Plissken
A somewhat detailed discussion of the biography of one of cinema's greatest characters. No bias is taken as we attempt to uncover the man that they call Plissken.
Every avenue is taken and every resource exhausted in an effort to find out just who Snake Plissken is. The goal of this page is to educate and enlighten both people that know of Snake, and those that are new to his world.
Snake Plissken: The Early Years
The details of Plissken's childhood are a deeply classified secret. We know that his name is S.D. Plissken. Aside from this information, the facts of his early life are shrouded in mystery. The lack of "transparency" within the Special Forces will probably keep the masses from ever knowing Snake's background and identity. We will continue to fight to know, but until there is Change, we may never discover the early life of this hero.
It is also possible that Snake was not "born" in the traditional sense that normal humans are, but that he was, in fact, created by a secret government program using 1 part "hardcore" and 2 parts "badass". This could explain his ability to take the large amount of punishment that he receives in each story.
However Plissken was conceived, it is clear that he possesses a higher sense of courage and descructive ability than the average person.
Where Does the Snake Lead
Entrance to a Life of Crime
Snake was allegedly in college when the war with Russia began. This information is based on government records. Again, I feel that it is important to note the lack of credibility when using goverment information, and that it is possible that Snake's history was created to conceal his true history.
Eventually Snake enlisted as a Lieutenant in the Army Special Forces unit "Black Flight". He was awarded many awards, and was the definition of the commie bashing American Hero Soldier. His life would change during the Leningrad Ruse of 1990, as we all know. This was the era that Snake received his phalic tattoo, and his signature eyepatch.
Upon returning to his home, Snake discovered that the United States Police Force was made of poodies, and had killed his parents during an operation to capture criminals. This is the final element that made Snake snap and resort to anti-social activities against the government. He began robbing banks, and the man who was once seen as the model soldier became the model criminal. Amongst the criminal element, Snake has become something of a legend, and almost a folkhero for them. His anti-establishment attitude makes him the perfect candidate for the representation of freedom.
In Kansas city Snake and Fresno Bob were cornered by the United States Police Force during a robbery. They were left behind by a cowardly Harold Helman, or Brain as he would later be known. Snake was able to escape, but was witness to the torture of Fresno Bob by the USPF. This created a lot of hatred for Hellman in the heart of Snake, and the tension could be seen once they encounter each other in New York.
It is in 1997 that Snake was finally captured after an ambush. The events after his capture are very well documented on Escape From New York.
Escape From New York
Snake's stay in the most magical place on earth
After Air Force One was hi-jacked and crashed in Manhattan, which by this time was in a state of anarchy and a prison. Government officials had no choice but to rescue the president, and retrieve the tape that he carried that would make the United States the sole superpower left in the world. There was only one man with the perfect combination of ability and street cred that could pull the job off. That man was Snake Plissken.
Plissken's ability to fly glidders into any sitution regardless of the environment proved useful in providing access for him into Manhattan. He was able to gain access without alarming the Duke of New York, though it probably wouldn't matter becuase Snake could at any time bitchify the Duke and take his woman. It took Snake some time to find the Duke and the President, but rest assured he can fight his way through anything. We see Snake hide when the crazies from underground are running through the streets, but I believe it is because he doesn't want to kill that many people. Perhaps he doesn't want the city to stink of death while he's looking for the President. That would be an inconvenience, and Snake doesn't have time for inconveniences.
One interesting note is Snake's compassion for Brain. Here is a man who left him and Fresno Bob behind to be killed, and Snake continues to allow Brain to ride along, even when they were about to escape. A lesser man would've left Brain behind to face his punishment from the Duke of New York. However, Snake said to himself "I hate this man, and Fresno Bob was tortured because he left us behind, but two wrongs do not make a right, and nobody deserves the torture that the Duke will inflict on Brain if he is caught". Or, he just wanted to get the hell out of new york, and Brain knew the fastest way out. Snake can be a "user" like that.
I can't fully explain all of Snakes qualities in detail, because frankly I'm not that talented as a writer. Rent or buy the movie to see Snake's biography from the "New York Era" as it should be known.
Snake Plissken hates crazies the way Glen Beck hates anything not American.
Rarely in cinematic history has tension been created that would be on par with the scene where Cuervo Jones forces Snake to play basketball, or die. One reviewer wrote "Even when my own premature son was born and on the brink of death, I did not experience the stress that I felt during Snake's basketball scene". Wow, powerful stuff.
Snake is an all out tour de force in this adventure. You get to see him surf a tidal wave alongside Pipeline, a character brought to life by the always willing to accept a roll if it will him attention, Peter Fonda. You may remember Peter as the younger brother of the communist loving traitor Jane Fonda. It doesn't get any better than that! Watch the trailer to get a feel for this biopic on the life of the great Snake during the period that I like to refer to as "The L.A. Era".
Previous: Jim Jarmusch II