This week: Snake Plissken of “Escape From x” fame vs Indiana Jones of “Seriously? If you don’t know who he is, you’re in the wrong place. go visit knitmebabyonemoretime.com or something.
Let’s get it on, like River Song.
The stadium is packed….and a cheer goes up, as John Carpenters pulsing digital theme comes over the loudspeaker, and Snake Plissken limps into the arena. He’s not hurt or anything, he just knows the limp makes him look cooler. Then, after a few moments…John Williams’ triumphant march starts, and the crowd goes wild . The man in the fedora who saunters into the arena is definitely the crowd favorite. As the theme song fades, both contestants eye each other from across the ring. Directly in front of them on a raised up ten foot are : a bat with nails in it, a garbage can lid…and a whip.
The two wait for the sound of the buzzer. The crowd so silent now you could hear a pin drop. Plissken clears his throat. He’s indicating something to Dr. Jones. Indy doesn’t quite get what he’s doing. Snake mutters:
SNAKE: the card…the CARD Read the… READ THE CARD I GAVE YOU!
JONES: Huh? Oh…uh (Pulls a small notecard from his upper pocket and reads aloud) Ummm SNAKE PLISSKEN. I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD.
SNAKE: I get that a lot.
JONES: Of course you get that a lot, you go around telling people to say it, Plissken
SNAKE: Call me Snake…
JONES: I’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you…
The Buzzer sounds…it’s on!
Welcome back to Smackdown, boys and girls. This is going to be a lot trickier than the superhero smackdowns…a lack of superpowers to define the shape of the battle evens the playing field a lot. It’s almost anybody’s game…it all comes down to how you justify your favourite.
Let’s take a look at our competitors for a moment. Snake is a war hero, a soldier, highly skilled in hand to hand, not above cheating to get the job done, kills with no compunction, and has experience in arena style fighting. Indy is a brawler with a wicked right hook, (That makes a sound on impact that brings back so many happy childhood memories) has the smarts, thinks fast on his feet and is tenacious as all hell. On paper, I think you’d have to say the advantage goes to Snake.
Plissken is faster, meaner, and less likely to blink at killing a guy.
When has Indiana Jones EVER been in a fight when HE has the advantage? How many times is he getting his ass kicked only to come back and beat his nemesis by taking full advantage of his environment?
I think the key for Jones is to get the whip. Snake wants the weapons too, but I think he’s smart enough to go after Jones first, knock him down, or out, and then stroll over and get the weapons (Something that I think is very much Snake’s style) Here’s the thing though…Jones ain’t going down. Knock him down, he gets right back up and in your face again.
So let’s say for the sake of argument that Snake gets to the weapons first. I believe in this situation, he probably would. I believe he would make a TACTICAL ERROR here that will eventually cost him the fight. And what is that error?
He’ll go for the bat.
There is no evidence that Snake knows how to use the whip, it’s a highly specialized weapon that takes years to master. Sure he could take it just to try and keep it away from Indy, but I think he’s aggressive enough that he just wants to end it quickly by sinking some nails into that big old college professor brain.
Indy, thinking fast would probably grab the garbage can lid, and try to hold Plissken off.
Plissken sinks the bat deep into the garbage can lid, wrenching it out of Indy’s hand. Indy is on the ground, crawling away backward, while Snake puts a foot on the lid to free it from the bat. Snake comes in to deliver the death blow and is greeted with…a handful of dirt in his one good eye. Rolling out of the way Indy scrambles over and picks up the whip that’s lying on the ground, but it’s too late. Indy has the whip, and uses it to take the eye out of commission permanently.
The punches crack like thunder, the crowd cheering like mad as Indy tosses Snake down a ventilation shaft and into the fan below.
“I hate snakes” he mutters, limping toward the exit.
Winner: Indiana Jones
If this smackdown battle took place between Kurt Russell and Harrison Ford today, we’d have a 60 year old Kurt going up against a 69 year old Harrison Ford. All this to say that, man, our action heroes are old.
But instead, we have Snake Plissken, a scoundrelly convict with a screw you, I got mine attitude versus an archeologist with a penchant for getting in the middle of things much bigger than him. Snake is deadshot, with lots of anger, and not afraid to mix it up close. Indy is also pretty good with a gun, and while often afraid, has a knack for coming out on top. Both have been in movie franchises that started strong, and got progressively worse with each new edition.
Horn goes, Snake begins sprinting towards the weapons pole. Indy looks around, realizes what the horn means, see Snake with an advantage, and starts running himself. Snake reaches the pole first, leaping to grab the top of the pole, and begins hoisting himself up. Indy gets to the pole, and grabs Snake’s leg, trying to prevent him from pulling up to the weapons. Snake looks down, scowls, and plants a boot in Indy’s face. Indy lets out a grunt, looks wide eyed, but doesn’t let go. Snake kicks again, and a third time. On the third, Indy grabs the foot, and begins pulling Snake down. Snake has managed to grab Indy’s revolver from the top of the post before falling back, and as he lands, he points the revolver straight at Indy.
Snake fires, missing Indy’s head by a fraction of an inch, taking the Ferdora off Indy’s head. Indy looks, realizes how close it was, then returns his attention to snake, whom he punches in the face. Snake grimaces more, and points the gun again. Indy grabs for the gun too, and they wrestle, neither able to gain advantage. Finally, Snake is able to get on top of Indy, and slowly forces (damn this is hard to write without sounding a little homoerotic) the gun towards Indy’s face. Indy, desperate for any out, looks up and grabs Snake’s eyepatch, pulling it from his face. Snake is surprised, moreso when Indy plants him thumb in there. Snake pulls his hands to his face like someone stung by a wasp in the eye. Indy punches Snake again, and unable to find the gun in the confusion and dirt, rolls away from Snake.
Snake looks up, his grimace turning to anger, then back to a grimace (now I want McDonald’s for some reason). He looks over at the weapons post, and sees his own gun, a Coreburner, and runs over, climbs the post again. He pulls himself atop the platform, grabs the gun, turns to Indy with a grimace on his face. He sees Indy standing there, revolver in hand. Indy shoots him twice, and Snake’s body falls the ten feet to the ground.
Indy brushes the dust off his shirt, and staggers toward the exit. Camera cuts to a fedora, lying in the dust, as Indy’s hand reaches in to pick it up. With the sun setting behind him, he puts the fedora on, and continues walking away
WINNER: Indiana Jones
I remember Snake Plisken best from SCTV as “Harry, the man with a snake on his face” from Harry’s Discount Sex Shop. I know John Candy was beloved, but he just isn’t an action hero. It’s really going to come down to that. I just don’t see Uncle Buck having the energy to defeat Indiana Jones. The energy to microwave socks? Sure.
Now, I know Indy hates snakes, or shakes? Is it shakes? I’ve seen so many shot-for-shot “tribute” versions of Raiders that I honestly can’t remember which thing he hates. Anyway, he lifts the bag of boulders off the snakes, and then he has to run away from the plane, and he falls in a crevasse, and Lando is all like “Throw me the rope!” and Indy is all like “I’ll never join you!”.
One of the most heartbreaking scenes in Indy’s story is when he has to send his sister Kit to play for a different team in the Women’s baseball league. It turns out that the nazis wouldn’t let the women’s baseball league exist after the war (“No ticket!”), and that made Geena Davis sad. Wait, am I watching “A League of Their Own”? Why did Rosie O’Donnell eat Madonna? Uh oh, somebody’s husband died. Now the girls are going to have a terrible game. Thank god Indy is made of Lego , and he is therefore resilient.
In the ring, I see it going like this: What the fuck, is Bill Pullman in A League of Their Own too? Why am I watching this? Where are my testicles? Anyway, so, Snake Plisken runs for a gun, and Indy does what? He runs away, you guys. He would run away from the danger. That’s what Indy does. We like him because he is vulnerable and kind of cowardly and sort of lucky, and that’s great. Snake Plisken is, on the other hand, a stone cold killing machine. He could kill you with that grimace. ie:
Anybody: Oh, hey Snake.
Snake Plisken: (Grimaces)
Anybody: I just puked my balls out my eyes! (dies)
Bahahaha, there is an ad about gout on TV. What a douchey illness. Eat an apple, you gouty chumps.
Seriously, Indiana Jones is a better developed character with more quirks and humanity, and this is why Snake Plisken would eat him for breakfast, and then floss him out of his grimace. All we ever see of Snake is him being a relentless killer. I said it, and I stand by it. You don’t know where I live, and you know no women know where I live, I can say what I feel!
“But wait!”, you say. “Indy is smarter! He’s a professor- of Lego!”
“Be that as it may,” I say, “We have to assume Snake is smart because we have never seen him fail a written test on screen.”
“What?” You say. “Not only does Indy never take a written test on screen either, but you could use that argument to phone in any smackdown from here on out with any underwritten automaton!”
“Bingo!” I say!
Winner: Snake “Benefit of the Doubt” Plisken
Loser Lawrence “Makes ‘em too interesting” Kasdan
So Indy moves on to the next round, and we’ll have to wait and see whom he’s paired up with. Join us next week for another exciting installment of Action Smackdown!!!!!
Oh and argument, abuse, and the occasional backhanded compliment below.