In the James Bond films directed by Guy Hamilton, it was quite common for the villain to knock Bond out unconscious and then have him awaken in a strange and perhaps dangerous place, the “snake pit” device I think they call it. In Goldfinger 007 is hit with a tranquilizer and comes to in a plane with Pussy Galore pointing a gun at him, Diamonds Are Forever sees Connery get sprayed in the elevator and then awake to find himself in a pipeline conversing with a rat, and ofcourse in Live and Let Die, Tee Hee whacks Bond across the back of the head with his hook, and carries 007 over his shoulder all the way to Mr. Big’s Crocodile Farm.
If you holidayed in Louisiana any time between 1972 and 1998 and you didn’t take the opportunity to visit Mr. Big’s Crocodile Farm, then you should be taken out and beaten. Because during that period the Crocodile Farm was the premier tourist attraction in the state, and in many peoples minds the entire nation. There was so much to see and do, with “Feeding Time” being the particular highlight of the day, but there is also a relaxing atmosphere as you bask in the mid morning sun, keeping a careful eye out for anyone in the swamp that may consider you edible. Sure, it’s a risky venture, but so is a trip to the supermarket when you think about it. The difference with The Crocodile Farm was that anyone who lost a hand was provided with a hook, courtesy of the Farm, ensuring that there were no complaints. Until a few years ago that is, when the premises was set alight one too many times and was declared a fire risk by the local council. The Crocodile Farm was shut down, tourism to the region dropped 74%, and world domination seeking villains had lost their best “snake pit” situation to send Bond to.
But maybe it’s all for the best. The loss of the greatest “snake pit” of all forced the producers to admit the standard of the “snake pits” had been going downhill in recent times. It all started with A View to A Kill, Zorin just puts Bond in the Rolls Royce and pushes it in the river. And then in GoldenEye all Trevelyn can come up with is to tie Bond up inside the helicopter and have it shoot itself. It seems like the villains are getting lazy of late, not putting any creativity or energy into their “snake pits” anymore, and that’s a downright shame. Thankfully for them, I’ve come up with a few snake pit situations of my own, ones that even Guy Hamilton would be proud of…
A Bulls Roar: Bond awakens to find himself in the middle of a Bull Fighting ring in Spain. He is surrounded by herds of bulls and they are not happy. Why? Because the villain has stripped Bond naked, painted him red, and stapled a McDonalds logo to his behind. The angry bulls lower their horns and charge at Bond from all directions, lets see him get out of this one.
A Drop in the Ocean: Nusing his head, Bond wakes up to gentle rocking of water all around him. It seems that the villain has placed Bond in a life raft and left him in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. To make matters worse, the life raft has a puncture and is losing air fast. Bond must continuous blow air into the raft, while paddling with both hands to get to the nearest continent.
Problem Solver: Bond feels quite strange when he comes around, something isn’t quite right. Turns out it’s because he’s 14,000 feet above the air. “Goodbye Mr. Bond” the villain cries gleefully, suddenly pushing 007 out of the plane. Tumbling towards his death, all Bond has on him is a coat hanger, a pair of suspenders, and some chewing gum. Can he construct a parachute and glide to safety before it’s too late?
Love and Marriage: When Bond stirs, he is shocked to find that he’s in a village in Africa. What’s more, while he was unconscious, a wedding ceremony took place where Bond became married to the tribal chiefs ugliest daughter. Upon awakening, Bond is informed by the chief that if he so much as attempts to flee the village, the men of the tribe will spear him to death, hollow out his skull, and use it as a musical instrument.
The Ultimate: Regaining consciousness, Bond realises that he’s been tied to a chair. There is dynamite strapped all over him and the chair as well. Two burly commandos stand on either side of Bond, both holding machine guns. Surrounding them is a 12-foot circular moat ceeming with sharks and piranhas. Around the moat are six guards at equal intervals around the circle, each with rocket launchers aimed directly at Bond. All this, is right in the middle of 50 sq mile mind field. Good luck Mr. Bond.
Of all the “snake pit” situations Bond has been in, so far Mr. Bigs Crocodile Farm has come the closest to bringing him to his downfall. But perhaps one of these “snake pits”, if used by a world domination seeking maniac one day, could be the one that finished off 007 once and for all.
Until next time,