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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Snakes film premieres in the US
Samuel L Jackson with a python

Hollywood movie Snakes on a Plane premiered in Los Angeles on Thursday after months of hype.

Samuel L Jackson, star of the action thriller which opens in the US and UK on Friday, arrived at the Chinese Theatre with a python around his neck.

The film has earned itself a cult following prior to its release thanks to a wealth of blogs, comedy sketches and trailers generated by film fans.

Jackson told reporters at the premiere that the hype was "unexplainable".

The actor said any film-maker would be delighted by the advance publicity.

"It is something that if studios could figure it out, they'd put it in a bottle and sell it to each other," he told the AP news agency.

Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies (right) plays Claire Miller in the film

Hundreds of fans lined the Hollywood Boulevard to greet Jackson and his co-stars, including actress Julianna Margulies, formerly of ER fame.

Director David R Ellis said he was amazed by the support of fans on the internet.

"I am so blown away. I'm so impressed with their support and what they did to help create such an amazing buzz and I think it is going to change the way that a lot of studios look at marketing film," he said.

The film was not screened in advance for critics - typically a sign that the film will be disappointing, although the film is likely to top box offices regardless.

Film industry trade paper Screen Daily was among the first to review it.

Critic Tim Grierson said it was "an entertaining B-movie gleefully stuffed with bad tough-guy dialogue, obvious stock characters, cheap titillation and lots and lots of snake attacks".

Jackson plays an FBI agent who is escorting an eyewitness to a brutal mob murder on a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles.

Chaos breaks out when the crime boss smuggles hundreds of poisonous snakes onto the commercial aircraft inside a crate timed to break open halfway over the Pacific.

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