Today's Guardian Film Blog has an entertaining post about the cinematic epidemic of people being sucked out of airplanes.
Next week sees the release of the much-anticipated zombie-pocalypse thriller World War Z, in which Brad Pitt's flight is rudely interrupted by a) a horde of ravenous zombies, and b) a hole in the plane's fuselage, flushing passengers and their luggage out into icy air. What terrible luck! And just two weeks after that nice Will Smith was sucked from his son through a hole in the fuselage of his spacecraft in After Earth. And that terrifying sight followed hot on the heels of Iron Man 3, which featured one of Iron Man's fancier rescues, as he scooped up 13 passengers sucked through a hole in the fuselage of their jet as it made its way across the Pacific...The post notes that the physics of fuselage breaches do not support Hollywood's renditions of the events.
Experts will doubtless debate long and hard as to whether this year's crop of films about people getting sucked from planes beats the last such bumper year, 1993, in which no less than three movies – Cliffhanger, Alive, and Fearless – preyed on the public's fears of a ruptured fuselage...
Then there is the grand-daddy of all decompression scenes: the death of Auric Goldfinger in the 1964 Bond classic of that name, zipping around the cabin like a burst balloon before being sucked out the hole created in the window by his .45 caliber... Many a villain has followed in the slipstream of Oddjob's booming buttocks, including the baby alien at the end of Alien 4: Resurrection and the eponymous snakes in David Rellis's 2006 masterwork, Snakes on a Plane.