For Future Reference: SnailQuake Art

The SyFy Channel announced today that it would be releasing a film called Sharknado, about, yes, a tornado filled with sharks. Naturally enough, I had a comment about that on Twitter:

To which Syfy responded:

Yes, well. And while we are waiting around for SyFy to send money to my door for my brilliant, brilliant idea, folks on Twitter wasted no time getting to work on key art. Thus:



Honestly, I don’t know why SyFy hasn’t just given me all the monies already.

SnailQuake, people. It will happen. Oh yes. It will.

99 Comments on “For Future Reference: SnailQuake Art”

  1. I think they kinda already made that movie, except it was called “Tremors.”

    Not that unoriginality ever stopped the movie biz before, mind you. Just sayin’.

  2. I hope that was a three movie contract they sent you! Cause sequels are ALWAYS better than the originals. We can even brainstorm sequel names:

    Snailquake 2: The Seismoshell Returns

  3. In France, John Scalzi is considered a genius and Escargotséisme is his finest work.

  4. So when you say you’ve had a busy day this is what you are referring to?

  5. Okay, first comment: De-lurking to say that the “sharknado” concept doesn’t even make sense. Sharks not only need to be in the water to breathe, they need to keep swimming constantly and not stop, ever, or they suffocate. Pulling them out of the water (with what would be a “waterspout,” not a tornado) would kill them, and the only thing terrifying about a tornado filled with (dead) sharks is the possibility of getting beaned by one weighing 1000 lbs+ when you yourself are a human weighing ~100 to 180 lbs.

    They must be really hard up for ideas.

  6. *Holds his fingers up a fraction of a hair apart*

    I was *THIS CLOSE* to working on Sharknado after I finished up on BATTLEDOGS: A SyFy Original Movie*, but I got hired onto another gig instead. You want to talk to Joe Lawson or David Latt at The Asylum….

    *Contains no science. Contents nominally original. “Movie” indicative of run-length only

  7. Is it any wonder that SyFy (*name shudder*) has become a broadcast joke? I’m an avid SF/Fantasy fan and couldn’t even tell you when I last watched that channel. Such a sad, missed opportunity.


    I can see the poster now – “STROLL FOR YOUR LIFE!!!”

  9. I don’t know, it seems pretty derivative. I mean, they just released Arachnoquake last year, do we really need a sequel already?

  10. Have they announced Volecano yet? Because if they haven’t, I’m going to go reserve the URL.

  11. This is great, but whatever happened to your last caption contest? Not that I think mine was funniest but I’m curious which one won…you could now give a copy of the “Snailquake” script to the winner!

  12. And we’ll know exactly who to blame!

    … did you know that snails have HUNDREDS OF TINY TEETH?

    (and you haven’t lived until you see the expression on the face of a Bishon Frise who’s just been bitten on the nose… by a snail.) (Really.)

  13. Just FYI, the idea of a giant snail chasing me down when the ground is too wobbly to run (but not to wobbly to snail over) and pinning me to the convulsing Earth with a 10 foot long love dart is actually kinda creepy. Thanks for the image Scalzi.

  14. Seriously, John. Like Mr. Engler says, be careful what you wish for. Snailquake? Sharknado? Do you really want to be associated with that? It could set your film career back into the Jurassic period. And, no, that wasn’t an idea.

  15. IMHO, a snailquake makes a LOT more sense than many of the made-for-Syfy-movies they’ve been showing, lately. There’s nothing even as much fun as Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, either (wasn’t the best picture, but it held my interest and wasn’t a bad watch).

  16. Since we’re exploiting the highly-exploited natural disasters, might as well pitch “Zebracaine”; “Jackassteroid” and “Global Swarming”.

  17. 1. Others in the genre include Volcanetoad, Lavaphant, Ocelotsunami, and Derecheetah.

    2. I really feel that the sequels should be called Snailquake and Empire and Second Snailquake.

    3. Crossovers include Snailtopus, Snailtopus Rex, and Snailtopus Rex II: The Awakening.

    4. Syfy should really change its name to DumbAss Horror Movies Extended Ridiculously, or DAHMER for short.

  18. I so wish they’d stop with the shit on that network. Other then Continuum and Warehouse 13, there isn’t anything to watch if you’re a science ficton fan. What does paranormal activity and Saw IV (Yes they’ve played Saw IV before) have to do with Sci fi?

    Maybe I should just go back to listening to AC/DC and working on the final touches of my first novel that’s worthy of submitting along with writing another small segment of my serialized novel instead. It certainly would be less irritating.

  19. Already said it on Twitter, but let it be known that if this somehow gets made, I call dibs on Snailquake 2: Gastropocalypse.

  20. John,

    I know you’re not my bitch. But as a loyal fan speaking for other loyal fans, because I have made myself Speaker for the Loyal Fans for the evening (with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto, including the power to impugn the loyalty of those who purport to be loyal fans but who criticize my views, priorities, or spelling), I have to ask.

    Do you really have time to work on this project while Shadow War of the Night Dragons is unfinished?

  21. And what will you do if SyFy takes you up on your offer? Because, seriously, do think it’s too ridiculous for them? My opinion: YOU SHOULD DO IT!

  22. Deep trailer voice : “In a world where Ancient Giant Gastropods have become the greatest foe of humanity…”

  23. See-Fee doesn’t usually produce most of these Deathless Epics of Modern Cinema themselves – they license them from outfits like Roger Corman’s New Horizons or The Asylum (producers of such fine and completely original films as SHERLOCK HOLMES starring Ianto from TORCHWOOD as Watson and Moriarty’s ripoff of Mechagodzilla – and the absolutely never-considered-before ATLANTIC RIM!).

    My friend Raquel and I are (intermittently) working on a script tentatively entitled SEAL TEAM SIX VS. CRUISE LINER ZOMBIES. You see, we figure if we shoot almost all of it on a cruise liner in drydock for repairs, the producers can rent it cheap for a couple weeks, and we can get some DAVE School grad to do CGI exteriors….

    You know, Scalzi – you could probably raise enough from a Kickstarter campaign to self-finance SNAILQUAKE – then license it to See-Fee, and take it to Cannes, NY Film Festival or Slamdance to sell the foreign rights!

  24. And of course Snailquake would have to star Wil Weaton and Felicia Day as a pair of scientists trying to figure out the cause of said snailquake.

  25. “What about subsidence owing to a plague of field mice?” – From The Deadly Assassin by Robert Holmes, Dr. Who’s greatest writer, sadly no longer with us to cash in on an idea way ahead of its time.

  26. K.W. Ramsey – If you can’t get Mr. Wheaton and Ms. Day, may I suggest Jason Connery and Mia Sara? That is if they’ll still work together.

  27. The sequel: SnailQuake 2: The New Dish

    The rebooted sequel: SnailQuake: Into Soil

    The unauthorized direct-to-DVD third installment no one talks about directed by Edward Neumeier and co-starring Jolene Blalock: SnailQuake 3: Meander

    The crossover: Ghost Slugs vs. Wolf Snails: Crawl for Your Life

    The rebooted reboot: Mollusk of Steel

    I’ll settled for 10%


    Can New York’s last survivors of the SNAILQUAKE make it to the shelter of Utah’s salt flats?

  29. But…if you wrote something for SyFy, wouldn’t you be contractually obligated to suck? I will admit they knocked it out of the park with Battlestar Galactica, but then they squander their money on movies like Cyclops or Sharktopus that might be campy-funny if someone with a sense of humor got within 100 yards of the script.

  30. Lionslide! Armadillogedon, Turtlenami, and the dreaded Hyenacane.

    I lost all patience with SyFy when the started showing wrestling. The only thing I’ll watch now is Defiance.

  31. Ellen, you got an actual out-loud laugh for your Martining of Scalzi.

    I’m enjoying Defiance, to be honest. I keep vowing never to watch another SyFy series again, but they keep sucking me in one more time.

    If the DAHMERs make them the money they need to fund projects like Defiance and BSG, I say more power to ’em. Which does not, of course, mean I’ll stop making fun of them.

  32. Ooh, yes, gimme “Snailquake” with Scalzi as head screenwriter, director, producer, and every other important post.

    And then “Snailquake 2: The Revenge of the Rosy Wolfsnail”, “Snailquake 3D: Giant African Land Snails”, “Snailquake 4: The Quest for Peace”, “Snailquake V: The Return of the Revenge of the Rosy Wolfsnail”, “Snailquake VI: The Bride of the Son of the Return of the Revenge of the Rosy Wolfsnail”, and “Snailquake: The Final Chapter”, followed by “Snailquake!”, a remake that ruins the original in the minds of fans by adding higher production values.

    And then a crossover with Aztec Rex; Aztec Rex: Attack of the Earthquake Snails.

    A couple of spin-offs: “Snailquake Presents: American Snail”, “Snailquake Presents: Omega House”, and “Snailquake Presents: Rocket Snails!!!!!”.

    Finally, when all that is done, we can have a nice big shiny franchise reboot: “Snail…of Steel!!!”


  33. Seriously now, “Sharknado”??????? That makes even less sense than the Longranian Ice Shark and the Great Badger of Tau Ceti in “Redshirts”. I would personally prefer an SGU movie or seven and an OMW film series. Provided, of course, that Scalzi does the writing.

  34. But can SyFy afford Weta Digital’s snail special effects that they developed for The Hobbit?

  35. My “Big Idea” for a SyFy movie would be “Killer-Roos!”, about flesh eating kangaroos in the Aussie Outback. Hey, it’d be perfect for Rachel Hunter, who’s in a lot of these things.

    It can be directed by Jim Wynorski, who helmed “Piranhaconda”.

  36. I lost all hope for SyFy way back when they cancelled the high-ranking ‘Invisible Man’ because the suits didn’t like science fiction. Umm ….

  37. @ Robin: I know, right? I actually opened one of my (unfinished, rather crappy) novels with flesh roos coming through a hole in time. The plot was ridiculously easy, especially after I added the mutant killer (a mutant human who was designed and altered to hunt and kill other mutants). The hard parts were making the fight scenes work, having the protagonists cover up the flesh roos’ messes without DEM, and writing a psychopathic, sadistic assassin who knows that she’s significantly superior to everyone she’s fighting in every possible way.

  38. The all time reigning king will, of course, be SnailQuake: The Wrath of Salt

    And let’s not forget the classic slow-motion action flick SnailQuake 2: Dry Harder

  39. @ Gulliver: Followed, respectively, by “Snailquake: The Search for Steve” and “Dry Hard 3: With A Snailquake”. And then a few more sequels, such as “Snailquake: The Slime-trail Home”, “Live Slow or Dry Hard”, and “A Good Snailquake to Dry Hard”, with Bruce Willis as Snail-Hunter Steve.

  40. And for the ultimate horror: “Lopsided Snail” and “Lopsided Snail: The Awakening”, featuring Lopsided Cat in a cheap and obvious snail suit as the dreaded Cat-Snail.

  41. I suddenly have this vision of massive formations of Super Cobras (because it would have to be a Super Cobra in a Syfy movie, just for the name) firing rounds of salt pellets. Or squadrons of air tankers dropping Slug B Gone as people run for cover.

  42. I have to draw the line somewhere. A Cat-Snail would be pretty close to inert.

  43. @ Jack Lint: Meh. It was just an excuse to have more cat pictures and screentime for Lopsided Cat. A Ghlaghghee-Snail, now–that would be some major adorable right there.

    @ Kathryne: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And the GI Joes running around blowing stuff up while making the worst dialogue ever recorded. And Natalie Portman, because of Male Gaze. And Channing Tatum’s chest, because of Female and Gay Male Gaze. And they’re trapped in a cabin in the woods with some random redshirts, all marginally less photogenic and including a token black guy (make it Samuel L. Jackson for the badass value).

    The shocking twist should be the token black guy (Samuel L. Jackson) surviving, being more badass than the photogenic stars, saving them multiple times, single-handedly exterminating all of the snails with nothing but a pump-action shotgun, and coming out with only cool-looking injuries. And he should ride a motorcycle through a wall while smoking a cigarette and firing an AR-15 from each hand while shirtless and wearing an eyepatch, for the badass value, without being harmed by the splinters and shrapnel. It doesn’t even need to make sense.

    And have Mr. Scalzi as himself personally fly the stereotypical rescue helicopter.

  44. SnailLander: The Slowening

    Snails on a Plane

    SnailQuake: Into Snarkness *takes a bow*

    @Floored: SnailHawk Down

  45. Sorry fbsa, but there’s a better part for John – Boris Grishenko

    I am invincible!

  46. @ Gulliver: Yes! Yes! With Benedict Cummerbatch as Khan Radula Snail! Hilarious! “SnailHawk Down”? Great! (although it should be snail *kite*)

    @ jimbot: Dude, stop trolling. Please.

  47. trolling how? Every scifi movie has the stereotypical computer hacker who knows everything, and is able to hack anything. It took James Bond and a top secret pen to defeat him.

  48. Yeah, but Scalzi is not a cliched Russian Bond villain. He is Q, or possibly M, if he can be compared to a James Bond character. I’d say that he was like Bond, but James Bond is a complete idiot with no writing skills.

  49. Can SNAILQUAKE be a double feature with my idea ELEPHU? It’s elephants that learn kung fu and beat up bad guys. Think about how much damage would be caused by an elephant performing a Van Damme style super slo-mo roundhouse jump kick. Actually, JCVD and Dolph Lundgren would be perfect to do the voices for the CGI kung fu elephant heroes. Plus, in addition to their big elephant feet, they could use their trunks and tusks as lethal weapons.

    I’ve also got two spin-off ideas from the whole animal disaster thing ala SHARKNADO and SNAILQUAKE…




  50. @ Mr. Scalzi: aren’t you techincally a goblin warrior in the picture (c.f. the D&D 3.5 Monster Manual entries for “goblin” and “troll”)? And you look hilarious in the picture, of course. So does Wil Wheaton, of course, but you are more awesome.

  51. Saw Epic last night and was amazed by the acting range of snails and slugs. Never knew.

  52. fbsa, I can’t believe that you were complaining about cliched characters. We are talking about the scifi channel after all.

  53. @ Richard: Oh, nice. Niiiiice. The motto is hilarious.

    Furthermore, we definitely need a “Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City” movie, complete with an opening scene of a piece of blackest coal wrapped in blackest velvet, soaked in the purple-black ink of the demon squid Drindel, dropped into the deepest crevasses of Drindelthengen and falling onto the heads of the wicked as the Drindelthengenflagen, the blind black badger trolls of Drindelthengen use the feared Drindelthengenflagenmorden to scoop out the eyes of the wicked…(continues paraphrase of the book).

    Seriously, that would be HILARIOUS. And an OMW movie series would be totally awesome.

  54. Banana Slug – No Known Predators

    (Also a UCSC shirt was worn in Pulp Fiction. Someone call Tarantino about this invertebrate movie.)

  55. Scalzi is definitely Q.

    Samuel L. Jackson’s shogun fires salt and also beer. He drinks beer on his motorcycle so that he can have an open can to take snails out in hand-to-pod combat.

  56. But where’s the Amish in your pitch?

    SnailQuaker™:  FASTER THAN YOU THINK

  57. Okay. Let me see if I’ve got this. The sharks come swirling at you through the tornado. Now, about those snails. Do they come up through the quake? Expelled, as it were, from the earth … Possibly all done in slo mo, speed walking as the elderly and slightly infirm make their escape from seriously pissed off snails? If the snails are some lurid color, that would make them MUCH scarier. I’m in.


    Can New York’s last survivors of the SNAILQUAKE make it to the shelter of Utah’s salt flats?”

    Jonathan Hendry, only strategic head swivelling at the last second means you don’t owe me a new keyboard for that.

  59. I think that Snailquake and a Shadow War of the Night Dragons movie would both make ridiculous amounts of money, for their sheer hilarity and weirdness if nothing else. I mean, a whole movie which is based on an April Fool’s joke, cuts off in the middle of the action, and primarily consists of a lump of ink-soaked, velvet-wrapped coal falling into a giant pit? People would flock to see it from the sheer weirdness value.

    A Redshirts movie would be awesome, too, but it would be so recursive and meta that it could cause Stephen Hawking’s head to explode.

  60. I’ve been thinking, which is always a dangerous thing. You know how the living dead went from shambling to sprinting? Why not snails? Makes SnailQuake more exciting and we can blame climate change or radiation leaks in Japan/Russia. We’ll just have to come up with a new slang for letters delivered by the US Post Office.

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