Sunday, May 23, 2010


"Snooks" is cool-guy lingo for "sonic dematerializer," a "next-gen weapon" that provides the premise (such as it is) for the recent film The Losers. The Losers is based on graphic novels by Andy Diggle, but as far as I can tell the slang "snooks" is wholly an invention of the film.

According to the movie, snooks are the weapon of choice of modern-day bad guys because they are environmentally friendly. The film's arch-villain, played by Jason Patric, says they "produce no pollution - they're pure destruction" and so are highly sought-after by eco-terrorists. When asked about other next-gen weapons, Patric airily asks, "Have you heard of deep-space tachyons? Singularity events? No?" and he arches an eyebrow to let us know that if we don't have the science, there's no point trying to explain.

Me, I'm so old school that when you put "graphic novel" and "sonic dematerializer" together I think of Madame Castiofore, the glass-shattering opera singer in Tintin. On its own, "sonic dematerializer" makes me think of that gizmo that dental hygenists use if you forget to floss. I seem to recall in the 1960s series The Prisoner that Number Six was kept in The Village by means of a sonic weapon of some sort - they make for excellent low-budget special effects because all you have to do is shake the camera a little, have the actors grab their ears, and then have something vanish. In fact, the mad scientist in Help! tries to get Ringo's ring off with a sonic dematerializer, causing his pants to fall down and fuses to blow. (When the fuse blows John Lennon says, "My god! What's your electricity bill like?" and the scientist's assistant, Algernon, says, "Well it's sort of a long counterfoil...")

All in all, the destructive power of sound seems pretty last-gen to me (maybe even retro-gen). But I like this word snooks. Snooks even sounds like a good nickname for the old prima donna.

The idea that the next generation of terrorists is going to require environmentally friendly bombs is just, well, delightful. It's a great shame that the movie was so dumbed-down that they made no attempt to explain how the arch-villain would wield a singularity event as a weapon, not to mention how he'd harness the elusive tachyon. All we see of the snook is an island that gets obliterated, and you think you could do that for less than $1 billion cash.

By the way, The Losers is a really bad film with really good acting by everyone in it. It's a great shame that so much talent wasted nearly a year creating such a bag of crap. I saw it only because I thought there would be superheroes.



Bert said...

Maybe the snooks ought to make their way over to the Gulf Of Mexico.

I'm sure eco-terrorists could give a "**** ***" about something like this. Does anyone recall the morons who torched those SUV dealerships ?.

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