What to Read Next

‘Snakes on a Plane’ director David R. Ellis dies at 60

Bryan Enk
Movie Talk
January 8, 2013

David R. Ellis, the Hollywood stuntman who went on to direct one of the most quoted exploitation action movies ever made, died today in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was 60.

Born in Los Angeles on September 10, 1952, Ellis got his start in Hollywood performing stunts in such action flicks as "Smokey and the Bandit," "Scarface," "Lethal Weapon," "Road House" and "Days of Thunder," and even some non-action flicks like "Fatal Attraction," "She's Out of Control" (remember that one?) and "The Freshman." He segued into second unit directing work with the 1986 TV movie "Condor" and served as second unit director on such high-profile blockbusters as "The Matrix Reloaded," "Waterworld," "The Perfect Storm" and "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World."

Ellis truly made his mark as an exploitation director, bringing his expertise with large-scale action sequences to outrageous fantasy scenarios. After making his directorial debut with "Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco" (1996), he came into his own with "Final Destination 2" (2003), considered by several fans to be the best of the many "Final Destination" sequels, and returned to the series for the franchise's first 3D installment, "The Final Destination" (2009). Ellis also brought the 3D mayhem for the recent absurdist mini-classic that brought bloodthirsty sharks to an idyllic lake community, "Shark Night" (2011).

However, the Internet will probably best remember Ellis for "Snakes on a Plane" (2006), a film that should've made a bajillion dollars at the box office if all the online hype had translated to people actually going to see the movie. The film, which proudly displayed its own pitch as its title, featured Samuel L. Jackson taking on an outbreak of deadly reptiles at 30,000 feet, where he shamelessly spewed gloriously profane B-movie dialogue such as "I am sick and tired of these motherf**ing snakes on this motherf**king plane!"

Ellis was in South Africa preparing for his latest directorial effort, "Kite," an adaptation of the popular anime about a young girl trained as an assassin after the death of her parents that was set to reunite him with his "Snakes" man Jackson. He also served as second unit director on three upcoming 2013 releases: "47 Ronin," "R.I.P.D." and "Winter's Tale."

See the trailer for 'Snakes on a Plane':

'Snakes on a Plane' Theatrical Trailer

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

File your taxes for $0

TurboTax announces Absolute Zero is back. $0 Fed. $0 State. $0 to File. Get your maximum refund, guaranteed. Federal Free Edition.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Men: Tighter Looking Skin In One Easy Step

How older men tighten their skin and reduce the look of wrinkles without cosmetic procedures.

“It works. Officers were at my home in minutes."

Built by the leading engineers in the country with revolutionary wireless technology... Engineered to make your home feel like a fortress...

Motorcycle Tech Training

At MMI, you ll get the advanced skills that top manufacturers need. MMI graduates are in high demand by employers nationwide. Click to learn more.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

10 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.