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Film: Snix

Snix is a series of amateur Comedy-Horror short films, created by James Rolfe in his teenage years. The series revolves around an evil warlock by the name of Snix, who died 300 years ago but has returned to life by way of his evil mask, and is now possessing innocent people.

The films are:

Though clips of them were featured in retrospectives and documentaries by Rolfe, the films as a whole went unseen by the public until April 2013, when he uploaded them to Cinemassacre.com in honor of their 20th anniversary. Watch his introduction of the films right here.

Not to be confused with SNICK.

The Snix series contains examples of:

  • Antagonist Title
  • Anyone Can Die: Inverted. Save for one girl who died during the intro to Snix, no one has really ever died.
  • Artifactof Doom: Snix's mask constantly takes control of James and his friends, either by being worn willingly or by levitating onto them.
  • Artistic Title: Snix Again had this, along with an animated sequence explaining the origin of Snix and Xins.
  • Ascended Extra: Joe, who made a brief appearance in the Rotten Corpse of Snix, is the main supporting character in the Banishing. Justified as Brian (the character) chose not to help James any more.
  • Bad Bad Acting: The girl in the beginning. She can't speak her lines without laughing. Then again, it was done for fun and James was 12 at the time.
  • Batter Up: The ghost of Snix hits James with a baseball bat. It was delivered under-whelmingly comical.
  • Call Back: Each sequel contains a scene from the previous movie that summarizes what just happened. The Evil Spirit of Snix is loaded with this.
  • Canon Discontinuity: In the first three films, Xins is seems to be an illustration of a mad scientist, while in the last three, he is played by James wearing a sheet and hocky mask.
  • Chained to a Railway: This appens to the Mask of Snix in Rotten Corpse, to the tune of the Killer Instinct Theme. He's not really tied down, but he is immobilized because he forgot how to teleport. Despite this incontinuity, the scene might arguably be the coolest thing to happen in the series.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: One of James' friends, Joe, appears near the end of the Rotten Corpse of Snix to witness Snix's corpse on the front porch after a sword fight. He comes back in the Evil Spirit of Snix to fight the possessed James.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: James and Phil are "torturing" a doll right before they encounter Snix for the first time.
    • Happens again in Snix: The Return where Brian tortures a doll. James told him to stop with that.
    • Played for laughs at the ending for Snix Again.
  • The Chew Toy: Snix himself.
  • Demonic Possession: Thanks to the mask. In the last movie, Snix no longer needed the mask.
  • Denser and Wackier: The Return was created as a joke- to be a sort of parody of the first. In the end, though, the nature of the series means that they all have pretty much the same tone.
  • Driven to Suicide: From the introduction of Snix Again, Xins was being possessed by Snix three decades before the events of the first movie. However, he was strong enough to withstand Snix's influence, just enough to slice his head off and tried to keep their spirits from getting out.
  • Dull Surprise: In Snix: The Return, James has a habit of saying "Aww Man", either disappointingly or dully.
  • Fake Shemp: The Rotten Corpse of Snix has a full costume for Snix (rather than just his mask), allowing multiple actors to play him- a full six different actors!
  • Faking the Dead: In the Spirit of Snix, Joe faked his death as a prank on James after finding out that the box contains nothing inside of it.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Invoked in Snix: The Return. Brian brings out a couple of bottles of beer and tells James they should drink it. James tells him to put it away.
  • Gainax Ending: The first film ends with James confronting Snix with the box of horrors... and then a mysterious mad scientist coming in to kill Snix, who was falsing implicated as the thief of said box.
    • Though it got retconed in the sequel where it turned out to be Xins, and it was all a ruse for him to help James.
  • Genre Savvy: In the sixth movie, James caught on to the Rule of Three and called Brian and Joe to help.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: The Snix incident has gone unknown to everyone but James and his friends. It doesn't matter to him as he is glad to be rid of the evil Snix.
  • Hand Wave: In the first movie, James looked into the box that contains the scariest thing ever, and (naturally) got really scared. In the third movie, he mentioned that he completely forgot what was inside that box (justified since it left him in a coma for three years).
  • Heroic Willpower: Averted for the most part. Any character who got possessed had no power to fight it, at least until one knocks Snix unconscious or removes the mask.
    • However, Xins was the only one able to fight the possession. See Driven to Suicide above.
  • Hero of Another Story: Xins was the one who killed Snix three centries ago. He even passes down the same sword he used to slay him to James in the Rotten Corpse of Snix. He's also been supporting him throughout the series.
  • Implacable Man: Snix always comes back to haunt James and terrorize him and his friends. Even when the mask is destroyed and the corpse is mutilated, Snix told James, as the mask burns, that all he needs is a human vessel, not the mask, to possess someone.
    • In the end of the Evil Spirit of Snix, he's able to possess inanimate objects! Thankfully, Xins put a stop to it before it can get out of hand.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The first thing we see Snix use is a toy sword. It's as effective as you'd think.
    • We see him use a variety of other weapons. Like a plunger. He does use what the film depicts as an actual sword (which is a toy sword) in a sword fight with James though.
  • I'll Kill You!: Snix occasionally utters "I will destroy you!"
    • Said this word by word in the first part.
  • Jump Scare: The Return attempts this. James is cautiously walking through his backyard, trying to escape from Snix, when Snix suddenly starts jumping out from behind various objects. There are no Scare Chords or anything to add to the effect, though.
    • Inverted, probably intentionally in Snix Again. Snix comes out to scare Brian, only for the middle of Maya's theme from Killer Instinct 2 to play. Followed by Brian's reaction, it's quite amusing.
  • Kill It with Fire: James almost does this in Snix Again, but is stopped by the Sock. He seemingly succeeds in Possessed Mask, remarking, "What I shoulda did a long time ago."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the end narration for Snix Again, James nonchalantly says he knows the trilogy was done but that his adventures with Snix had only reached "midpoint".
  • Leave the Camera Running: James had a habit of overdoing some jokes, or showing moments that didn't really need to be shown. A full minute of one film is just Snix's power continually opening a fridge door. This has been reduced, for the most part, in the anniversary release.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The mysterious man who gave James the box of horrors in the first movie is revealed to be his ancestor in the second.
  • Made of Iron: In Snix: The Return, James' friend ends up getting possessed, and later, he'd stab him in the eye with a stick while trying to evade him. Later, the mask comes off and his friend's eye appears to be unharmed.
    • Before that, James, while possessed, took a knife to his arm, which looked fairly deep. Later, he'd remove the bandage (finding it annoying), finding his wound to be completely healed.
    • The sword fight at the Rotten Corpse of Snix shows James taking a few slashes and stabs. The worst he got was bleeding from the nose and forehead.
    • Heck, the Snix mask itself. It takes loads of punishments as it got torn (likely unintentional), buried, and ran over by a train. Until the end of the fifth movie, it always comes back. It should be noted that while the mask does fit the trope, the mask was actually remade many times.
    • James sure is able to take a lot of whacks of a golf club. Good thing he was possessed by Snix when it happened.
  • Medium Blending
  • Minimalist Cast: Possessed Mask only features James, with occasional off-screen help from family. As a result of not having to work around everyone's schedule, it was made quicker (and perhaps better) than it's predecessor.
  • No Budget: James explicitly says so in his 1998 introduction to the first film.
  • Noodle Incident: In the first film, a mysterious benefactor gives the protagonist a box that supposedly contains "the scariest thing ever". This thing is scary enough to frighten ghosts away, but it's never actually seen. Subverted in the last movie, as James finally gives the box a good hard look inside, only to find it empty. Then theorizes that the scariest thing ever may have escaped into the sewer system, meaning it could terrorize anybody.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Whatever is inside that box, it's the scariest thing ever. The movies never really portray it as being scary on its own, though.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: It would be confusing figuring out the order of the sequels without them listed.
  • Old Shame: Even James Rolfe back when he was a young adult was hesitant in showing the first movie. He only does it just so he and his friends can get a laugh, and he makes an exception in his introduction because the film needed to be seen to understand the foundation behind it.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Not even that! James couldn't afford stock music, so for the first few movies, the soundtrack for the earlier films is just him noodling on a keyboard. For the later ones, he used video game music (which is decidedly... not public domain...).
  • Re Cut: James edited the films for their public release. He didn't remove any scenes, but he did significantly trim some down. Leave the Camera Running shots were so frequent that his edits trimmed down the movies by a good 10-15 minutes!
  • Red Herring: The masked kid in Snix Again shows up briefly to help Brian. He is never seen again, or ever mentioned.
    • It's possible that he may have played some role in the original cut though...
  • Running Gag: The threes. See both Rule of Three entry below, and the funny section.
  • Rule of Three: The first film is set 3 centuries after Snix's defeat. The second film is set 3 years after the first. The third film is set 3 months after the second, etc.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Snix: The Return has Snix switch the mask to Brian. James later screams briefly before calmly announcing that he's "getting out of here" before casually leaving the room. Snix catches up with him not long after though.
    • In the Evil Spirit of Snix, Brian gets chased by a possessed James, and decides to just ignore him and stay at his house for the rest of the day. Thankfully, Joe ends up saving James.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: The implied fate of Snix and Xins.
  • Sequel Hook: The third movie ends with James walking on a road in the ending, with the monologue admitting that his story has only reached mid-point.
    • The sixth movie seems to end with this as well, with James mentioning that the ghosts has escaped into the sewer system.
  • Serial Escalation: Three hundred centuries since the death of Snix, his spirit (in the form of a mask he wore) possessed Xins, which eventually led to his suicide. Three decades later is when the first movie begins. Three years is when the second begins, and so on...
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: At the time, James wasn't really sure which element he wanted to stress more, and in hindsight, he feels that the films have a "weird, undecided tone".
  • The Smurfette Principle: There is a young girl who appears in the beginning of Snix. She dies shortly after though.
  • Throw It In: This happened often.
    • When an actor tripped, it was left in. It's a real trip, after all!
    • A particularly lucky example occurs in a fight scene in the third film- Snix and another character are battling next to a window, with Snix wielding a plunger. Suddenly, the window falls down, Snix's arm is trapped under it and drops the plunger, and the hero takes the opportunity to punch Snix in the face. This was completely unplanned: James, playing Snix, accidentally bumped the ruler that was holding up the window pane, causing his arm to get trapped. You can actually hear him laughing in surprise as it happens. He kept it in, though, because it worked!
  • Sdrawkcab Name: XINS spells SNIX backwards or upside down.
  • Sword Fight
    • Sword of Plot Advancement: Xins gives James the very same sword he used to slay Snix 300 centuries ago, just so he can finish him off himself.
  • Taking You with Me: Xins decided to banish the spirit of Snix, banishing himself in the process to finally get rid of him (and himself) once and for all.
  • Teleport Spam: Snix did this in the second movie, much to James' annoyance in trying to prove his existence.
  • Verbal Tic: Xins, at least in the Rotten Corpse of Snix, has a habit of ending his sentences in "yer see?"
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: There are frequent scenes where one character explains something that the audience has just seen to another character. It's meant for the other character's benefit, since they genuinely don't know what's going on, but it's tedious for the audience. Thankfully, James removed/cut most of these scenes for the 20th anniversary release.
  • What Could Have Been: In the introduction to the third film, James mentions his previous intention of having himself "turn into Snix through animation." This idea was unfortunately discarded when he reworked the trilogy into the final "Six Snix Flix."
    • Actually, he mentioned that this was one of his many, many ideas that he said that it could not fit in one movie, which is why there were six.
      • It might be worth mentioning that he said that he tried to avoid cutting a lot out of the movie, or otherwise he "may as well remake them."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: James' friend, Phil, in the first movie is only seen and mentioned in flash backs of the first movie.
    • His other friend, Brian, made a constant appearance until the fifth movie, where he was absent. He was present in the sixth movie, but only briefly, then decides to not bother to help James this time. Possibly justified as anyone involved in the movie did not have as much of an open schedule as James did after the second movie.

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