A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Snakes In Movies

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Snakes in Movies
Lizards in Movies
Turtles in Movies
Amphibians in Movies
Alligators and Crocodiles
in Movies
Snake Face
All Movie Snakes
Must Die!
All Movie Snakes
Want to Kill You!
Snake Bites
Snakes Used
as Weapons
Giant Monster Snakes with a Taste
for Human Flesh
Pet Snakes
Snakes Used
to Shock Us
Dancing With Snakes
Snake Charmers
Snake People
Snakes Used Realistically
Snakes Used for
Food or Medicine
Snake Fights
Throwing and
Whipping Snakes
Black Mambas
Boas, Pythons,
and Anacondas

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Meltdown (High Risk) (Shu dan long wei) (1995)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
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This is a Hong Kong action movie/comedy starring Jet Li with lots of kung-fu, gun-fu, comedy, and bags full of snakes. It's a parody of Die Hard and of Jackie Chan's movies among other things, but it's still full of a lot of stupid action cliches that I don't think are meant to be funny - "do I cut the red wire or the blue one to defuse the bomb?" The snake scene is so unexpected that it makes me wonder if it was also a parody of a scene from another movie that I don't know.

Basically, Jet Li plays the bodyguard and stunt double for a Hong Kong action superstar (a parody of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.) They become accidentally involved in a jewel robbery in a skyscraper when a large gang of vicious terrorists break into a gala party and take everybody hostage while they try to hack into the cases full of precious jewels. One of the hostages is a woman TV news reporter. At one point she escapes from the group of captives and hides in a rest room, but one of the terrorists finds her there and starts pulling snakes from a bag and throwing them at her. (The terrorists must have brought along bags full of deadly snakes along with lots of automatic weapons and bombs and even a flame thrower, so they would be prepared for anything.) He throws snakes at the reporter as she stands on a toilet and threatens her to give him the videotape she made of the leader of the gang. Then, as most stupid henchmen in stupid action movies do, he says he'll be back in 5 minutes and leaves her alone to think about his demands. That's enough time for her friends to break through the ceiling and pull her up to them. When she passes out later, they discover that she was bitten by a snake on her thigh. Jet Lee cuts the wound and sucks out the poison then takes her to a medical room where he finds some "antidote" which he injects into her arm. She is all better in a few seconds. I enjoy the absurdity of snake bites and snake bite cures in movies. What takes a week or two to cure in a hospital, with extreme swelling and tissue damage and requiring multiple injections of anti-venin, is over in a flash in a movie. Either that or people drop dead instantly.

Best of all, at the very end, the live but wounded terrorist leader taunts Jet Lee on the telephone, telling him he escaped and is looking forward to more robberies, rapes, and pillaging in the future and there's nothing Lee can do to stop him. But Lee tells him that the knife he stabbed the terrorist with with was coated in snake venom. That shut him up and he keels over and drops dead. It's best not to think about where and how Lee got the venom or any other such details in this and most other mindless action movies. You don't watch them for their logic, only for their fight scenes and explosions, and this one has plenty.

I don't know much about Chinese snakes so I don't know what kind they are here, but it looks like there are several different species in the masses of snakes on the floor, most of them similar to rat snakes. Some of the snakes that are thrown and dumped onto the floor seem to be live ones, but those thrown directly at the woman appear to be fakes.

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