CaliforniaHerps.com

A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California


Snakes In Movies





Click on a picture for a larger view

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
SnakeSexploitation
Throwing and
Whipping Snakes
 
Rattlesnakes
Cobras
Black Mambas
Boas, Pythons,
and Anacondas




observation link


The Missing (2003)
 
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
 
The Missing The Missing The Missing
The Missing The Missing The Missing
The Missing is a Ron Howard Western Fantasy starring Tommy Lee Jones, whose face is as chiseled and cracked as the rocky New Mexico Mountains where it was filmed, and the great Cate Blanchett. I call it a fantasy because it has a lot of magical Native American witchcraft that you have to accept if you want to believe the plot.

Jones, who years previously abandoned his family to live as an Indian, and his estranged daughter Blanchett and her young daughter are chasing a band of kidnappers who are mostly Apaches who have deserted from the US Army where they worked as guides. They kidnapped a bunch of girls, including Blanchett's older daughter, and are taking them to the border to sell to some Mexicans. Before the chase, we see Tommy Lee Jones refusing a dinner plate of rabbit. He tells them he can't eat rabbit because he was bitten by a rattlesnake. Later we learn that an Indian medicine man told him that if he wore an amulet, said a prayer, ate no rabbit, and took care of his family for a year, then he would be cured, because a rattlesnake bite can make your soul very sick.

Then we see an eery night scene with several live rattlesnakes tied and hanging down from branches and someone with black fingers milking a rattlesnake's fangs with the venom dropping down onto a human heart. Then he makes a snake inject its venom into the heart. He takes a large bird's foot, maybe that of an eagle, and stabs the claws into the heart. Then we see him sneak up on a man and punch the claws into his throat to kill him. It appears that he used the venom as part of his witchcraft to kill the man. It would have been much easier to use a knife, but that would be boring so we get some creepy rattlesnake witchcraft nonsense to get our money's worth.

The group comes upon the former camp of the witch and the others and the little girl falls to the ground screaming beneath the tree full of hanging rattlesnakes. Jones runs over but instead of shooting them he cuts the leather ties letting the snakes fall to the ground. He says something in his Indian language which the subtitles translate as "Go on now." This is a rare example of kindness to rattlesnakes in a movie. Maybe it's because of his rattlesnake bite cure. One of the snakes strikes at him and he jumps back. (There must be a law that rattlesnakes have to strike at someone when they are used in a movie.) The snakes we saw hanging that Jones cut down, however, were dead ones or props of some kind. No need to put the star in danger. Jones tells them the man who used the snakes was a Brujo, a witch: "Snakes belong on the ground. This one hangs them in the air."

Most of the rattlesnakes are Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnakes, probably the most commonly used rattlesnake species in movies and perfectly appropriate for the New Mexico setting.
 

Home Site Map About Us Identification Lists Maps Photos More Lists CA Snakes CA Lizards CA Turtles CA Salamanders CA Frogs
Contact Us Usage Resources Rattlesnakes Sounds Videos FieldHerping Yard Herps Behavior Herp Fun CA Regulations
Beyond CA All Herps


Return to the Top

 © 2000 -