Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This is a comedy thriller written by Neil Simon that has an excellent cast, but the humor is corny and outdated, even if you're familiar with the characters and conventions that it's making fun of. It's a parody of locked-in murder mysteries in old dark mansions that uses caricatures of famous fictional detectives - Charlie Chan, Sam Spade, Nick and Nora Charles, and Agatha Christie's detectives Miss Marples and Poirot. Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) invites them all to his country estate for a chance to earn a million dollars if they can solve a murder that will happen at midnight.
Peter Sellers plays Charlie Chan in a parody of the portrayals of a Chinese man by other caucasian Charlie Chan actors which wouldn't work if they had used an Asian actor, but it's offensive nevertheless. He and his son are in bed trying to sleep when they hear a loud hissing sound. The son asks if he should turn off the steam but Charlie tells him that someone put a deadly snake in the room. Later Chan comes into Capote's office to confront him abut the murder attempt and his son enters with the snake around his neck, shot dead by Chan.
The snake is a prop, and barely looks like a real one.