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 masterpiece by the great Spanish director Pedro Almodovar who won the Oscar for Original Screenplay for it. It's about two women who both end up in a coma, the men and women who love them, and the often twisted relationships between them all. If the movie is so good, you ask, then why is there a snake in it? Not to worry, there are only a couple of scenes about two women with snake phobias with only a brief look at a dead snake.
The first woman is a matador named Lidia, who can stare down a bull in the ring, but is so terrified when she finds a snake in her house, that she runs out screaming. A journalist she just met who drove her home, Marco, goes inside to kill it with a baseball bat. We see him put a snake that looks like a piece of black rubber in a green plastic bag, then he starts crying. He dumps the bag in the trash. She tells him that she is never going back to that house again and that she's ashamed of her snake phobia, and tells him to keep it a secret. We know that she already hates the house because she just broke up with her boyfriend who lived there with her.
The second woman is mentioned when Marco is sitting in someone's backyard listening to a band with a singer who sings a sad Mexican song about a dying bird. Marco starts to cry so he walks away. Lidia follows him and asks why he cried after he killed the snake in her house. He says it reminded him of another snake he had to kill. He describes the incident as we see a flashback of his ex-girlfriend running naked away from their tent in Africa one night. He says she had the same phobia as Lidia. We never see the snake.
The snake/crying scenes are included to develop the characters of Lidia and Marco in ways that I don't fully understand, but it's nice to see any sort of snake used in an Almodovar movie. Snakes are often phallic symbols that represent men. What else can we think in a movie when we see women running in fear from snakes, especially a naked woman? Freud would be proud. (And he would also love the great silent movie within the movie that shows a man trying to go back into the womb.) Of course, snake phobia or not, it's not unusual for anyone to run away from a snake they find in their kitchen or in their tent in Africa.