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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The Craft (1996)
Spoiler Alert !

These pictures and descriptions give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
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It seems like this movie was targeted to a young female audience, two things I am not now nor was I when it was released, 20 years ago, but when I read that they used over 3,000 snakes for one scene, I had to watch it. I can't confirm the number, but they certainly used a whole lot of live snakes, probably supplemented with some fakes.

It's basically a teen Fantasy/Horror story about four girls at a Catholic prep school who wear those plaid school girl uniforms with the big socks and practice witchcraft to get revenge on the same mean girls, liars, and bullies that we always see in high school movies. One of the girls, Sarah, played by Robin Tunney, who just moved to the area, mentions to the others that she used to hallucinate about snakes and bugs, the kind of heavy-handed foreshadowing I'm always happy to see in a snake movie. From the taxi window on her way from the airport to her new house she sees a snake on a tree. Then when she is unpacking, a strange man walks in holding a snake he says he found and asks her if she wants it. She screams in fear, he drops the snake, and her father kills it with a fireplace poker. Sarah runs into the man later on the street holding a different snake. More foreshadowing...

When we see the four witches going to the beach to invoke the great spirit "Manon" each one is carrying an animal in a container. Nancy, the deliciously bad punk girl and the best thing about the movie, played by Fairuza Balk, is carrying a snake in a jar that seems to be her pet from the way she baby talks to it.

When the other witches start to turn against Sara, they conjure up thousands of snakes to terrorize her. As usual in movies, they are all perfectly harmless species. The snakes are spread out all over her house along with some lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, rats, cockroaches and lots and lots of worms, but the most frightening creature that shows up is Nancy. The snakes are just piled up on plants and stairways in the absurd unrealistic way they are always tossed around in movies, as if the art directors didn't want to go near them. We see quite a few species of snakes - Burmese pythons, Ball pythons, garter snakes, rat snakes, corn snakes, some kind of tree boa, I think - the kinds of snakes you can buy at the big box pet stores, along with all the other rats and inverts that are meant to creep us out.
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There are a couple of nice snake special effects, too. Just before Sarah starts seeing the thousands of snakes, she is sitting on the floor with light coming through a glass door that casts shadows from the metal decorations on the door onto the floor. When Sarah leaves the shadows are slowly animated, turning into crawling snakes. And when Sarah fights Nancy, Nancy's fingers turn into snakes, snakes grow out of her head and she becomes covered with cockroaches with a mouth full of worms. Not exactly her best look.

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