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Lizards in Movies
Raising Arizona (1987)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
Raising Arizona Raising Arizona Raising Arizona
Raising Arizona Raising Arizona Raising Arizona
Raising Arizona Raising Arizona Raising Arizona
This is one of the first and still one of the funniest of the Coen Brothers films - and I've seen them all.

Nick Cage and Holly Hunter, a convict and a cop, fall in love and want a baby but can't conceive one so they steal one of furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona's quintuplets. Hence the title. That's when trouble comes and people try to steal the baby to take him back to Nathan to claim the reward money, including two of Cage's conniving prison buddies who have recently escaped.

Also trying to get the baby is a baby-bounty hunter named Leonard Smalls. He shows up riding a flaming motorcycle. He's called "The lone biker of the Apocalypse. A man with all the powers of Hell at his command." In case his filthy appearance and noisy motorcycle don't convince us just how violent and evil he is, we watch him blow up a cute little bunny rabbit with a hand grenade, then ride his motorcycle through the desert and shoot a lizard off a rock. I don't mind that he steals a baby, everybody in this movie is a baby stealer, and all vicious bunnies clearly deserve to die, but murdering a poor little defenseless lizard that's just basking on a rock minding its own business? Smalls is definitely a monster from Hell!

I'm not sure what kind of lizard they used - but it's some kind of small Spiny Lizard that I don't think lives in the Sonoran Desert habitat shown in the film. It looks fat and healthy, so it's most likely a rented animal.

It looks like the shot was rigged up so that when the actor on the motorcycle fired a blank a small charge went off on the other side of the rock from the camera. The charge created a small cloud of dust then they pulled the lizard off the rock with a wire of some sort, probably attached to one of its rear legs, to make it look like the lizard was shot off the rock. That's my guess, and I'm sticking to it.