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Lizards in Movies
Strange Days (1995)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
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Strange Days Strange Days Strange Days
This is a surprisingly good sci-fi action crime thriller from Oscar-winning director Katherine Bigelow that stars Ralph Fiennes as a meek ex-cop contraband dealer, Juliette Lewis as a rock star who sings PJ Harvey songs (very well) in a seedy nightclub, and Angela Bassett as a hot action hero. The background of violent racist police officers and a rioting public were no doubt a result of the events surrounding the Rodney King beating and subsequent riots that happened in LA three years before the movie was released. But none of that concerns us. All we care about is a silly pet lizard.

The setting is Los Angeles of the future on New Year’s Eve 1999, when a banned headset technology lets you record what you see and feel directly from your brain onto a disc and then lets other people play the disc back directly into their brain to share the experience. (So what happened? I want one of those.) The discs and recorders are illegal but they’re available on the black market from sketchy people like Fiennes.

Tick is another guy on the fringes who’s involved in making and duplicating the discs. He lives in a huge warehouse/garage where he keeps a van full of electronic equipment. He’s played by quirky character actor Richard Edson, but just in case none of this convinces us how odd Tick is, somebody decided he should have a pet lizard to further prove his weirdness, because, what normal person would have one?

We first see him with a green lizard in his hand which he puts into a terrarium outside the van. Later we see the lizard dressed in a harness with a leash, resting on Tick’s leg. (OK, this part really is weird.) Finally, after somebody has turned Tick into a vegetable by blowing his mind with some kind of disc overload, we see Tick lying down in the van with his shirt off and the lizard standing on his chest.

The lizard we see is an Eastern Collared Lizard.