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Snakes in Movies
The Campaign (2012)
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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"May the best loser win."

This is a very raunchy comedy that is also a scathing criticism of U.S. politics and elections. It's funny because everything it satirizes about campaigning could easily be true, plus there's lots of hilariious non-political satire, and a comic snake-bite scene.

It takes place during a congressional campaign in the 14th district of North Carolina. The incumbant congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is running unopposed until he's caught up in a sex scandal with a part-time aerobics instructor that cause his poll numbers to plummet. Unsure that they'll be able to continue bribing him to do their bidding, the powerful billionaires who control the election (and the voting machines) and plan to sell the district to China, decide to back a challenger to run against him, Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis). Both candidates are idiots. Huggins is a lovable simpleton who can't open doors and drinks the filling out of Twinkies with a straw, and Brady is a career politician. Really, that's all I need to tell you, but to elaborate a bit - his platform is "America, Jesus, and Freedom," he will go to any length to take money from political donors, and he punches a baby while campaigning. Both candidates make attack ads so ridiculous you feel you already saw them on TV during the last election. They both finally develop a conscience and do the right thing, but that's no fun. It's their absurd mistakes we're here to see.

During a debate, Huggins forces Brady to recite the Lord's Prayer but he doesn't remember it, so Brady starts a contest to prove which man is more religious. We see them in various places of worship - Brady singing in the choir of an African American gospel church, Huggins in a synagogue wearing a yarmulke, and finally we see Brady in a snake-handler church, holding snakes along with the congregation and yelling "I have the faith in me!."

Brady tells his campaign manager Mitch (Jason Sudeikis) that he could do this all day because the snakes love him, then a rattlesnake immediately bites him on the arm. He curses in language so foul that it would embarrass a rapper. The entire congregation stands still in shock. The minister tells Brady he was bitten by the snake because he doesn't have the faith of God. Brady knows he has to turn the situation around or he won't get the snake-handler vote, so he declares that God has miraculously removed the venom from his blood and the blasphemy from his heart. Mitch and the others shout "It's a miracle!" Then we see Brady sweating profusely and acting stoned from the venom. Finally he screams, runs across the church, and jumps out a window.

We see Brady in a wheelchair at a hospital with his arm swollen bigger than his thigh. The TV news reports that he got a two percent increase in the polls after the incident. Then the campaign gets really crazy, but since there are no more snakes, I'll let you find out about that on your own.

It's uncommon to see a venomous snake bite incident portrayed with so much comedy in a movie. This one is actually fairly realistic (though Brady recovers much too quickly.) Nevertheless, I doubt that anyone who has experienced such a horrendous ordeal will find a lot to laugh at.

The snakes we see in the church are mostly live harmless snakes - pythons, a gray-banded kingsnake, a watersnake I think, and maybe some ratsnakes and cornsnakes. The snake that bites Brady is a fake snake that seems to be a prop, not a CGI creation, but it's getting harder and harder to tell. It looks very realistic and even though we don't see a rattle, the news reports confirm that he was bitten by a rattlesnake.

YouTube Clip

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