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Snakes in Movies
Castle of Blood (Danza macabra) (1964)
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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This gothic horror story was adapted from the Edgar Allen Poe story "Dance Macabre." Poe is a minor character in the movie and the real star is the beautiful brunette 60's horror movie mainstay Barbara Steele.

A journalist, Allen Forster, needs the money so he accepts a wager from Lord Thomas Blackwood that he cannot stay overnight in the Lord's castle on the Night of the Dead, from midnight November 12th to dawn. Once inside the castle, weird things start to happen. If they didn't we'd be disappointed since this is a movie about a haunted house and ghosts and all that. One of the ghosts he meets, a scientist who studies life after death, tells Forster that he can prove that the senses live on indefinitely after death and that he can prove the existence of life after death. Then, in an absurd demonstration, that didn't make much sense to me, he pulls a snake out of a box and cuts its head off with a knife. The head and body wriggle a bit. Then he tells Forster to touch the snake, and the head acts like it's going to strike him. That's supposed to be the proof.

The snake used in the movie is a live snake that was actually decapitated. It was not a prop. But in the shot with the dead body next to the severed head that extends its tongue and moves, it looks like they used a second live snake with its neck and head extending from a hole in the table.

I don't know what kind of snake they used. It might be a young 4-lined snake or a young Aesculapian snake, both found in Italy where the movie was made. The young of both species are darkly blotched like the snake in the movie, then grow to be striped or plain.