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Snakes in Movies
Golden Needles (1974)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This is a martial arts/crime movie combo, with a lot of fake fights and an even phonier love story. It was supposedly influenced by The Maltese Falcon in that everybody is trying to get hold of a statue, but unlike the falcon this statue has magic powers that really work, as we see in the opening scene. It's a gold statue with seven golden acupuncture needles that was made in ancient China so that the Emperor could get an erection. The year is 1974, long before pharmaceutical companies invented boner pills, so naturally a bunch of old men fight and kill and die trying to get the statue. Used correctly, the needles give you your Mojo back. Used improperly, you drop dead.

Golden Needles Screenshot Golden Needles Screenshot Golden Needles Screenshot
In the first snake scene we see an American woman named Felicity in a Hong Kong street food market walking past several men holding snakes for sale, including a cobra and a large python. She goes into a shop to buy the gold statue, but they raised the price on her. She has been hired by a rich man in Los Angeles to buy the statue, but since she spent most of the money he gave her paying off her debts, she doesn't have enough left to buy it. She is forced to hire an American tough guy named Dan to steal it in return for sex and cash. That's how all love stories begin, isn't it?

Golden Needles Screenshot Golden Needles Screenshot Golden Needles Screenshot
Golden Needles Screenshot Golden Needles Screenshot Golden Needles Screenshot
In the second snake scene, Dan breaks into the shop with the statue and takes it. He fights off a few men who try to stop him, but as he tries to escape the shop, somebody opens two wooden boxes and pours dozens of snakes onto the floor to kill him before he can get away. But Dan sees the snakes and climbs up above them, then jumps out a window to escape. That was too easy.

I wondered where the guy got the boxes full of snakes. If he ran over to the market to get them and bring them back, he's faster than The Flash. Or does the shop keep boxes full of snakes around, just in case?

Whatever, this is one of the stupidest uses of snakes as weapons I've seen. Only in a movie would snakes be expected to sit on the floor and kill anybody who walked by. Real snakes would head for the hills fast and never come back. But at least there were some venomous cobras in the mix, snakes whose bite could cause problems. We also see a man holding a cobra in the market, which seems awfully dangerous, and we see another man carrying a large python. They must sell those to people throwing a huge feast.

Watch the whole movie on YouTube if it's still there.