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Snakes in Movies
 
Immaculate Conception (1992)
 
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 movie was recommended to me by a visitor to this site for its snake scenes and I was not disappointed. There are three unusual scenes with snakes and some follow-up snake humor, and even a scene about sea turtles that helps to advance the plot.

It's an unusual film, made entirely in Pakistan, and packed with lots of interesting ideas, including science vs. religion, the rich and powerful vs. the poor, the effects of colonialism, violent family feuds, the role of a traditional woman in Pakistani society, homosexuality in a rigid society, the criminal exploitation of Muslim culture by westerners and the violent revenge against them, marriage and infidelity, the lengths a couple will go to in order to conceive a child, the concept of making eunuchs by castrating boys so they can safely mingle with females, a religious fertility cult promising miracles and exploiting and cheating couples who pay them to help them have children - including drugging the couple and raping the woman to aid with the conception, the unscrupulous things a photographer will do to get photos for a magazine, the decline of the environment, trying to repopulate endangered sea turtles, allowing the illegal hunting of endangered birds by foreign Arabs for political reasons, and more.

In Karachi in 1988, Alistair is a British scientist who works for the World Wildlife Organization protecting nesting sea turtles. His American Jewish wife Hannah, daughter of a U.S. senator, wants to get pregnant. She collects ancient stories and has just had a children's book published. They have tried everything to conceive, including fertility drugs and surgery, without success. So when her Pakistani photographer friend Samira takes her to a shrine built to worship a martyred eunuch where women come to increase their chances of becoming pregnant, Hannah convinces Alistair to participate, though he considers it to be superstitious nonsense.

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Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes
Snake Scene 1

We see Alistair in a wildlife blind with professional photographer Samira, a beautiful Pakistani woman from a long-established and extremely wealthy family led by her grandfather who wants her to marry a Muslim. Alistair sees a small snake crawl over his shoe. He picks it up, knowing that it is harmless - he's a wildlife expert - but then we see by the look on his face that he has an idea. He throws the snake into the straw and screams, telling Samira to run out of the blind. She asks if he was bitten and he tells her he was, lies down on the ground, and cuts his leg with a knife. Then he screams at her to suck the wound. She is startled but when she leans down next to him to suck, he laughs and tells her it was a joke. Then they embrace. He used the snake as a way to forcer her to get close to him, and they begin having an affair.

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Snake Scene 2

We see the eunuch leader Shezada one night at a ceremony with music playing, in his typical woman's dress and makeup. We see a snake exit his mouth, then he puts it back into one of his nostrils, and it crawls back out his mouth. This was disgusting, though not the most disgusting thing done with a snake in a movie. (That would be the hungry cobra suppository in Eva Nera.) I can only wonder what would have happened had the snake turned the other direction and headed down his windpipe. I don't really understand the purpose here of showing us this creepy side of Shezada since we have already seen the evil side of the eunuch cult - the drugging and raping - but it's a great snake scene.

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Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes
Snake Scene 3

After Alistair's phony snakebite stunt, we see Alistair working at his desk when a woman enters with a basket that was delivered to him. He opens the basket and a cobra rises out as they do for snake charmers. He is startled but not afraid. He waves his arm to distract the snake, then ignores it, opening an envelope that comes with it, finding a note from Samira telling him she doesn't believe in Immaculate Conception, referring to Hannah's recent pregnancy which was supposedly made possible by the eunuch cermonies.

They continue their snake jokes later when Alistiar goes to Samira's house. He has brought a bottle of scotch for her grandfather, telling her that he took the bite out of it. She tells him to bring his snake juice to grandfather.

I don't know what kind of snakes Alistair finds and Shezada puts up his nose, or what species of cobra is used, but they are all real live snakes, and that's always welcome in this age of CGI.

 
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Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes Immaculate Conception Snakes
Turtle Scene

Alistair is convinced to spend a few nights at the eunoch temple after he and Hannah spend a night watching sea turtles laying eggs on a beach and releasing the baby turtles into the ocean. He talks about the hard journey for baby turtles that have to get past the gulls and kites and dogs and sharks, and restoring turtle nesting to Karachi, and this seems to get both of them into the mood to make their own baby.