Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This has to be one of the worst movies ever made. It's barely over an hour long but it feels like it will never end. There is a Mystery Science Theater 300 version of the movie that has to be much better than the original, which is what I watched. At least that one has some laughs. The "ring" of the title refers to a gold ring on the finger of a corpse that a character is challenged to rob as part of a fraternity initiation hazing.
In 1955 Lewis Moffitt, a freshman medical student, drives to the local make-out spot with his girlfriend Betty and leaves his door open with the car conveniently parked where the grass comes right up to level of the floor of the car. This allows a rattlesnake to crawl into the car. (Later we see the floor of the car the usual distance a few feet above ground level.) Lewis grabs a forked stick he just happened to have in the car and pins the neck of the snake, then picks it up with the stick and throws it to the ground where he stomps it to death with his shoes.
The snake appears in this scene to show us that Lewis is not afraid of anything. In the beginning, we see his name on a gravestone with the words "I Feared Not" written on it. Many times before and after the snake scene we hear people say that Lewis is not afraid of anything. He tells his girlfriend that he's not afraid of anything just before the snake appears. After the snake-stomping she says "You're not afraid of anything." OK, we got it. This point is hammered into us so many times it became tedious. Later we find out he's afraid of the dark and, of course, in the end he dies of fright. What else would you expect from a disaster like this movie.
The snake is a real Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnake. The snake Lewis throws out of the car and stomps to death is another species, possibly a water snake. It's also a live snake, and it is really stomped on and most likely killed. We see the snake moving before, during, and after it is brutally crushed. A rubber fake snake would have provided the exact same results and would have seemed no less authentic that the idiotic fake car that the real snake crawled into. There is never any good reason to kill an animal just for art or entertainment. This film is neither, but that's still no excuse for the unnecessary killing.