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Snakes in Movies
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Snakes in Movies
She Demons (1958)
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 is "horror" movie about people shipwrecked on an isolated island that the U.S. Air Force uses for test bombing that also hides a secret lava-powered Nazi laboratory that creates half women/half animal demons. (Stop snickering, these were the good old misogynist 1950s when America was great again.) Statuesque former girlie magazine model Irish McCalla (from the Sheena: Queen of the Jungle TV series) stars as Jerrie, one of the castaways. Her acting talents are best described numerically - 39-24-38, and the camera likes to show her from the side to flaunt her high-caliber bullet bra.

The castaways find a secret lab operated by Nazis who who have abducted women from another island and locked them in cages to be used as medical test subjects. When the women misbehave, the Nazis tie them up and whip them to death. Nazi Colonel Osler uses the women's DNA mixed with animal DNA in his attempts to develop a treatment that will repair his wife Mona's terribly burned face. He sucks juice out of a woman that he injects into Mona, with the result that the woman is turned into a she demon with a woman's body, long claws, and a snaggle-toothed face. But she will return to normal after a few days. We have already seen some of  the normal-looking captive women playing drums and dancing before they are locked up again. Maybe this is what they did on their own island.

Things get weirder, with Osler trying to seduce Jerri, she-demons getting revenge on Nazis, lava destruction, and of course, Air Force bombing. But maybe the silliest but most predicatable event happens early in the movie before the castaways discover the secret lab. Jerri, (the pretty one) Fred (the hero) and Sammy (the comic relief) are walking through the forest when Jerri walks off the trail to pick a flower under a tree with a large python sitting on a branch. She looks up and sees the snake and screams. Hero Fred comes to her rescue. If you can call it that. All he does is drag Jerrie away from the tree while the snake just sits there. The snake is just there to put a damsel in distress so the strong man can save her. This is far from the first movie I've seen with a snake in a tree that threatens someone, usually a woman. It's a trope of adventure movies that will probably never go away.

The snake is a Burmese Python, the classic movie snake-in-a-tree.

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