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Snakes in Movies
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All Movie Snakes
Must Die!
All Movie Snakes
Want to Kill You!
Dancing With Snakes
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Kinds of Snakes
Black Mambas
Boas, Pythons,
and Anacondas
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Snakes In
Snakes in
Asian Movies
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Australian Movies
Herps in
James Bond Movies
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Silent Movies
Herps in
Spielberg Movies
Snakes in Movies
The Craft (1996)
Spoiler Alert !

These pictures and descriptions give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
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I was not aware of this when it was released in 1996, but apparently it was an important movie for young women at the time and has achieved a cult status. It's one of the rare movies that easily passes the Bechdel Test that is not just a romantic comedy. The girls in this movie give the audience plenty of iconic 90s fashion, but they are far from stereotypes, and the movie tackles some heavy subjects - rape, racism, mental illness, body disfigurement, bullying, domestic abuse, and witchcraft. We also see some crazy fight scenes - which weren't very typical in movies targeted to young women in those days. And, of course, there are snakes - lots and lots of snakes (and lots of creepy bugs, too.) The director says they used 10,000 snakes and wanted the most snakes in one shot ever. I'm not sure if he succeeded, but it's possible. (There's a record I'd like to see in the Guiness book.)

It's basically a teen Fantasy/Horror story about four girls at a Catholic prep school who become witches. They practice their witchcraft to get revenge on some mean girls, liars, and bullies - the type of kids we always see in high school movies, for a good reason - they really exist. Sarah, one of the four girls who just moved to the area, played by Robin Tunney, tells the other girls that she used to hallucinate about snakes and bugs. (This is the kind of heavy-handed foreshadowing I'm always happy to see in a snake movie because I know what's coming.) Taking a taxi from the airport to her new house, Sarah sees a snake on a tree. Then when she is unpacking, a strange man walks into the house holding a snake he says he found and asks her if she wants it. She screams in fear, he drops the snake, and her father kills it with a fireplace poker. Later Sarah encounters the man on the street holding a different snake.

After the four girls become a group of witches, they go to a beach to invoke the great spirit "Manon." Each girl is carrying an animal in a container. Nancy, the bad punk girl, played by Fairuza Balk, is carrying a snake in a jar that seems to be her pet from the way she baby talks to it.

When the other girls turn against Sarah, they conjure up thousands of snakes to terrorize her. (As usual in movies, we're supposed to believe the snakes are deadly even though the snakes we see are all perfectly harmless species. And there's a good reason for it - you can't threaten the safety of everybody on the set by using dangerous snakes.) The snakes are spread out all over her house along with some lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, rats, cockroaches and lots and lots of worms (but the most frightening creature that shows up is Nancy!) We see snakes piled up on plants and stairways in the absurd unrealistic way they are usually displayed in movies, as if the people who usually dress the set just dump them in piles because they don't want to go near the snakes, which is probably true. (I would love to watch how they do it.)

We see quite a few species of snakes - Burmese pythons, ball pythons, garter snakes, rat snakes, corn snakes, some kind of tree boa, I think - mostly, the kinds of snakes you can buy at the big box pet stores.
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There are a couple of nice snake special effects, too. Just before Sarah starts seeing the thousands of snakes, she is sitting on the floor with light coming through a glass door that casts shadows from the metal decorations on the door onto the floor, which you can see in the two pictures on the left side of the top row. When Sarah leaves, the shadows are slowly animated, turning into crawling snakes.

Then, in the most disgusting scene of all, when Nancy fights Sarah, Nancy's fingers turn into snakes, snakes grow out of her head, her mouth fills with worms and she becomes covered with cockroaches. Compliments to Fairuza Balk for a fierce performance that is probably the reason why she went on to play other weird characters. Watch the scene on YouTube.