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Snakes in Movies
The Mighty Quinn (1989)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
The Mighty Quinn The Mighty Quinn The Mighty Quinn
The Mighty Quinn The Mighty Quinn The Mighty Quinn
The Mighty Quinn The Mighty Quinn The Mighty Quinn
The Mighty Quinn The Mighty Quinn The Mighty Quinn
IMDB describes this as Action, Crime, and Drama, but I would add Musical to that list since there is so much reggae and calypso music in it to enjoy and take your mind off the silly plot. Denzel Washington even sings a blues song. He plays Xavier Quinn, the chief of police on an unnamed Caribbean Island . His estranged wife is a singer who sings her own version of Bob Dylan's "The Mighty Quinn" to poke fun of Xavier, and everybody joins in, but that doesn't stop every beautiful woman in town from trying to get him into bed. Quinn is trying to solve a murder involving a snake that the rich who run the tourist industry and the Governor are trying to cover up. Snakes show up from the beginning until the end, so I have to give away most of the movie to explain why we see them.

First, at the scene of the murder we see a corn snake on the floor of the victim's hotel room while his decapitated head and body slowly cook in an outdoor hot tub. Later Quinn's young boy tells him that he learned about the Fer de Lance snake in school - the most poison snake in the world - that will make you go blind and die in 15 seconds. Quinn tells him that the snakes were brought to the island to try to keep slaves from escaping, but they failed to distinguish between slaves and white people. To get rid of the snakes the white men brought in the mongoose, which failed to kill the snakes because the mongoose is nocturnal and the snakes are diurnal, which is not accurate since the mongoose is diurnal. I doubt that there is any historical truth in the releasing of venomous snakes to control slaves, but the mongoose was introduced into Jamaica to kill rats and despite the fact that rats are nocturnal and the mongoose is diurnal, the rat population did become more under control. A similar situation happened in Hawaii.

We find out that the girlfriend of the primary murder suspect named Maubee is the local witch's niece. When Quinn visits the witch looking for her niece, he opens a basket to find it full of snakes. One of them strikes up at him and the witch finds it very amusing. Only in movies do people keep a pile of snakes in a basket or a box and get away with it. It is definitely not a recommended method of herpetoculture. Quinn finds out from an illegal autopsy that the man died of snake bite and not decapitation. We knew that 45 minutes earlier when wesaw the snake on the floor. Eventually we find out it was the witch's niece who put the snake in the room to kill the man because he made her pregant and wouldn't pay. Maubee found out about her crime and tried to protect her by mutilating the corpse. Maubee also took a suitcase full of millions of dollars of dirty C.I.A. money from the room. After they finally catch him, Maubee gives a bag full of money to an American C.I.A. agent who has been killing people trying to recover the mone, but when he takes off in his helicopter, a snake crawls out of the bag and bites the pilot killing him and the agent in a fiery crash. Maubee put another venomous snake to good use. Not that it's very realistic to let a snake use and hope that by some chance it will bite someone and that the bite will kill them. Using a snake as a weapon as it was in two instances in this movie, is just plain ridiculous.

Besides the corn snake, I don't recognize the species of other snakes, but none of them was a Fer de Lance or looked in any way venomous.