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Snakes in Movies
The Package (2018)
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 is a raunchy teen cringe comedy about three teenage boys and two teenage girls who go on a camping trip during spring break. It's one of those cringe comedies where anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. It's basically one penis joke after another with every joke about a severed penis and sucking venom that you can imagine along with other nasty jokes thrown in for extra laughs. I don't watch a lot of movies like this, but when a promo for the movie showed up on my Netflix feed and I saw a rattlesnake in it, I had to watch. It turned out to be one of the craziest and funniest snake bites I've ever seen in a movie.

The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot

The snake scene requires a lot of spoilery backstory. You have been warned.

After a six mile hike, the five teens set up camp then get drunk. After it gets dark Jeremy fools around with his knife while urinating in the woods, cutting his pee stream with the knife. (This should be obvious kids - when you're drunk in the dark, don't play with sharp objects near your genitals.) Sean and Donnie think it will be funny to scare Jeremy, so they yell at him, and he accidentally cuts off his penis. There's no easy way to take that. It's more shocking than funny, but still, it is really funny, especially when we see it fly in the air in front of the moon like an ET bicycle, and then they have to get flashlights and search for it. When they find it, they clean it off then put the severed part in a plastic trail mix bag and put the bag in a cooler full of ice. That's "The Package" of the title. An alternate name for the movie was going to be Eggplant Emoji, hence the eggplant that is chopped up in the credits.

They call for a helicopter rescue and when the EMT arrives he tells them that a severed body part can be re-attached at a hospital within 12 hours of the accident. After he flies away with Jeremy they discover that Donnie accidentally gave the EMT the wrong cooler. They start to hike back to their car with the correct cooler which no has no more ice in it, hoping to get it to the hospital within the 12 hour period.

The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot
The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot
The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot
The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot

The snake scene

On the hike back to the car they find a ranger lookout station. They go inside to look for ice but don't find any. Becky starts searching the cabinets when she opens the doors and sees a rattlesnake coiled up inside. She screams and jumps backwards, kicking the cooler towards the snake. When the cooler hits the floor, it opens and the bag flies towards the snake. The snake strikes and bites the penis through the plastic bag. We see two holes in the plastic from the snake's fangs. The snake crawls through a hole in the floor and then there is a long funny discussion about what they should do next. They decide that someone has to suck out the venom. The rest of the movie involves getting the package to the hospital with lots more penis jokes along the way.

The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot

They finally get to the hospital but they're told that Jeremy is not there. They forgot that Jeremy used a fake ID to buy the alcohol so the hospital registered him under a different name. They drive to another hospital to find him where there is a patient with a severed penis that they assume is him. They quickly hand over the cooler and Sean tells the doctor who will perform the surgery that the penis was bitten by a snake and that he sucked it but the doctor should still check for venom. The doctor looks at him like he's an idiot. Which he is, of course.

The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot The Package Screenshot

And there's even more to the snakebite thread. After the successful surgery (to the wrong patient) they ask the doctor about the venom and he tells them that there never was any venom because it was a defensive bite, and anyway it's not possible to suck venom out of a bite wound. What he is saying is that rattlesnakes don't always inject their venom when they strike out in defense. Injecting venom in defense would waste venom which a snake might need to kill an animal for food and it takes time to create more venom. (A defensive bite is also called a "dry" bite.) The doctor is debunking the erroneous "cut and suck" treatment for venomous snake bite which we have seen in so many movies. (They still sell snakebite kits with a razor blade and a suction device.)

The snake we see is not a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, which is the species found in British Columbia where the move takes place, but that's a minor goof for a gross-out comedy with a very realistic use of a rattlesnake along with some truthful information about snake bite. That's unheard of in a movie, especially a farce like this one, so my congratulations to the writers. Sure, they do perpetuate the snakebite venom-sucking stereotype for comedy, but they educate us in the end. It's nice to get some learning with our laughs.