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Snakes in Movies
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Snakes in Movies
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
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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IMDB describes this as mix of Comedy, Fantasy, and Horror. It's about three single divorced women in the small town of Eastwick Maine who conjure up the Devil and become his mistresses. It stars Jack Nicholson as the Daryl Van Horn, who seems to be the Devil (a role Nicholson was born to play
- or maybe it's the role he always plays) and three outstanding lead actresses, but don't worry, we can tell apart by their different hair color - blonde, brunette, and redhead. Even their babies have the same hair color. (Why does Hollywood always think they need to do that whenever there's more than one woman in a lead role?) Jane (Susan Sarandon) is a grade school band teacher and cellist, Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a newspaper writer with six kids, and Alexandra (Cher) is a sculptor with a daughter.

One night they ditch their kids and get drunk together, complaining about the lack of suitable men in the town. They all describe the kind of man they want (and apparently size does matter). The next day a mysterious man named Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) unexpectedly moves into a giant mansion in town. Turns out, he's the Devil and he seduces all of them, using what he learned from what they wished for. The women all get the man of their dreams and their lives and careers improve, until the townspeople turn against them.

The conservative town is scandalized by their behavior, and the head prude starts telling people that Van Horne is evil. But then she breaks her leg and starts to act crazy. She causes a scene in church screaming about the three women being whores in the Devil's house. She tells her husband: "You know, once there was a paradise, and then a serpent came into that garden!" She tells him that somebody has to do something about the looming danger. She's the craziest person in town, but ironically she's also the only one who understands what's really going on, so Van Horne uses his magic to get rid of her.

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After the three women become Van Horne's mistresses, they spend a lot of time in his mansion. One night when they are all lying around in bathrobes (the Devil has all the fun) he points a video camera at them and asks: "What do you see when you open your eyes?" We see their answers in black-and-white video playback. Alexandra's answer is about snakes:
"I always see snakes. I do, hundreds of them. They're crawling all over me, and I disappear, and then I'm just not there anymore."

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Some time later, after the women are all pregnant with his babies and they have all srejected him, Van Horne is alone and angry and watching the videos on a wall full of television screens (in color now.) Jane answers: "Well... it's a short life, isn't it? Sometimes I look in a mirror and I see everything disintegrating faster and faster." When we hear this we see a large bowl of fresh fruit which quickly rots.

Van Horne rewinds and listens to Alexandra's reply three times. We hear her words and see Van Horn sticking his tongue out like a snake and a snake crawling in the bowl of rotten fruit. At the same time, Jane has come into the mansion to surprise Van Horne and is watching from the doorway. She sees the fruit rot and realizes that he's doing magic and that Alexandra is in trouble, and then hurries out of the house.

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Next we see a bedroom with someone in bed with something writhing around under the bed covers. Then we see Alexandra's head sleeping next to a snake. She wakes up and screams, then throws off the covers, exposing a bed filled with snakes. When she gets up screaming and running out of the house, we see that snakes are all over the room, even hanging from the ceiling. She runs into Jane, who calms her down. After Van Horne's magic nearly kills Sukie, they all work on getting revenge by learning spells from his book of magic and making a wax voodoo doll of Van Horne. That's when they finally become the witches of the title.

The first scene uses a live blairi morph Gray-banded Kingsnake. I don't know why this colorful species has not been used more often in movies. The snake on the bed next to Cher's head is some kind of gartersnake. In the pile of snakes in the bedroom scene there are lots of gartersnakes along with some boa constrictors and ball pythons, and probably some fake snakes. All of them are harmless, of course, but we're probably supposed to think her life is in danger from them.