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Snakes in Movies
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Snakes in Movies
Westworld (1973)
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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"Westworld ...where robot men and women are programmed to serve you for ...Romance ...Violence …Anything"

Two guys are taking a vacation at Westworld, a high tech theme park that lets you live like an old west cowboy. Along with bar fights, gun fights, drinking whisky, and carousing with saloon girls, shooting a rattlesnake is an essential part of any authentic western experience, as any movie cowboy will tell you, and Westworld provides its very own robot rattlesnake encounters.

One day the two men ride around on some horses then sit down to rest when they see a rattlesnake slowly moving towards them. That's enough to scare the life out of any fake movie cowboy. They're too scared to even stand up. One of the men shoots at the snake two times but misses. It springs onto his arm fangs first. One minute the snake is sitting 20 feet away from him and the next it's dangling from his arm. (Movie snakes always seem to be able to leap as if they were thrown like a spear.) The snake hangs on to his sleeve as the man runs around shaking his arm to get it off. Finally he grabs it and throws it away (we see a real snake hit the ground hard.) The snake tries to crawl away but the two fake cowboys shoot at it about a dozen times before they finally kill it.

Next we see a bunch of guys in white lab coats sitting in a room full of refrigerator-sized computers with giant reels of tape who must be spying on people in the park. They say that the snakes are programmed never to actually bite anyone. They send some guys in white jumpsuits to get the snake and bring it back for testing. When they get the snake into the lab, in a long sequence, (for a movie snake, anyway) we see them cut it open and fool around with its electronic guts and conclude that there was a failure in its logic circuits or something like that, which they say was never never supposed to happen. Little do they know that this is only the first of the technical glitches that make some of the robots go crazy and endanger people in the park.

The snake we first see is a Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake. Apparently the snake hanging onto his arm is also real, since I read somewhere that they used a live rattlesnake that had been "milked" of its venom dose and then attached to his arm which was padded with leather and cotton. But the snake we see in the lab is an entirely different species of rattlesnake.