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10 Top Snake Scenes in Movies

Updated on October 4, 2014

King Kong -- Kong Fights the Giant Snake on Skull Island

Everyone's favorite giant ape has seen three theatrical releases, the first in 1933, the second in 1976, and the third in 2005. In each version of the film people from the outside world – including a dewey-eyed actress – land on Skull Island. This island is home to some really giant creatures including King Kong, the titular ape.

In the movie the young actress, named Ann Darrow (or Dwan in the 1976 version) is kidnapped by natives and left as a sacrifice for King Kong. Kong falls in love with our heroine and, along the way, he battles a giant boa constrictor who threatens to eat her. The battle is epic – or epically cheesy depending upon who you talk to – with both monsters thrashing around and the boa wrapping itself around Kong. In the end, King Kong is triumphant, ripping the snake apart and saving the damsel in distress.

Snakes on a Plane – Toilet Terror

As the name suggests, this movie is full of snakes. That's because a gangster has decided the best way to take out some of his enemies is to put a crate full of venomous snakes onto a plane carrying them across the country. And, no, you didn't read that plot line wrong. Go ahead and read it again if you need to.

Moving on... In this epic thriller Samuel L. Jackson's FBI agent has to battle snakes everywhere. Unfortunately for the many other people on the flight, he can't do so in time to save them all. Although its hard to pick one scene, one of the weirdest takes place when a gentleman locks himself in the lavatory only to find a snake curled up in the toilet. Most men don't want to even think about getting a snake bite anywhere near... there.

Jungle Book – Kaa's Hypnosis

In 1967 Disney produced the animated movie The Jungle Book. Based on Rudyard Kipling's stories it contains a couple of major serpents. The story follows the adventures of Mowgli, a young human who lives in the jungles. The most menacing snake in the stories is Kaa, a jungle python. His first appearance in the film may be his most memorable.

In the scene Mowgli, the mancub, is trying to go to sleep in a tree. His watcher, the panther Bagheera, sleeps nearby. Kaa sidles up to Mowgli and tells the boy to go to sleep. Kaa takes it up more than a few notches when his eyes begin whirling and glowing in a spiral pattern. This hypnotic feat causes Mowgli to fall into a trance and Kaa coils around him. The snake prepares to eat the boy, but he is interrupted when Bagheera wakes up.

Kaa is still up for the challenge. He just hypnotizes the waking panther too. But by then Mowgli has woken up and he manages to escape Kaa's clutches and shove the giant python out of the tree. Kaa is a scary fellow and nobody does psychedelic swirling eyes like the Disney animators!

Conan the Barbarian – Stealing From the Snake

In this Arnold Schwarzenegger film, barbarian Conan needs to avenge the deaths of his parents. Early in the film Conan has to go the the Tower of the Serpents. This dangerous tower is home to a cult of snake worshippers.

While serpent cultists worship above his head, Conan manages to steal a giant ruby called the Eye of the Serpent. He is sneaking away when an enormous constrictor slithers up behind him. Conan fights with the snake, driving his sword through its bottom jaw and out the top of its head. Founts of fake blood pour over Conan and the scenery before he finally – and still silently – chops the snake's head off and wins the battle.

Anaconda – The Swallowing of Serone

Jennifer Lopes and Jon Voight star in this horror film about a 40-foot long anaconda lurking in the Amazon Rainforest. In the film Lopez and her documentary film crew are kidnapped by an evil snake hunter named Paul Serone (Voight).

After many of the hapless film crew are killed by Serone or the snake, Lopes' character, Terri Flores, and Ice Cube's character, Danny Rich, are left. In this scene Serone has tied them up and poured monkey blood – yes, monkey blood – all over them to lure the snake. When the anaconda comes for Terri and Danny, Serone tries to capture it in a net. His plan fails and the anaconda captures Serone. Terri and Danny watch as the snake opens its jaws wide and slowly swallows the hunter whole. The whole slimy scene includes shots taken inside the snake as Serone slides down the slippery slope into its stomach. Ew. Double ew.

Raiders of the Lost Ark – Indiana Jones in the Well of Souls

In this classic Steven Spielberg film, archeologist Indiana Jones has to find the Ark of the Covenant and keep it from the hands of the Nazis. The Ark is located in the Well of Souls. This ancient chamber is filled with snakes – thousands and thousands of snakes.

As Indy and love interest Marion Ravenwood look on in horror snakes ooze out from every possible crevice in the chamber. We even get a lovely close up of a snake forcing its way out of the mouth of a statue. To make all of this worse, Indy has a pathological fear of snakes. We share our protagonist's pain as we watch him struggle to escape this venomous trap.

Indy confronts his fears.
Indy confronts his fears. | Source

Aladdin – Jafar's Transformation

In this 1992 Disney animated film based on 1001 Arabian Nights, Aladdin finds a genie and his lamp. Unfortunately for Aladdin, the Grand Vizier Jafar wants the lamp too. Through the film Aladdin, the princess Jasmine, and the Genie try to thwart Jafar.

Late in the film, Jafar confronts Aladdin and tosses Jasmine into a giant hourglass filling with sand. The evil Vizier then transforms himself into a giant cobra. And Jafar isn't just any giant cobra – he's a massive one. Cobra-Jafar towers above our hero, coiling around and around him like a top. Aladdin struggles to defeat Jafar, but fails. Only when Jafar forces a third wish from the Genie and turns himself into a genie too can Aladdin defeat him. Aladdin forces Jafar into the genie lamp. Disney heartily embraces the evil snake stereotype in this film and it works for them – and us.

Which Film?

Which of these movies would you LEAST want to be in?

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Nightmare Before Christmas – Snake Eating a Christmas Tree

In this freaky festival of a film, Jack Skellington, presides over Halloween and Halloweenland. But Jack has some serious ennui going on and when he discovers Christmas he decides to take over that holiday too.

Tim Burton directed this odd holiday film and it has a lot of quirks. One of those quirks comes in the form of an unnamed orange and black snake who wiggles around and helps Jack with his yuletide preparations. One of the most interesting ways the serpent aids Jack is by slithering into a little boy's home and swallowing all the presents, along with the tree. Every item makes lovely, appropriately-shaped lumps in the snake's body as it swallows them down. The snake doesn't appear much in the film, but its delightfully freaky presence perfectly echoes the feelings of Tim Burton's film.

The snake from Nightmare Before Christmas
The snake from Nightmare Before Christmas | Source

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – The Basilisk

In the second of the Harry Potter films, Harry has to figure out who is the heir of Slytherin and where the Chamber of Secrets hides. Harry manages to do both these things, but unfortunately for him, he also finds the basilisk. This humongous snake has been freezing people in place all over Hogwarts – looking at it directly is lethal and even a glance at it through a mirror paralyzes.

When the basilisk confronts Harry, the young wizard's first instinct is to run. But when hHarry falls Fawkes, a brave phoenix, blinds the basilisk. This gives Harry a fighting chance and he uses it to escape before climbing several stories up a wall and facing the titanic creature in battle. Harry manages to thrust his sword into the serpent's mouth and out the other side, killing it. The basilisk is enormous – and enormously good fun. It practically pours venom and its teeth are as big as Harry's head. It's a worthy opponent for our hero, Harry Potter.

Watch Harry Potter for Yourself

Python – Shower Scene

This 2000 made-for-TV movie was an early herald of the gory camp of Sharknado and its ilk. In the movie Jenny McCarthy, Wil Wheaton and others struggle to destroy a 129-foot long reticulated python out for a killing jaunt in a small town.

As you might expect, the snake has more than one snack in the course of the film, but one of the more memorable occurs when it attacks one of the main characters, Theresa, in the shower. She manages to escape the serpent, but her boyfriend (Wil Wheaton's Tommy) isn't so lucky. Tommy is swallowed whole by the python. Bad python, no biscuit.

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    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image
      Author

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 2 years ago from Washington State

      I love that one. I think I'll always remember seeing it in the movie theater.

    • Laura335 profile image

      Laura Smith 2 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      There are so many good ones to choose from. I voted for the Indiana Jones scene.

    • taiwokareem profile image

      Taiwo Kareem 2 years ago from Salford

      no worries Teeuwynn

    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image
      Author

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 2 years ago from Washington State

      Thanks very much for your comment!

    • taiwokareem profile image

      Taiwo Kareem 2 years ago from Salford

      Good collections of snake movies. I used to watch them and I loved the King kong, Anaconda and snake in the plane but recently, I've lost interest in Horror films. Great Hub. Stay blessed