The Deadly Snake Scene in Friday the 13th

June 13, 2014

The innocent (and not so innocent) camp counselors at Crystal Lake weren't the only victims to die in the 1980 movie Friday the 13th. The campy horror flick has a scene in it where the counselors are in a cabin trying to kill what appears to be a black snake. After some false starts and rushes, one counselor gets several chops in with a machete and succeeds in killing the snake. After the killing of the reptile, another counselor says "At least we know what's for dinner."

I am not sure if it was a real snake that was killed in the movie, but by all accounts that I've read on the Internet, it was. It was apparently inspired by Tom Savini, the visual effects man on the set who apparently discovered a snake in one of the cabins and thought it a good idea to have a scene in the movie where a snake gets killed.

Comments from the YouTube video are fairly negative toward the scene, with most thinking that killing animals for entertainment purposes is a filthy and disgusting thing. While the "No Animals Were Harmed" disclaimer by the American Humane Association has been around since 1940, it appears that in this film, an animal was harmed. PBS released an interesting article last year that cites a Hollywood Reporter investigation that the organization has downplayed and underreported animal injuries and even deaths. The report, which details a litany of alleged animal cruelty, also says that the AHA even has allowed films to use the disclaimer where animals were indeed harmed and even killed, the most recent being Life of Pi where a Bengal tiger nearly drowned on the set. 

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