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Film / Python

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Python is a 2000 Syfy Channel Original Movie, starring Robert Englund, Casper Van Dien, Wil Wheaton and William Zabka.

A dangerous cargo containing a genetically engineered super-snake named Python is lost amid a plane crash, as it proceeds to rampage through a California town.

This film provides examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: John's brother Brian, who helps defeat the snake when they lure it to the plant at the very end of the movie to trap in the acid vaults.
  • Acid Pool: What the police initially think was used to kill the snake's victims, or at least to dispose of the bodies, thus why John and his brother's plant is suspected. This is a Chekhov's Gun, as the snake is killed in one of the tanks.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": The eponymous snake is not "the python" but rather Python, after the Greek dragon for which the snake family is named.
  • And This Is for...: Theresa says, "This is for you Tommy," before hitting a detonator to blow up the snake. but the explosive don't work.
  • Antagonist Title: Python. Notably, Python is its name, after the Greek dragon the snake was named after.
  • Artistic License – Biology: With demonstrably keen hearing, a speedy metabolism, a slashing tail and the ability to spit acid, as well as traits of various different snake species, Python is emphatically a snake-monster rather than just a large animal. Python is just its name rather than its species.
  • Anyone Can Die: Casper Van Dien and Robert Englund are the most prominently billed actors in the promotional materials. Van Dien is killed off at the halfway point, and Englund pulls an All for Nothing sacrifice prior to the final battle.
  • Babies Ever After: Kristin tells John that she's pregnant at the end of the movie.
  • Badass Boast:
    John: Nah, it's okay. I'm getting the hang of this thing now. All's I got to do is get its attention first, like this.
    John wakes the snake with a board from behind a corner.
  • Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: Greg is introduced glaring around at John as he bikes around town, and later seeming a bit pleased at the prospect of questioning him over Lisa's murder but is fairly restrained when actually questioning John (especially compared to his overeager partner), doesn't really think he's guilty and eventually makes peace with John.
  • Beta Couple: Theresa and Tommy, who get a decent amount of attention as a couple throughout the movie, but are secondary to John and Kristin.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The snake uses its tail to decapitate one unfortunate victim, and impales another through the chest. May overlap with a whip, as its tail is clearly not armed with any kind of spike or blade, relying on sheer force.
  • Bioweapon Beast: The psychotic python was developed for the government by a Mad Scientist (Robert Englund), who regrets his research after it inevitably escapes and starts killing people.
  • Blatant Lies: Agent Parker and his men tell the local police that the murders are being committed by an escaped, Rambo-like military prisoner. It gets lampshaded
    Sheriff Griff: Do you expect me to believe this load of horseshit?
    Agent Parker: Let me put it this way, sheriff. It would be highly expedient if you would believe this horseshit.
  • Car Fu: While being chased in a truck by Python, Theresa eventually just backs up and slams it, although this fails to seriously injure the snake, which then disables the car, with Theresa barely escaping.
  • Cassandra Truth: Rudolph telling Parker that the snake is highly intelligent and will slaughter his men.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The plating plant's acid tanks, initially the reason John is suspected, is ultimately used to kill Python.
  • Child Hater: Kenny the Closer is pretty nasty towards a little kid who lightly scuffs his car while passing it on a bike and later when he thinks that same kid is the one who damaged his car at the house, carries around a sword from the wall while looking for and threatening him.
  • Clueless Deputy: Greg's coworker Lewis, who doesn't quite know the proper way to question suspects, is giddy about getting to use police tape, and once leaves a murder suspect alone in a room with a gun. Averted with Greg himself, who, after getting over his jealousy, is the most reasonable and competent of the three cops.
  • Cock Fight: John and his former friend Greg (now a sheriff's deputy) are/were involved with the same girl. However, when the giant snake starts rampaging through town and John is inadvertently implicated in the strange deaths, Greg agrees to settle their dispute mano a mano rather than simply abuse his power to be a dick, and is a Reasonable Authority Figure who believes that John is innocent.
  • Conversation Cut: Early on there's one as Tommy and John, and Kristin and Theresa separately discuss Tommy and Theresa's relationship. Apparently Theresa has liked Tommy since they met on the playground in second grade and he's only liked her since junior high after seeing her in a varsity sweater. Tommy thinks he is Unable to Support a Wife, wanting to go into real estate and make money there, while Theresa says she wouldn't mind living in a trailer park and questions the realism of his goals. Both of them do have mixed feelings about the current status of their sex life though.
  • The Coroner: Floyd, who examines the dead bodies and is the one to suggest that the plant John works at might be involved, due to being unable to think of any other chemical that might have burned them.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Theresa escapes from the shower by grabbing the shower bar, using it to vault over Python, then darting out the door and fleeing out of the house after an attempt to warn Tommy, before leading Python on a long (albeit largely off-screen) chase in a truck.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Casper Van Dien, Agent Parker, is top billed on the promotional materials and one of the biggest names in the cast at the time. His character is also a Reasonable Authority Figure who wants to stop the snake at all costs. He dies halfway through the film.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Greg standing there, shooting the snake (well after learning bullets may annoy it but can't kill it) to lure it away from Kristin and Theresa.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Considering Casper Van Dien's prominent billing on the poster, his sudden death at the midway point can feel like this.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Somewhat jokingly invoked when at the end of the movie, Theresa's gotten a T-shirt that says, "I Helped kill a giant python and all I got was this lousy T-shirt".
  • Eye Scream: While being attacked in the shower, Theresa tries to blind Python with shampoo, but it turns out to be a No Tears brand harmless to the eyes. During the final confrontation, Greg shoots it in the eye, being one of the few ways Python is actually effectively damaged.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Dumb Blonde real estate customer calls 911 for help when Python shows up but doesn't know the house's address despite having been considering buying it.
  • A Father to His Men: Agent Parker says that he never met the flight crew who Python killed, but they were under his command, and he will avenge them.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Brian is the dedicated manager of the local plant, while John left town for long periods of time and prefers to go mountain biking with his friends. This is somewhat softened though given how John does feel that the plant is unhealthy for the workers and perhaps economically unsound, and not worth the two of them slaving and perhaps dying over.
  • Fun T-Shirt: The Dude, Where's My Respect? shirt that Theresa has at the end.
  • Gay Guy Dies First: One of Python's first few victims are a lesbian and bisexual couple who suffer some Terror at Make-Out Point.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Theresa is almost always wearing violet or magenta clothing (even her towel).
  • Groin Attack: When Tommy hears Theresa scream as she's attacked in the shower (while he's just finished peeing) he jerks up his zipper in surprise, then cries in pain and bends over a bit.
  • Improbable Weapon User: While being attacked in the shower, Theresa tries to hold Python back by whipping at it with a towel, squirting shampoo into its eyes and then futilely throwing a rubber duck at it.
  • Innocent Innuendo: A bombastic real estate salesman takes a rich, divorced, Dumb Blonde on a tour through a pricey mansion. When the scene cuts back to them, she's commenting off-screen on how huge and impossible it'll be for her to swallow. Of course, they're talking about the property's value.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Lewis tells John, when he's arrested as a murder suspect, that he's staying in jail and won't get Off on a Technicality, and that Lewis is the law around here. The sheriff comes in just in time to hear that, delivers the news that John is free to go and reminds Lewis that he's the law around here.
  • Let's Wait Awhile: Tommy and Theresa haven't had sex yet, to his dismay. It's implied that she's waiting for a marriage proposal from him. They do both come close to caving in at one moment, while they're spending at her house before a biking trip and her mom is gone, but then her cat interrupts the mood, and Tommy ends up sleeping on the couch.
  • Little "No": Theresa offers a couple of these while stuck in the shower as Python tries to get at her.
  • Living Motion Detector: The giant snake uses motion-based vision. On one occasion, the Mad Scientist who created it and the guy running the black ops are both face to face with it. The scientist stays still and survives, while the team leader gets impaled after trying to draw his gun.
  • Modesty Towel: Theresa spends about fifteen minutes in one after Python attacks her while she's getting out of the shower and chases her for quite a while before she can find any clothes.
  • Morality Pet: Rudolph is very doting on his pet baby snake.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Dr. Rudolph is found curled up and crying after the deaths of Parker and his men.
  • Nerd Glasses: Floyd the coroner wears some that make him look kind of young.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The three cops. Greg is a fairly polite, helpful and honorable man even before he gets over his jealousy. Sheriff Griffin is willing to close down the plant on sketchy evidence and arrest John but is a professional man whose just following the evidence and does apologize afterwards. Lewis is constantly smug, eager to believe the worst of John, and enjoys bullying around suspects, while also calling Kristin a bitch (although to his credit, he does admit that he's a bit too impatient for a cop and express some desire to improve).
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Dr. Rudolph flat out says the snake's skin is thick enough to survive an anti-tank round, and very little thrown at it is able to meaningfully harm it. It takes an Acid Pool to kill it, and even then it takes several minutes to burn through its skin enough for it to be mortally wounded.
  • Noisy Nature: The snake roars a lot, using recycled sound FX from Anaconda.
  • Number Two: Dootsen serves as this to Parker's team.
  • Pet the Dog: Even before his positive Character Development, Dr. Rudolph shows a moment of sadness and horror upon hearing that the bodies of the flight crew weren't found, as the snake would have only eaten them if they were alive.
  • The Plan: Two at the climax, first to Trap Python in the bunker, escape themselves and then blow it up, and then to lure it into the plant and kill it in an acid vault.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Clueless Deputy Lewis and Tommy, with his aspirations of real-estate greatness, and his mind on sex.
  • Prematurely Grey-Haired: Theresa has brown hair but after her terrifying ordeal escaping the python trying to eat her, she is sporting some gray streaks in her bangs afterwards.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Parker, when forcing details about "The Specimen" out of Rudolph.
    Parker: What. Is. It?
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Sheriff Wade and Greg follow the evidence in the case, remaining objective and only arresting or inconveniencing the leads when it makes sense for them to do so. They also both understandably call out Lewis on going overboard.
    • Agents Parker and Dootsen are furious with Rudolph for causing the fiasco in the first place by not telling them about the snake and seek to kill it before it can harm anyone else, ignoring Rudolph's Just Think of the Potential! speeches (although they do say he can harvest whatever useful chemicals are left from the body, an idea which might have borne fruit).
  • Redemption Equals Death: After lying to Parker and his team under dangerous conditions and unleashing the snake in the first place, Dr. Rudolph sacrifices his life to try and blow up the snake, even describing what he's about to do as "Redemption."
  • Scientist vs. Soldier: Parker appears to be a government agent rather than a soldier, but otherwise this describes his relationship with Rudolph (who keeps urging him to Just Think of the Potential!) in a nutshell.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Dr. Rudolph charges into the bunker to blow up the snake, and himself, but it escapes.
  • Shady Real Estate Agent: Kenny the Closer, Tommy's boss, is a somewhat avaricious man, who hits on clients, and wears a flashy (yet fake) Rolex.
  • The Sheriff: Griffin Wade.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Python in this film is particularly sadistic, repeatedly toying with its prey before killing them. Once again, we have science to thank.
  • Terror at Make-Out Point: Python's first set of victims is a lesbian-bisexual couple who were out "camping". In fact, the latter, Lisa, was apparently the town bicycle.
  • Those Two Guys: Lenny and Boone, a pair of juvenile plant workers. John openly wonders if being around the plant's fumes for so long gave them both brain damage.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The reason Python escapes in the first place is because the people who designed it apparently decided to transport it in a puny wooden cargo crate inside a cargo plane, staffed only by two crew members who were kept completely in the dark about its deadly contents. Agent Parker is not happy with Rudolph about this, giving him a What the Hell, Hero? speech.
    • After making it to the bunker and talking to Dr. Rudolph, John and Kristin realize that they were in too much of a hurry to lock, or even close the door behind them, despite Python being nearby. Fortunately, this works in their favor, as it lets Theresa get in, instead of the snake, when she might have been a sitting duck trapped outside.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Theresa (as mentioned above) and Dr. Rudolph, who goes from being a passive advocate for keeping the snake alive, to providing a lot of the strategy and taking risks to fight it after teaming up with John and the others.
  • Uncertain Doom: Dootsen and several other members of Parker's team. Rudolph speculates they were wiped out, but there were a lot of them, widely spread out and the snake was only seen killing a few as they fled.
  • We Have Reserves: Rudolph expresses this belief, at first.
    Rudolph: We can always get more men but the specimen. The specimen is unique.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sheriff Wade is last seen going to check on the hunting party that tried to kill Python and doesn't answer when Greg later calls. It's never shown if Python killed him or not.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Theresa is terrified of even regular snakes.
  • Wimp Fight: John and Greg's Cock Fight starts out with proper fisticuffs, but quickly descends into hair-pulling territory, even continuing onto a playground. They eventually just stop when they realize how ridiculous they look, so they make up and become friends again.
  • Wrong-Name Outburst: Lisa's lover Roberta gets mad at the beginning when, in the midst of oral sex, Lisa calls her Robert (then spends a while trying to deny this).
    Roberta: There was no "-ta" at the end.
  • You Just Told Me: When Greg and Lewis are investigating Python's first victims and when John comes in and after being questioned asks if they think he murdered Lisa, Lewis pounces on this.
    Lewis: Murdered? Nobody said anything about a murder. What makes you think there was a murder?
    John: Lenny and Boone told me.
    Lewis: Oh yeah? And just how did they know?
    John: They said you told them.
    Greg tries not to laugh in the background and Lewis's confident expression falters.
    Lewis: Oh yeah. I guess I did.