Reptiles have featured on the big screen right from the days of black and white to the action movies of today. They often get a bad rep, not least in the reptilian dinosaur monster creation of Godzilla. Not every movie reptile has been a butt kicking monster though. In fact, some have actually been on the wrong end of some pretty bad treatment by their human co-stars; all make believe of course.
We’re going to take a look at 10 reptiles you may have seen in movies; some real, some not so much. They may not have won many Oscars between them, but the film world wouldn’t be the same without them.
The iguana from The Night of the Iguana
Richard Burton may be the star of this 1964 screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play, but it’s the iguana that gives the movie its name, freed by Burton’s character who really wants to free himself.
Image courtesy of dvdbeaver.com
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
From comic books to big screen heroes, there can be very few people in the world who haven’t come across these pizza loving heroes over the years. All has not been good in TMNT world lately, with the producers and directors of the original screen trilogy claiming they are owed money by Fortune Star Media, current owners of the film rights. This isn’t going to stop Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello though, the 2014 reboot grossed nearly $500 million worldwide, and a follow-up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell, is due to hit cinemas in 2016.
Image courtesy of deadline.com
The unfortunate lizard in Mad Max: Fury Road
No image for this unlucky creature, as its demise is deeply gross. The latest in the Mad Max franchise has received rave reviews, although the two-headed lizard didn’t really feature for long enough to win any accolades. So, what happened to this particular movie lizard? We’re just going to say that Max was hungry and there are no fast food restaurants post apocalypse. Lizard lunch anyone?
The hero that is Rango
Depending on your point of view, Rango does not quite have the looks of the man who voices him, the deeply delicious Johnny Depp, but he certainly has attitude. This chameleon’s journey from adversity to hero status was hugely popular on its release in 2011, and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Of course, Rango isn’t the only reptile in the movie, he encounters Bad Bill the Gila Monster (Ray Winstone) and Beans the Desert Iguana (Isla Fisher), along the way.
Image courtesy of zombiesruineverything.com
The cool Komodo dragons in Skyfall
Even James Bond struggles to be as cool as the Komodo dragon. These fabulous creatures are the largest living lizards on the planet. They can grow as big as 10 feet long. Not quite dinosaur size, but still pretty impressive. In Skyfall, the 2010 outing for the most famous spy in the world, a casino in Macau has a pit which is home to some of these mighty lizards. In case you didn’t realise, the Komodo dragon which features in the movie is not real; it’s the first CG creature created for a Bond movie.
Image courtesy of creativecow.net
The big, bad anaconda
It may not be the best movie ever, and that’s an understatement, but the 1997 Jon Voight and Jennifer Lopez outing Anaconda, does feature one seriously mad and seriously large snake, that really doesn’t seem to want to make friends.
Image courtesy of screencave.com
The smart velociraptor in Jurassic Park
How many people actually wanted the Jurassic Park world to come true, minus the getting eaten by a giant extinct reptile thing? The 1993, Spielberg directed adventure was one of those iconic movies that everyone talked about. Since then there has been a whole franchise, including this year’s Jurassic World. Arguably the most memorable stars of the original Jurassic Park, were the super clever velociraptors. Opening doors and hunting humans, now that’s talent.
Image courtesy of reddit.com
The may or may not be reptiles from Tremors
We may have cheated a little with this one. Technically the gigantic creatures in 1990s Ron underwood directed Tremors, are more like genetically modified earthworms with attitude. But we’re calling them reptiles for the purposes of this list, because Tremors is simply one of the coolest monster movies ever made, and these creatures really are determined in their chaos-causing. All of this makes for some of the best creature feature fun ever.
Image courtesy of neontommy.com
Kaa the slithering snake from The Jungle Book
You have to be pretty hard-hearted not to fall in love with The Jungle Book. The 1967 animated classic featured an array of jungle creatures and of course Mowgli the jungle boy. One of our favourites was the century-old Indian Rock Python, Kaa. A wise and respected snake, he was a friend and mentor to Mowgli, and a lot friendlier than many snakes that have been represented in movies over the years.
Image courtesy of disney.com
The scream worthy monitor lizard in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
To be fair to the monitor Kate Capshaw’s character, Willie Scott, pretty much screams at anything in this movie. All the monitor really does is chill out on a tree branch, but it does this very professionally.
Image courtesy of drafthouse.com
These are just a few shining reptile moments in the movies. From good guys, to monsters to lunch, reptiles have been, and always will be, stars of the big screen. Which one is your favourite?