Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

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Jeremy Westerman
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Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Jeremy Westerman »

I just watched Lone Survivor, the film based on the true story of Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell's harrowing survival.

During the mission briefing scene, rattlesnakes and poison oak are mentioned as potential natural hazards. Later in the film a rattlesnake is briefly glimpsed and heard. While accurate for the film's shooting location in New Mexico, both are obviously wrong for Afghanistan. We all know that rattlesnakes only occur in the Americas and Poison Oak is only found in Western North America. I was unable to identify the type of rattlesnake from the head shot that is on screen for just a few seconds, but I am sure someone here will.

I guess it was too tough to track down a Saw-scaled viper (native) or even a Russell's Viper (close by in Pakistan) for a little more geographically accurate snake from the region depicted? Which snake species would be the most hyper accurate for the location and terrain in Pech District of Afghanistan's Kunar Province where Operation Red Wings actually took place?

What a tragedy and loss to lose so many valiant soldiers. However I am not bringing this up to start a thread on the movie, or real life incident, or the merits of either, just want to keep it relevant to the snake depicted in the film please.

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Jeremy Westerman »

Also I read Lutrell's book (both of them actually) and I do not recall any mention of a snake in the book the film is based on. (I could be wrong I will have to reread it to be sure.) Why did the film put a snake in? Was it intentional or did they happen to get footage of a snake in New Mexico during filming and decide to use it? I watched the credits but did not see if there was an animal Wrangler, but I did see the humane society statement at the end that no animals were harmed during the portion of filming that they observed.

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Blacktail31
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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Blacktail31 »

Something that is little known about the whole "Lone Survivor" thing is that is was not in fact a SEAL Operation but it was a US Marine led operation. Ahmad Shah never killed 20 Marines as said in the movie. He killed less than 5 Marines. How do I know this? Oh I might have been there. Hahahah The book "Lone Survivor" is just like the movie. It is all a bunch of Hollywood hype. Anyhow that is funny that there is a rattlesnake in the film. I never did see any rattlers in Afghanistan, Just a few Monitors and one cobra, rat snakes too. I really cant wait for it to be spring time again!!!

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Scott Waters »

I would suggest NOT putting too much into what is produced in a fictional Hollywood (or anywhere else) movie. These movies are for entertainment, not factually accountable documentaries. "Based on" is the key here.

scott

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Roki
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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Roki »

Yeah...ha, but I still agree with Jeremy in calling out Hollywood on this. It is hilarious that with millions spent on making these movies, how often Hollywood gets it totally wrong. My favorite being the red-tailed hawk cries put in for almost every raptor species used in film.
Cheers,
Roki

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by hellihooks »

what's really funny is (I believe) they have people who watch for 'continuity' from scene to scene... so.. ok if it's dead wrong... so long as it's consistent... :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by azatrox »

Also I read Lutrell's book (both of them actually) and I do not recall any mention of a snake in the book the film is based on. (I could be wrong I will have to reread it to be sure.) Why did the film put a snake in?

That's easy....it's Hollywood and Hollywood has always loved to use snakes to stir emotions...Whether we're talking the cobra in Indiana Jones or Anaconda, Hollywood uses snakes to elicit a visceral reaction for audiences.

It's dumb and often inaccurate (i.e. rattlesnakes in the Middle East), but let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

-Kris

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by klawnskale »

The appearance of such factual inaccuracies in the final cut are often times contingent on the whims of the director and /or producer. Someone such as James Cameron
("Avatar", "Terminator". "Aliens") who is a stickler regarding minutia on details would most likely have utilized a species of viper indigenous to the location. Just take a look at how he duplicated all the props and backgrounds associated with the "Titanic". Everything accurately replicated down to the dinnerware and napkins specifically manufactured for the ship. he is one of the most anal producers/directors in Hollywood.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by chris_mcmartin »

As another recent example, though less egregious, "Catching Fire"* had what appeared to be a collared lizard in a rain-forest setting. :?


*I took my daughter.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by klawnskale »

*I took my daughter.[/quote]

:lol: :lol: :lol: No need to feel embarrassed.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by chris_mcmartin »

klawnskale wrote:
*I took my daughter.
:lol: :lol: :lol: No need to feel embarrassed.
:lol: Well, it's not like I'm a big fan of the franchise...haven't (and won't) read any of the books. Same with Harry Potter. Watching the movies was sufficient, but The Kid likes that stuff.


Edited to fix the quote tags.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by hellihooks »

I thought the Hunger Games was an ok movie. I guess I'll watch the sequel when it's on tv or hits redbox (?) i don't spend stupid amounts of money to see movies in theaters... :roll: (unless it was for a/my kid) I've never seen a Harry Potter movie... hell... I've never watched any of the Lord of the Rings movie(s?)... :roll: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by klawnskale »

Some films, such as the Lord of the Rings franchise are wonderful to watch on a big screen format. They were created to be viewed that way. Unless you have an expensive state-of-the-art home theater for special effects epics, I think most films are adequately watched at home on a TV or a computer. Nowadays I do utilize the Redbox DVD rental kiosk; unless a friend asks me to join them to see a specific film theatrically. In the past I occasionally got DVD's to watch for free that were of films that were up for Academy award consideration. These were from people who were on the Academy judging committee and would loan the DVD's for me to watch. Those days are long gone. Recently I exploited the Netflix 1 month free offer to watch the entire "Breaking Bad" series because of my brother's raving about the series. I watched all 62 episodes for free and then cancelled my subscription before a month was up. Netflix is not that great. They do not have recent film releases in their viewing collection. Good for watching cable TV series, though.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Kelly Mc »

Wouldnt it be cool if FHF made a movie?

Scott would have to pitch it to the right famous person to do it. Did any one see Encounters At The End of The World?

Werner Herzog is who I think should be the guy.

Its true that sensationalism is the spoon fed bowl of sequins today but there is potential for people to reach for more. I think Werner Herzog is unusual and knows that people have the capacity to be moved by the real and the sublime.

Imagine how unprecedented and radiantly detailed a film about reptiles and people who really care about them could be.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by VanAR »

Blacktail31 wrote:Something that is little known about the whole "Lone Survivor" thing is that is was not in fact a SEAL Operation but it was a US Marine led operation. Ahmad Shah never killed 20 Marines as said in the movie. He killed less than 5 Marines. How do I know this? Oh I might have been there. Hahahah The book "Lone Survivor" is just like the movie. It is all a bunch of Hollywood hype. Anyhow that is funny that there is a rattlesnake in the film. I never did see any rattlers in Afghanistan, Just a few Monitors and one cobra, rat snakes too. I really cant wait for it to be spring time again!!!
Interesting to hear from someone who was there, as you claim to be. I was interested to learn that after the book was revealed to be largely ghost-written without direct interviews from Luttrel himself, a lot of Marines came out questioning its authenticity. The number of Taliban (100+ I think) quoted in the book has been said to be grossly overestimated (the after-action report suggested something like 10-30 if I remember correctly). The "vote" has also been criticized as pure fiction. However, that 3 SEALs were killed and another wounded and nearly captured, and a number of others were killed when their helicopter was shot down en route to reinforce, is not questionable at all. I just hope their true actions deserve the honor and hype the movie and book are stirring up.

Oh, and yes, the rattlesnake is complete hollywood BS.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by sonora »

I continue to be amazed at how ignorant and apathetic the worldwide general public is when it comes to natural history. 999,999 people out of a million who see this or any other movie/TV show would have no clue (nor would they care) that rattlesnakes don't occur anywhere outside of North and South America.

Steve

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by garry »

I was told, a long while back, by someone much wiser than me, to never accept history (and I assume that means natural history too) from the movies. It is never accurate.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Jeremy Westerman »

IMDB finally put my observation in the goofs section for Lone Survivor, although they reworded it considerably from how I submitted it.
"There are no rattlesnakes in Afghanistan, they are an Americas only species. They are mentioned during the debriefing, along with poison oak which is specific to western North America, and shown on screen about an hour into the movie."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091191/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by klawnskale »

Jeremy Westerman wrote:IMDB finally put my observation in the goofs section for Lone Survivor, although they reworded it considerably from how I submitted it.
"There are no rattlesnakes in Afghanistan, they are an Americas only species. They are mentioned during the debriefing, along with poison oak which is specific to western North America, and shown on screen about an hour into the movie."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091191/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Good to call 'em out on it! Production companies can only employ the 'artistic license' excuse just so far. Beyond that it just makes them look careless and stupid.

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Brendan
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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Brendan »

I had the same beef with the movie and posted that on FB after watching the movie. It was an Eastern Diamondback that they used for the brief clip.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by TravisK »

Kelly Mc wrote:Imagine how unprecedented and radiantly detailed a film about reptiles and people who really care about them could be.

Something tells me it would end up being very dramatic...

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by hellihooks »

TravisK wrote:
Kelly Mc wrote:Imagine how unprecedented and radiantly detailed a film about reptiles and people who really care about them could be.

Something tells me it would end up being very dramatic...
Hey... I don't HAVE to be in it... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by gopher »

chris_mcmartin wrote:As another recent example, though less egregious, "Catching Fire"* had what appeared to be a collared lizard in a rain-forest setting. :?


*I took my daughter.
Thank you for pointing that out. I told my gf that while watching the movie and she told me to shut about the lizards already :oops: :lol:

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by bgbrac »

Dear Jeremy. Thank you! I was just watching 'Lone Survivor' when the rattlesnake thing came up. So, off to Google I went and I found your article on just the same thing. How fortuitous! Bev

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Fieldherper »

How about CA kingsnakes and green iguanas on Dagobah with Yoda in ESB? Or Burmese pythons in a tomb in Egypt in Raiders of the Lost Ark?

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by mquail »

As we know many things in Hollywood aren't always what they seem. I never saw the movie but to someone editing the film a viper is a viper in their mind so the animal got it's moment of fame. An eagle fly's over and one hears the call of a red tailed hawk. Heck a falcon can fly by and sound much like a red tail in some movies. To the editor of the film the public wouldn't know nor care. Think of the number of times you've heard California quail calling in area's they don't frequent. Worse yet, in my mind, is a medieval king with a harris hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) perched upon his fist. They are not an old world bird. Much of Hollywood is nothing more than smoke and mirrors geared strictly for entertainment which sells. And in my opinion most folks who watch these movies don't know nor do they care about what they would think of as minor facts. Lastly I do find it refreshing when people point out these inadequacies.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Porter »

I happen to know for a fact that there’s CA kingsnakes on Dagobah... just sayin’ 🤷🏻‍♂️

😜

Kidding aside, respect and condolences to anyone who’s lost a friend or family member during their service at war. I hope everyone has a pleasant Memorial Holiday 🍻 ..good time to get out into nature And enjoy this beautiful country they have protected.

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by mquail »

Well said Porter!

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Re: Rattlesnake depicted in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor

Post by Kelly Mc »

Its more important how a reptile presence is treated ideologically than species accuracy, imo.

Dont skip a level in mainstream consciousness.

That said, I disagree with the broad spectrum usual of dumbing down and have full confidence that on authentic intrinsics and the majesty of an animal alone people respond. And change.

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