While watching Swiss Family Robinson last night on the telly, I sat up and took notice for the first time during the river crossing sequence as our heroes tread through the perilous water while escaping from the pirates. All of the sudden, after a bit of doom-ridden foreshadowing of a swimming creature bobbing into view, the older boy is suddenly pulled under the surface and is quickly wrapped up in the tentacle-like grip of an anaconda. While struggling (none to convincingly), his brother manages to find the Indiana Jones-type machete and tries to help. Now, maybe I was just thinking this or maybe it really is in the script, but I swear I remember them saying: "Where should I hit it?" he asks frantically. "Anywhere!" is the reply.
What other influences have you seen?