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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.54%
Worth A Look: 9.62%
Average: 13.46%
Pretty Bad: 26.92%
Total Crap38.46%

3 reviews, 34 user ratings

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Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
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by Scott Weinberg

"That ONE great Giant Snake movie is still waiting to be made."
2 stars

If you've seen the trailers for "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid", then you've already seen the movie. Said trailers are: 80% bad actors spouting awful dialogue, 10% drearily lush jungle backdrops and 10% really bad CGI. But the trailer is better for one noteworthy reason: it's only three minutes long.

Obviously we're not expecting high art from something called Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid. We know to expect inept actors, shoddy set design, 50th-generation "we gotta get outta here" chit-chat, a handful of thrilling kills, and at least one good look at the giant beastie. Doesn't seem like too difficult of a recipe, does it?

Well, apparently is it, because the director and four (!) screenwriters who toiled on this lifeless project clearly couldn't mix the ingredients right. This is a movie that divulges its painfully familiar plot structure over the course of about 50 yawning minutes. That's right; aside from a teasing little opening-scene snake attack, you're expected to sit with the world's most obnoxious group of people for almost an hour...just so you can (maybe) watch them get eaten by a giant anaconda.

The plot sees a typical cadre of scientists, explorers, pharmaceutical executives, busty blondes and wise-crackin' homeboys that ventures into the wilds of the Borneo jungle in an effort to acquire the Blood Orchid. Apparently this is a flower that blooms once every seven years - and only for a six-month period. Plus the flower can, like, give people eternal life or something equally vague and marketable.

Hoping to use this rarest of flowers to become billionaires, the cardboard crew hires a gruff and lantern-jawed he-man to ferry them upriver. The boat captain has a cute monkey that's called into service whenever director Dwight Little feels the need to toss a Fake Scare into the equation. ("Sure, I'll open this cabinet for you...Eeek! Look! A little monkey! Run!")

Boat ends up on the wrong side of a waterfall and, boom, snakes get fed. Various characters unwisely wander off only to find themselves instantly relocated to the trachea of a giant snake. Only...most of the kills are done off-screen. We'll see a little bit of the Snake-cam as it zooms in on a screaming idiot, and then...edit...move to another scene rife with terrible acting and little monkeys.

This happens about five times before the big finale (which, admittedly, is actually not half bad) in which the most selfish members of the remaining crew scurry to grab that pesky orchid for themselves while trying to avoid the giant snakes that never ever get full.

See, Shrek's movie is called Shrek he's in virtually every frame of those movies. Ditto Forrest Gump, Donnie Darko and the Gremlins. Why, then, are we treated to so little Anaconda action in a movie called Anacondas?? The last third of the flick consists of one snake picking off a bunch of people with terribly unconvincing accents. In the final moments we are treated to a slimy writhing mass that one can only assume is meant to be several snakes. Bottom line: there's very little Anaconda in Anacondas...which is pretty stupid when you think about it. And when the slimy suckers do show up, they're presented in a truly unimpressive array of CGI limp-noodlism.

Just this past week there was a direct-to-video release entitled Boa vs. Python (yes, that's a real movie), and I was stunned to learn that the snake effects in a direct-to-video cheapie were infinitely more exciting than what's on display here. Never once do the titular reptiles in Anacondas provoke any real fear or sense of danger. They're video game characters, ones that barely feel like they're on the same screen as the screaming buffet of humanity. And without a few convincing snakes around, all we're left with is actors like Morris Chestnut and Salli Richardson, and that's not much fun at all.

A sequel to "Anaconda" can be forgiven many things, mainly because it's such a silly and juvenile concept to begin with. The drab and charmless performers, the rote and formulaic plot structure, the endlessly eye-roll-worthy exchanges of dialogue... All that can be overlooked in a cheesy horror sequel. But sheer keening boredom? Sorry, that's an absolute no-no across the board. But I guess that's what happens when you make a movie about a vicious and infuriated man-eating snake - but are also required to make it, y'know, for kids.

A Giant Snake movie that's bereft of thrills, chills, blood & guts is a sorry flick indeed. And don't even get me started on the snakes.

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originally posted: 08/27/04 15:28:42
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User Comments

9/10/09 bronson It woulda been more bearable if the comic relief dude & monkey were killed first. 1 stars
2/02/08 Charles Tatum You'll be cheering on the snakes 1 stars
4/23/07 David Risser Interesting, and fun to watch 4 stars
1/25/07 Matt Mildly entertaining if sloppily constructed rainy-day rental. Cute monkey, though. 3 stars
12/22/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
11/18/06 Farnsy You guys are a bunch of Fucking dip-shits that suck a fucking dick you motherfuckers! 4 stars
9/05/06 Katie it was so awesome i would have bought every movie there is. 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist My gut says this is another corny, low budget,sequel that'll appear on the Sci Fi Channel! 1 stars
8/05/06 Stanley Thai Badder than the sequel, but still good. Great thrills with even more slithery snales! 4 stars
5/20/06 Kcaj Story Line is A bit thin but has good action and great effects. 4 stars
11/25/05 cr a pretty good action monster flick, but the cgi was overdone and story line got thin 3 stars
9/26/05 Jonathon Holmes the monkey was the best actor in the movie; how pathetic 1 stars
8/13/05 ES The monkey was the smartest member of the crew 2 stars
7/21/05 Brandy Harrington Fucking fuck. 1 stars
5/28/05 tony why dont they just redo the movie speed 2. exept with a snake! 1 stars
4/24/05 Quigley not scary, funny, cool or engaging. had perverted acting; and the CG? a mockery at best 1 stars
1/19/05 American Slasher Goddess Dull and lifeless sequel 1 stars
1/02/05 Freddy there's nothing good to say about this movie. no cool snake effects, not even a hot chick! 1 stars
12/28/04 efrain don't see it. the first one is better, if it can even be called that. 1 stars
12/23/04 Nikon Anyone who thought this movie was "cool" needs to be bitchslap. This movie sucked balls. 1 stars
12/22/04 Chlomobo Haha - the whole packed cinema clapped when the chick chopped its head off! Woohooooo!!! 5 stars
12/03/04 Karen Smith starts w/ crew @eachothers' throat syndrome;then dceent adv.,coincidence-ridden ending. 3 stars
11/05/04 ab a a a a 5 stars
10/15/04 Addy Wilson it was so funny!!!!!! you guys are lucky you got good actors os else i would have hated it! 3 stars
10/05/04 Jessica Bakelmun It was scary but cool 5 stars
9/23/04 eugene ting Acting - good; Narrative structure - good though from, past movies of this sort, predictabl 3 stars
9/09/04 me A great film 5 stars
8/30/04 B Crans Better than the first one, no one watched this for the acting. Terribly awesome. 5 stars
8/30/04 m. willie aames Who duh Fock pays to see this shit? Wasn't #1 shitty 'nuff? 1 stars
8/30/04 malcolm about what i expected, not a single thing new 2 stars
8/30/04 Shep Jerry Bruckheimer does it again....wait. 4 stars
8/30/04 Peter James A shame that movies like Anaconda and AVP symbolize the end of summer every year 1 stars
8/29/04 RJ Fielder I've seen much, much better but I've also seen much, much worse. 3 stars
8/28/04 Galadie shit shit shit! 1 stars
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  27-Aug-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 21-Dec-2004



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