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ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID (PG-13) (2004)

Screen Gems/Columbia Films

Official Site

Director: Dwight H. Little

Producer: Verna Harrah

Written by: John Claflin, Daniel Zelman and a host of others

Cast: Johnny Messner, KaDee Strickland, Matthew Marsden, Eugene Byrd, Karl Yune, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Morris Chestnut, Nicholas Gonzalez

 Rating:


Remember loyal readers, I do this for you. Do not let my sacrifice be in vain.

It seems that just about every movie is getting a sequel these days. Movies that were only modest hits or successes that don’t lend themselves to sequels have brought about completely unrelated sequels. Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, based on 1997’s Anaconda, serves as an example—aside from the one fake-looking giant snake going around killing people. This time instead of an expedition to film an ancient native tribe, some two-bit scientists and pharmacists are looking for the so-called “Blood Orchid” which is the “pharmaceutical equivalent of the fountain of youth!” As soon as a corporate executive uttered the words, “It’ll be bigger than Viagra!” I was ready to start handing out F-5s and Crippler Crossfaces to any and all involved with this ridiculous piece of crap.

The cast includes Gordon Mitchell (Chestnut), the annoying Gail Stern (Richardson-Whitfield), the blinking moron of a doctor Ben Douglas (Gonzales), and the Sneaky British guy Jack Byron (Marsden). There’s also the movie’s crown piece of T&A, Sam Rogers (Strickland) whose southern, Laura Bush-esque accent inspires rage and possible strangulation. The good news for our auditory senses is that Sam seems to lose the fake twang as the movie progresses. And what dumb horror thriller is complete without your favorite, stereotypical, wisecracking, comic relief black guy like Cole Burris (Byrd). The crew sets off to Borneo to collect samples of the Blood Orchid, which is about to stop blooming and won’t do so again for another seven years. However, it’s hazardous to navigate through the jungles of Borneo due to the rain. The clock is ticking folks. With no way upriver, the crew buys the services of throaty-voiced, Bill Johnson (Messner) and his boat buddy, Tran (Yune). Little do they know it’s mating season in Anaconda-ville, and unfortunately their poor carcasses end up smack dab in the middle. Watching this movie, one gets a good idea of why you don’t see most of the cast playing prominent roles in other films. To their credit however, the script and dialogue, composed altogether by no less than seven writers, is quite mediocre. As Harrison Ford says, “You can type this shit, but you can’t say it.” But in Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, they do say it, and it sucks.

The most pathetic thing about this movie is that its best performer is Johnson’s pet Capuchin monkey, who has the most screen time of any character in the film. Whenever something happens or is about to happen, they cut to the monkey. And quite frankly, the monkey could act and emote better than any of the human actors in the film. A “suspenseful” chase sequence that would normally feature a human and pursuer, instead features said monkey and an anaconda in what is quite possibly one of the most unintentionally hilarious film moments this year. For those keeping score, that is not high praise, nor is it a good thing as my man Diamond Dallas Page used to say.

The filmmakers have not improved much on the snake CGI from the first film seven years ago. The snakes still look like crap and are not at all scary.

This movie is very cheesy, but if you are so desperate to kill an hour and a half of your lifetime, it might be right up your alley. However, I’d say the film is more akin to government-level cheese, and should’ve been released direct-to-video. If you dare to push your luck with this film and end up liking it, like the friend I saw it with, mazel tov. If you go and find it the most atrocious cinematic experience since Welcome To Mooseport or Catwoman, remember—I tried to warn you.

—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

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