A giant, reptilian monster surfaces, leaving destruction in its wake. To stop the monster (and its babies), an earthworm scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend, and other unlikely heroes team up to save their city.
When a documentary crew traveling through the Amazon jungle, picks up a stranded man, they are unaware of the trouble that will occur. This stranger's hobby is to capture the giant Anaconda snake, and plans to continue targeting it on their boat, by any means necessary.Written by
'50s style monster flick with tongue in cheek and an exciting plot
This underrated monster movie came out around the same time as THE RELIC and both films got poor reviews. I happened to see this at the cinema back in '97 and I remember being distinctly underwhelmed by the film. After catching it on television again last night, my opinion has radically changed. While it may be a cheesy film with bad acting and poor special effects, the makers of this film obviously have an affection for B movies and, as one reviewer on the IMDb noted, there is definitely an old-fashioned feel to it, it's a bit like a '50s giant monster movie updated to the present day. On retrospect, I enjoyed this far more than the disappointing and hugely generic film that was THE RELIC, and after watching many of the recent so-called "horror" films on release, I've come to appreciate this for what it is : a fun, shallow and fast-paced little film that delivers the goods on the gore front.
While it's not a particularly bloody film, many of the deaths by snake are gooey and gruesome in the extreme. We watch the victims as they get slowly crushed and their bones break out, and then watch as their blubbery bodies are digested by the snake. In the film's big moment, Jon Voight is eaten, only to be regurgitated as a half-eaten mess moments later. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, his corpse winks! The plot is a typically contrived and generic one, but as I mentioned it's fast paced so you don't have time to dwell on the holes. The acting is pretty bad, but again that's typical for a film of this variety - what's not typical is that most of the actors here are famous, or have become famous since.
Jennifer Lopez takes the lead and frankly I can't see what all the fuss is about, to me she's unattractive and a bad actress to boot. Joining her are Eric Stoltz in a nothing role, and he spends most of the film in a coma after eating a deadly wasp (strangely, though, he doesn't die!). Ice Cube is the likable, gruff and unlikely hero, a feat he pulled off again in '99s THREE KINGS. Jonathan Hyde plays an Englishman in a role that borders on the offensively stereotypical - if we British aren't depicted as bad guys, then must we all have stupid accents and be figures of ridicule with our silly "stiff upper lip" type characters? Bad acting awards go to Jon Voight for his supremely hammy portrayal of the film's villain, a lip-curling, eye-winking performance which I found to be hilarious - he's great, having a laugh, and miles away from the boringly serious characters he played in films like Deliverance. A pre-stardom Owen Wilson is pretty bland, and Kari Wuhrer is all glamour and no intelligence. Eagle-eyed viewers may spot FROM DUSK TILL DAWN's vampire bartender Danny Trejo as a snake victim whose suicide kicks the film off.
Now, for the special effects, which are a mixture of CGI and animatronics. The animatronics are great, and very lifelike. The CGI is not so, but at least it looks pretty as we watch the snake swirl through the air and stuff. I've seen a lot worse in more recent films, and at least you can see the effort that's gone into this creation to try and make it look as spectacular as possible. Speaking of spectacular, there is the requisite explosive finale which manages to be quite exciting as things go. ANACONDA is, to me, a welcome monster movie from a time when most horror films were slashers squarely aimed at a teenage audience. Thankfully, this film has no teenagers and no masked killers. That, the fun monster and the change of location (an authentic-looking Amazon jungle) make this one to watch again and again for me.
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