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People go up river, big snake is very hungry. Guess what happens.—The NZ Listener's twelve-word review of Anaconda
Monster movie with an All-Star Cast ranging from Owen Wilson to Jon Voight to Jennifer Lopez to Ice Cube on the hunt (in their own various ways) for the eponymous giant snake. Largely notable for Jon Voight as Paul Sarone, chewing up scenery with a far greater appetite than any serpent could muster.
There were three sequels which oddly enough Arc Wielded itself across three movies:
- Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid: Which had a company sending a team into Borneo,Indonesia to find a flower that was supposedly the fountain of youth. Not surprisingly they have to contend with the numerous anacondas to get it.
- Anaconda 3: The Offspring: In which one of the anacondas was captured and experimented on to find out its longevity. It escapes, breaks out its mate and goes on a rampage (made more deadly due to the fact that these anacondas have spear tails from the experiments...no we're not making that up) some mercenaries are sent to get it back. Notable for staring David Hassleholf
- Anacondas: Trail of Blood: Which continues where 3 left off. The offspring of the previous anaconda is found and used to help make the flower. The anaconda breaks out once again while the employer from the last movie sends more mercenaries after the scientist who took the anaconda for his own to get the fountain of youth serum. All the while a previous character from the last movie is looking to destroy it. Yeah its just as confusing and convoluted as it sounds. Oh the snake can regenerate in this one.
The latter two movies were direct-to-video, and all three sequels are considered worse than the original.
On a side note - it's rather easy to miss this, but there are in fact two anacondas in the first film, not one. The first is killed by a shot to the head that blows its brains out, but many viewers assume this to be the same one encountered in the factory later on because it sank into the water prior to dying and isn't seen afterwards. The second doesn't have any facial injuries, is a different color, and is clearly bigger, presumably a female.
Anaconda (1997) provides examples of:
- All-Star Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Ice Cube, Eric Stoltz, Owen Wilson, and Kari Wuhrer. Yeesh.
- Artistic License Biology: Oh so very much, all in the name of the Rule of Scary. Among other things:
- Anacondas don't grow that damn big.
- They don't move at the speed of a cheetah in chase.
- They don't predominantly prey on humans, especially after encountering life-threatening resistance each time.
- They don't eat multiple preys the size of a human being one after the other. After consuming a meal like that (which can take hours), the snake will find a secure location where it will remain immobile for months to digest its food.
- They hiss, but they don't squeal/roar.
- And they certainly don't regurgitate their prey just so they can hunt again out of sheer sadism. They sometimes do this for safety purposes, such as when they're threatened by a predator and they can't afford to be lethargic by having such a big meal in their stomach.
- They're constricters, they don't just grab their prey and swallow it. Even when they find a dead animal, they'll usually constrict it first just to be safe.
- Butt hole victim: Danny Trejo's nameless poacher. Sarone too.
- The Amazon
- Badass Spaniard: Sarone.
- Better to Die Than Be Murdered in Cold Blood: Danny Trejo's nameless poacher.
- Big Bad: The anacondas, including Paul Sarone himself.
- Determinator: Sarone.
- Dwindling Party
- Hazardous Water
- Honey Trap: Jennifer Lopez tries one of these to get the crew out of their predicament. Works, if only as a temporary distraction.
- Impending Doom POV: Played with, as the looming creature coming after Owen Wilson and Kari Wuhrer turns out to be a wild boar, not the snake. She'd turn up later.
- Instant Drama Just Add Tracheotomy
- Kill Them with Fire: "Hold on, I think I can blow it up!"
- Large Ham: Jon Voight. Oh, god, Jon Voight. Let's just say, he's the main reason to watch this movie. By far.
- MacGuffin: The native tribe.
- Monster Vision
- Mouth Cam: Sarone eventually meets his end to one of these.
- Murderous Thighs: Sarone provides one of the rare male examples of this trope.
- The Mutiny: The crew eventually figures out what Sarone's up to. Unfortunately, he swiftly gets out of it via being a Magnificent Bastard.
- Not So Different: Sarone gives Kari Wuhrer's character some friendly advice on murder. And then he promptly breaks her neck.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: "You brought that snake... you brought the devil!"
- River of Insanity: The search for the Amazonian tribe doesn't go quite as planned....
- Smug Snake: Sarone, full stop.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The eponymous snakes. And Sarone.
- Up to Eleven: After having managed to kill the first one, the second anaconda they encounter (at the abondoned factory) is even bigger than the already enormous first snake.
- We Can Rule Together: Owen Wilson's character bites on this. And gets bitten for his troubles.
- With My Hands Tied: The crew should have tied Sarone's feet as well. His old man legs are killer.
- Your Mom: Said by Ice Cube to the British guy.
Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004) provides examples of:
- Big Bad: Jack is exposed as this by the end of the film.
- Black Dude Dies First: Gloriously subverted when the whiny, scared, "we never should have come here" black guy is one of the four people to survive to the end. And all of his complaints were actually valid (and typically considered valid by non Idiot Ball holders), if ignored.
- Chekhov's Gun: The rock spider.Hint: Get bitten by it makes you helpless against the snakes..
- Contrived Coincidence: Of course the mating season of the snakes coincides with the maturation of the flower. For extra points, there's flowers growing just above the mating ball, with dozens of male snakes doing the deed with one female, just to put extra tension on the climax and get rid of our Big Bad in ironic fashion!
- Dulcinea Effect: When Gail gets attacked by a crocodile, rather than grabbing a rifle, Bill simply jumps into the water and starts wrestling the crocodile with a dagger/knife. Lampshaded.
Sam: That is either the bravest or the stupidest thing I've ever seen.
Bill: It's a fine line.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Kong, Bill's pet monkey.
- Evil Brit: Jack.
- Just Think of the Potential:
- The search for the blood orchid flower, the chemicals of which could yield the attainment of biological immortality.
- Jack seems to have a penchant for it, since he immediately keeps the rock spider on the chance its venom could make a good anesthetic.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Jack gets bitten by his own paralizing spider, falling into the snake pit and getting eaten alive.
- Karmic Death: Jack gets eaten alive almost in the same fashion he got Gordon killed
- MacGuffin: Subverted with the the blood orchid. Initially just seems like a attractive object with a limited interval for capture for our heroes to not give up on finding it, until it turns out that the snakes only became so dangerous, deadly, lethal, and big because they eat it in first place.
- Misplaced Wildlife: This movie has anacondas in Borneo.
- Perma Stubble: Bill.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Justified. The movie somewhat succesfully gets around the previous film's problem of having the snake pursue the heroes for so long to eat them by there being many snakes in the same area due to a mating season being in progress.
- Uncle Tomfoolery:Cole.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jack ends up finding the possibility of human lifespan extension well worth sacrificing the lives of his colleagues.