ANACONDA (1997) Reviews and overview

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‘When You Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Scream”

Anaconda is a 1997 American action-horror film directed by Luis Llosa.

The movie stars Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Owen Wilson, and Eric Stoltz (The Fly II).

The plot focuses on a film crew for National Geographic who are kidnapped by a hunter who is going after the world’s largest giant anaconda, which is discovered in the Amazon Rainforest. Though the film received negative reviews from critics, it was a box office hit. It was followed by three sequels.

Anaconda is a very stupid film with a tremendously silly story, but exceedingly good fun – so long as you aren’t a scaredy-cat when it comes to snakes. The high concept pitch was quite evidently Jaws in the jungle with a giant snake.” Film4

“Now before we get into the fact that this is just another big snake movie, it’s probably worth mentioning that it’s the “better” big snake movie to arrive out of filmmaking. With an estimated budget of $45,000,000, this film was not meant to just fall into the normal “pile of the week” category of releases.” Horror News

“Characters verge on the cartoonish – Jonathan Hyde is cast as a self-important English snob who makes witheringly sarcastic comments while drinking champagne and driving golf balls off the barge as they cruise along the Amazon; another character spouts surfer speak… It is not exactly helped by Voight who plays with an incredibly fake accent and succeeds in overacting to heights that one has not seen on screen in some time.” Moria

“…as is the case with many 90s horror movies, it’s pretty bland and overly “studio”. Characters die in order of their Q rating (which of course, has reversed over the years – nowadays, Owen Wilson is probably the biggest box office draw out of all of them, but this was pretty much his first studio role), the requisite human villain is continually ignored by the monster so it can save him for last, etc. I may have never seen the movie before, but I have seen this movie several dozen times before, you know?” Horror Movie a Day


“Perhaps the only thing besides Voight that didn’t disappoint us was the film’s liberal use of the snakes themselves. Too frequently, the monster effect in a monster film is too expensive or too hokey to show often during the course of the movie. Not so with the anaconda, who spend the final third of the film terrorizing the remaining members of the crew.”

“The anacondas are realised through a combination of animatronics and CGI, each form of effect worse than the other. The animatronics are slightly preferable. At least they get the snakes’ colour and proportions more or less right. But as usual, the animals have that dead, dull, glassy appearance around the face, which simply screams “Fake!” The CGI snakes, however, are just awful.” And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

“… one of those horror films that intends to be serious, scary and bloody, but turns out laughably hokey. The dialogue is absolutely horrendous… This lets the audience fall back on the special effects, which are equally appalling. The CGI moments are amateurish at best, and the rubbery, animatronic snakes are stiff and unrealistic. It doesn’t help that during the action sequences, the snake keeps changing in size – both girth and length.” Gone with the Twins

Anaconda [Blu-ray]

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