Anacondas The Hunt for the Blood Orchid 2004 Movie Scene Johnny Messner as Bill, KaDee Strickland as Sam and Karl Yune as Tran in the jungle looking at a giant snake

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid [2004]

You might say that I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel by recommending this movie but hear me out. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid is a stand-alone sequel to the 1997 hit Anaconda starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, and Jon Voight. Featuring a hefty budget of $20 million it’s not exactly a classic B creature feature movie. The director is Dwight H. Little, the man behind a couple of really good nineties action movies like Marked for Death and Rapid Fire. And this movie sunk his career faster than an anaconda swallowed its first victim. The first thing that’s going to hit you is the setting.

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid was shot in the mesmerizing and mysterious country of Fiji. The nature here is simply breathtaking, reminiscent of the Latin American setting from the original. What all of this does is give the movie a sense of adventure. The story is stereotypical, following an expedition looking for a unique flower that can supposedly prolong life. I think you already know what these poor suckers are going to get themselves into. Somewhere along the way, they’re not going to run into one giant anaconda but many. Hence the title change, honoring that old saying the more the merrier.

Apart from that, the story also provides a logical explanation of how these anacondas got so big. This is something the original movie simply forgot to do. On the other hand, we hit almost every stereotype regarding this type of action/adventure/horror movie. I mean, our crew of bumbling corporate guys and scientists finds a mysterious and muscular American boat captain drinking in a dimly lit pub. And his boat is this rickety-ass hunk of metal that looks like it’s going to sink as soon as it leaves the port. I guess they tried to lean into these stereotypes while simultaneously trying to elevate them just a bit.

I also liked the focus on all the ruthless corporate tactics and more developed characters. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not perfect but perfectly suited to what the movie was trying to do. There’s also a lot more believable conflict between our crew as they start getting deeper and deeper into the jungle. And Borneo is Borneo, and the jungle takes the week. The performances were surprisingly solid. Johnny Messner and Eugene Byrd were my favorites as the tough leader and charming comical relief guy.

Too bad Karl Yune wasn’t given a bigger role as he has an imposing screen presence. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid features acceptable CGI and good practical effects. One of the scenes where our party stumbles upon a dead anaconda with a guy still in it was fucking awesome. However, I also must tell you that we won’t see much of these giant predators. And they go down surprisingly easily. Luckily, the pacing is fast and it somewhat makes up for that. There’s always something happening and even when we get our small breaks, we’ll be looking at that spellbinding jungle.

Ultimately, this is a guilty pleasure movie you watch to relax. Perhaps you crack open a couple of cold ones, smoke a couple of hot ones, and enjoy this mildly entertaining adventure. What you certainly should not do is watch the rest of the Anaconda franchise. In case you didn’t know, there’s not one, not two, but three more Anaconda movies. And each of them looks pretty bad. Now, I don’t have the time to go down that specific anaconda hole right now so I can’t tell you if some of them are so bad they’re good. If you find out, do let me know in the comments below.

Director: Dwight H. Little

Writers: Hans Bauer, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr.

Cast: Johnny Messner, KaDee Strickland, Matthew Marsden, Nicholas Gonzalez, Eugene Byrd, Karl Yune

Fun Facts: The Blood Orchid actually exists only it doesn’t have the properties described in this movie.


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