Yes, I’m fully aware that by today’s standards, Anaconda, an exotic blend of action, adventure, and horror, is a rather cheesy movie. However, since so much time has passed, it’s also full of nostalgia, unintentional hilariousness, and nineties swagger. It’s hard to understand just how much hype this movie generated back in the nineties. I remember first watching the trailers and then anxiously waiting to finally see it. I mean, a giant snake is going to be eating a bunch of people in the jungles of the Amazon, what’s not to like there? And that’s not all.
The CGI was supposed to be out of this world. You have to remember that these are the nineties and everything was out of this world. Although they said the same thing about DragonHeart just a year prior and it came through on their promise. And while some of the special effects look outdated and even cheesy at times, the setting is still appealing and exotic. I’ve always loved these adventure movies taking us to far away and mysterious places. I guess I watched too many Indiana Jones movies.
Just to be perfectly clear, the price for just one second of that CGI snake’s screen time was a whopping $100.000! And although the movie was hated by critics, it was a commercial success making $136 million against a $45 million budget. You should also know that the biggest Anaconda ever seen by humans was a 33-foot (10 meters) monster found by construction workers in Brazil. The snake weighed whopping 882 pounds (400 kg) as anacondas are unbelievably girthy. The movie Anaconda was also shot in Brazil, near the city of Manaus.
The mighty Amazon River does not give out its secrets easily. So, a documentary film crew will have to work hard to finish their movie about the Shirishamas, a tribe living close to the river. However, they first have to get to them traveling down a dangerous waterway. Full of deadly animals, plants, and horrible conditions, this road also hides a monster. A forty-foot giant anaconda with a taste for human flesh. After all, one human equals two or even three tapirs.
I do know that Anaconda is a movie so bad that it’s good more than anything else. And yet, I just don’t have the heart to call it that as it still holds a special place in my heart. This is the movie that made me fall in love with natural horror. Perhaps even the whole B-movie structure and atmosphere. And the rest is history. The pacing is excellent and the running time short, making this movie perfect for any occasion. Hell, I watched it last night for the umptieth time and still had loads of fun.
The cast of Anaconda did the best thing they could’ve done and played the whole thing straight. This means they’re all deadly serious when it comes to the giant snake eating them all. Well, almost all of them as Jon Voight was in his own world for this one. And that world was glorious as his unhinged performance is half the reason why you should watch this movie. The rest of this surprisingly famous cast was excellent and made this movie a true guilty pleasure. I mean, when was the last time you saw a movie with Ice Cube, Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Danny Trejo, and Eric Stoltz?
Not to mention my old crush, Kari Wuhrer who will have to fight giant spiders just a couple of years later in Eight Legged Freaks. Finally, Anaconda spawned no less than three sequels of declining quality. I guess Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid is watchable if you like this sort of thing but the other two movies are pretty bad. I wonder when are we going to get a decent big killer snake movie?
Director: Luis Llosa
Writers: Hans Bauer, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr.
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Eric Stoltz, Jon Voight, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer, Jonathan Hyde
Fun Facts: There are a couple of scenes in the movie where you can see real and very much alive snakes. The first one follows the explosion of the dam and the second one takes place in the anaconda’s nest.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118615/