When I heard Sony was making a sequel to the God-awful horror movie "Anaconda," I cringed. I mean, "Anaconda" was bad - really bad. So no one is more surprised than me to discover that its sequel, "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid," is actually pretty good.
Okay, so its a B-movie. The special effects are terrible, the characters are one-dimensional and most of the animals seen in the movie don't even exist in Borneo, the place where the movie takes place, but "Anacondas" is a fun and entertaining movie from beginning to end.
The story is nothing new, as we are presented with a group of scientists who have hired a captain (conveniently American) to take them into the jungles of Borneo to look for a budding flower that could hold the answer to eternal life. Greed gets the better of them, however, and before they know it their boat has gone over a massive waterfall. Stranded, they set out across the jungle to find help, but the only thing they are going to find are man-hungry snakes!
"Anacondas" is your normal horror fare, but its fun. Directed by Dwight H. Little, the movie is actually very well-shot, with some good scenery and crisp, glossy camerawork. Again, the characters are fairly one-dimensional, but the likeable ones are easy to like and the bad ones are easy to hate. KaDee Strickland is pleasant to watch whether she's talking or not, and Johnny Messner works well as the other lead.
It would have been nice had a little more effort been put into the special effects, but it's nice that a relatively unknown cast (aside from Morris Chestnut) was used, which makes it a little more difficult to guess who will live and who will die, although still not that challenging.
"Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid" seemed destined to fall into the Top Ten Worst Movies of 2004, but instead it is one of the more surprisingly pleasing films of the year. It still isn't great, but for a one night stand, it's fun entertainment.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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