Over the years, there have been countless movies that I’ve caught clips of here and there while randomly flipping through the channels of my TV. I’d stop for a few minutes at a time if something happened to catch my eye, but quickly move on to something else. One of those films, that I can now say I’ve seen in its entirety, is Luis Llosa’s Anaconda.
A film crew sets out on an Amazon river to make a documentary on the local tribes of the area. When they pick up a stranger who is stuck on his broken down boat during a storm, their goals quickly change. Instead of making a movie, they must now try to survive, not only the crazed hunter they’ve mistakenly rescued, but also one of the world’s deadliest predators, a gigantic anaconda.
I must admit, I love watching movies about animals run amok. There are of course the more classic entries in the sub-genre, including the likes of Jaws. After that killer shark classic, however, the most well-known is perhaps Anaconda.
Featuring a pretty star-studded cast for its 1997 release, Anaconda does not disappoint when it comes to acting talent. Jennifer Lopez (Enough), Ice Cube (Ghosts of Mars), Owen Wilson (No Escape), and Kari Wuhrer (Eight Legged Freaks), among others, were all very good at their respective roles, but I must say I was most blown away by Jon Voight (Deliverance).
As the villainous trophy hunter, Paul Serone, the veteran actor was both charming and downright scary. With his makeshift Paraguayan accent, Voight made for the perfect distraction from the real danger of the film — the insanely large snake.
Created with a 50/50 mix of both practical and CG effects, the titular rampant reptile looks rather impressive for the film’s entire 89 minute runtime. The monster’s large head, piercing eyes, and even its high-pitched shrieking were more than enough to convey the danger the entire cast of characters were in for their deadly stay in the Amazon jungle.
Llosa’s Anaconda is a fun movie that would pair perfectly in a double feature night with Steve Miner’s Lake Placid.
The film features a talented cast, a competent script fully equipped with subplots and characterization, and a pretty awesome set of kills for its various victims. The cinematography is also very impressive and even includes a surprisingly pleasing shot from inside of the giant beast’s gullet.
Mill Creek Entertainment will be re-releasing the film in a newly packaged DVD and Blu-ray combo on Tuesday, May 14, so now is the perfect time to pick this film up. Unfortunately, this home release is a barebones one with no bonus features to speak of. Even still, it is a great film to have in your collection and I highly recommend it.
I give Anaconda a final repulsive rating of 4 winking dead men out of 5.