Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

Release Date: August 27, 2004

I love the sexy slither of a lady snake.

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104/133 Dan Krovich Even grading on the genre curve, it is still lacking

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In a Hollywood increasingly ruled more by the bean-counters than the creative folk, it isn’t terribly surprising that sequels and remakes are becoming more and more prevalent. Even sequels to films that didn’t generate all that much business at the box office can still be a sound economic move. Sometimes it makes good business sense because the film in question did very, very well in the home video market; such was the case with the Austin Powers franchise. But even when a film doesn’t garner much aftermarket attention - such as Anaconda here - doing a sequel can still be an attractive option. After all, there’s no need to come up with new characters or a new premise; just build on what was presented originally, and presto! Instant movie. And a movie that plays well in foreign markets to boot, since “giant snake eats people” loses very little in the translation.

The snake food...I mean cast, has just been announced, and not surprisingly, it’s full of pretty young things and largely unrecognizable names. Also fairly unsurprisingly, none of the actors from the first film will be returning. This is no major shocker partly because, as happens in all good nature-run-amok films, the majority of them were eaten, and partly because those who did survive now command too large a salary to be paid for what is essentially a B movie. Better to spend the money on what will be the main attraction anyway: the snake.

The excuse for people to get eaten - make that the plot - this time around is the search for a rare black orchid (hence the after-colon title) that confers increased longevity on those it or smoke it or wear it behind their right ear if they’re available. That little detail hasn't been sorted yet, so take your pick. A scientific expedition travels to Borneo in search of the elusive bud, only to find that anacondas like to live longer, too. As for how the scribes are going to explain how an anaconda, which is found only in the Amazon rain forests, ends up eating scientists searching for black orchids half-a-world away, well, maybe some kid from Borneo brought a baby anaconda home as a souvenir from his school field trip to the Amazon and his dad flushed it down the toilet where it grew and then washed out into the local river system. Listen, if you’re going to try and apply logic to films like this, then you’re in the wrong theatre to begin with.

If handled properly, Anacondas can end up being a rollicking good ride where pretty young people get eaten by a big CGI snake in interesting and novel ways until the snake is destroyed in some spectacular fashion, preferably with lots of explosions. As long as the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the snake effects are sufficiently cool, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid could make a bit of a splash at the box office come 2005, followed by a much longer - and this time, likely more memorable - life in the home video market. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
Main Cast Johnny Messner, Kadee Strickland, Matthew Marsden
Supporting Cast Morris Chestnut, Karl Yune, Salli Richardson, Eugene Byrd, Nicholas Gonzalez
Director Dwight H. Little
Screenwriter John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Michael Miner, Ed Neumeier
Distributor Sony/Screen Gems
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 93 minutes
Screen Count 2,905
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Deep Blue Sea 7/30/9919.11 22.77 2854 6696.00 7645.0 73.65 87.76 3.54
Lake Placid 7/16/9910.97 13.07 2095 5236.00 5978.1 31.65 37.71 2.89
Deep Rising 1/30/984.74 6.09 1758 2696.00 3334.1 11.20 14.39 2.36
Bats 10/22/994.72 5.62 2560 1844.00 2105.4 10.15 12.09 2.15



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