For this month of Halloween (Halloween should be observed for an entire month, says I), I revisited the awful survival horror film that is Anaconda. Now I am going to work my way through the sequels that, up until this point, I’ve never seen nor knew they existed. A whole seven years after the first film was released, the studio gods declared that there was more blood to be squeezed from the franchise and its first sequel; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, was farted out. As far as sequels are concerned, this one is surprisingly good. Ha, I’m just kidding. This film is terrible.
|I will say this: If you like reaction shots of capuchin monkeys then you will LOVE|
this movie. Seriously, this one has a lot of reaction shots from this monkey.
|"Just gonna start by saying the Blood Orchid doesn't actually|
have any blood. It's just a name. A disappointing name.
Same thing is true of the Candy and Money Orchids."
In Indonesia, there exists a flower called the Blood Orchid and it holds the potential to be a boom for the medical industry. Dr. Jack Byron (Matthew Marsden) leads a team of researches into the wilds but, due to the unsafe nature of the journey, can’t find anyone to guide them along the river and to the point where the flower grows—and that only blooms for a short period of time. Captain Bill Johnson (Johnny Messner) agrees to take them but the entire group soon learns that nature has other dangers ready to stand in there way as they find there are deadly anacondas in the area and have grown larger than normal due to the orchids. Oh, and to make matters worse, it is mating season for them and they are all kinds of horny and murder-y.
|Okay, I'll give the film this. This shot is genuinely cool and creepy.|
Like the initial film, The Hunt for the Blood Orchid offers up a product that is pretty laughably bad. Pretty much right off the bat this film is showcasing its institutionalized racism but making sure that the captain brave enough to take the research crew through the jungle is white as white can be. They even conveniently place in a gag that shows the team talking to a local but then it's hilariously reveal that he is second-in-command to the big brave white guy! It gets even better when the actor playing the second-in-command is infinitely more talented than the incredibly generic white man that is Johnny Messner. I couldn’t keep it together because every time Messner wanted to sound tough, he suddenly started talking like Will Arnett. The low guttural voice did little to project toughness as his blandness easily overtakes every other scene so it was impossible to really feel like he was a legit badass.
|If generic, store brand vanilla ice cream was a person.|
In my review of the first film (which you can check out here), I gave the special effects a pass because it was in the early days of computer generated effects—additionally, the computer generated snake really wasn’t that bad. The thing didn’t mesh well with the animatronic practical snake that was used on set but, once again, this was the early days of CGI. This film has special effects far worse than what the first film provided. This is obviously a budget reason as this film was just churned out for the sake of a sequel and to make use of a potential (but ultimately stagnant) property. The one improvement is that the snakes don’t have laughable and cartoonishly evil faces like the ones did in the first film. Still, the special effects are Syfy original, The Asylum production quality so this minor detail doesn’t make up for the rest of this aspect being faulty.
|The snake does look like it is obviously designed to look evil but at least it isn't as|
laughably awful as it was designed in the first film.
I’ve already mentioned how bland and flavorless Johnny Messner’s performance is but, overall, there are some decent performers in the film. Granted, this property and script isn’t giving them much to work with but very few members of the cast are giving what I would call a “bad performance” (with very notable exception to Messner). To put it bluntly, the majority of the actors are giving a serviceable performance that isn’t really hindering the overall product—that is covered by the writing and special effects—but they aren’t really helping it either; however, it would take a God-like performer to save this film with acting alone.
|Maybe this whole time it's all a big misunderstanding and the snakes just don't|
realize their own strength and they keep accidentally killing people with their hugs.
|Pictured: Said snake orgy.|
Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid is a pretty flat sequel to an already awful film. It’s essentially the exact same movie but the motivations for traversing a jungle river is slightly changed, the antagonist isn’t so damn obvious and it tries to up the ante by having more snakes. It even, sadly, tries to remix Ice Cube’s famous line of “There snakes out there this big?” by having the more frantic member of the team yell about the existence of a snake orgy when he is told it is mating season. It’s decent enough to riff on and tease but it’s not as laughable as the first film so the points for it in this department aren’t the strongest. As it stands by itself, it is a terrible film that didn't really offer up much for me in the entertainment department.
|It's okay, monkey buddy. The movie is over. It can't hurt you anymore.|