Sunday, October 20, 2019

Anacondas: Trail of Blood

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  What a disappointment.  Not a single trail containing blood in sight in this film.

Anacondas:  Trail of Blood - 1 out of 5

I honestly can’t believe this franchise somehow made a fourth film.  First off, I never realized there were even sequels to the first film but to make it to a fourth film with this franchise?!?  October is always a doubled-edge sword for me because I only watch horror films in order to stay in the Halloween spirit but horror is also a genre that pumps out more crap than it pumps out gems.  Add to it that I commit myself to entire franchises for the sake of the blog and I’m pretty much torturing myself for no real reason.  That being said, I made it to the last sequel (before the crossover event this franchise had with Lake Placid) of the Anaconda franchise; Anacondas:  Trail of Blood.  The title alone is already off to a generic start.

Dr. Amanda Hayes is back and this time she's packing heat!

"ERMAHGAWD!  Look at my Blood Orchids!"
At the end of the previous film, a research scientist working for Peter “J.D.” Murdoch (John Rhys-Davies) got his hands on a baby anaconda in order to experiment on.  Now the scientist is living alone in the forests of Romania where he created a hybrid of that damn Blood Orchid and was able to use it to create a serum for cell regeneration.  After his test successfully works and allows the baby anaconda to regenerate, he attempts to destroy the serum and the research but this anaconda ain’t having it and kills him.  Thinking the scientist fled with the intention to sell the serum to the highest bidder, Murdoch hires a group of assassins to take him out and bring him the new miracle drug—Murdoch is hoping to use it on himself as he is dying of bone cancer.  Meanwhile, Dr. Amanda Hayes (Crystal Allen) is out to destroy the serum and kill this even deadlier snake and soon finds herself caught between a snake capable of regenerating and a group of assassins who are ready to take her out.

"Please track and kill these people...and you can take MY AXE!"

The franchise is now at the point where there seems to be a legit threading storyline.  The second film mentions the first movie in passing while the third film is only connected based on the Blood Orchid flower.  This one actually has a returning character; Dr. Amanda Hayes.  That isn’t really a cause for celebration because it’s not like the characters in these films are iconic or so well-crafted that it is exciting to see more of them—although, I wouldn’t have said no to a returning David Hasselhoff.  Sadly, however, this might be the film’s only saving grace and that doesn’t say much because this element really isn’t that cool.

That second vehicle is following way too closely.

Story wise, Trail of Blood has all the thriller elements one can expect from a Made-for-TV movie.  You got science gone wrong, a threat that on paper is unstoppable, rich man wholly responsible for the mess, and plenty of bodies for the monster to end.  Sadly, the movie, like the last one, has this slapped together feel and like it wasn’t actively trying to make anything worth a damn (most likely, this is due to both films being shot back-to-back).  Add in that this film adds way too many characters as it not only has Dr. Amanda Hayes and some assassins out there but there’s also a research team at a dig site.  I don’t go into a film like Anacondas:  Trail of Blood expecting deep character studies or a dynamic cast of characters but the development is so bad that I not only didn’t know any of the characters’ names but didn’t even fully understand what the hell they were up to before the snake gave them all a single collective endeavor to focus on.

Somehow this is one of the least dumb looking snakes in the franchise.

Looks like a dollar store Evan Peters.
I said of the previous films that the casts weren’t too blatantly terrible and that most of them were decent and serviceable.  I can’t say the same for this one.  Crystal Allen is doing a fine job with the script that was given to her and Rhys-Davies is okay (albeit a touch hammy) but the rest of the cast is hard to watch.  You have some just going overboard and overacting like crazy, you have some who look like they just don’t care and they you have a strange gentleman who thinks acting is delivering your line and always finding an excuse to touch another actor.  Overall, the cast is leaning more towards the unbearable than serviceable.

More like trail of pee, amirite?  Eh?  Eh?
You know, because they peed their pants due to a giant snake chasing them.

There’s honestly not much to say about Anacondas:  Trail of Blood.  The cast is blah, the special effects are just ugly, the snake isn’t threatening and the story is incredibly boring.  It doesn’t have a long running time but it sure feels like it is taking forever to get to the credits.  This really shouldn’t be a surprise considering how weak all the elements are and the fact that the action and snake kills aren’t that exciting or interesting to watch.  Overall, this movie is so dreadfully boring that riffing on it and making Mystery Science Theater 3000 style jokes at its expense felt like a chore but when you get to a fourth film of a survival horror film about deadly giant snakes that has an initial film that was painfully bad, you can’t really expect quality.

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