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The 100




Anaconda
(1997)
Reviewed by Nathan Johnston
Rating: 8 Beans

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VHS - DVD
his movie is laughable. I know this because when I was watching this movie, I was laughing so hard that I fell of the couch that I was lying on. I honestly do not think that I have ever laughed so hard throughout a movie - intentionally or otherwise - then I did in this one. I laughed so hard that I had tears in my eyes. I laughed so hard that I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the movie and afterwards my side ached for the next two days.

It goes on. The cover of the movie billed it as "being scarier than Jaws". I read this in the middle of the movie and laughed even harder. I laughed the next day when the friend who recommended the movie to me was shocked to hear me say that it was bad. I was rolling around on his front lawn when he said that he thought the movie, especially the special effects were were good in the strictest sense of the word. Good... GOOD, well I suppose you could call a giant rubber snake crushing a stuffed panther to death good. Or indeed the above panther's plastic eye being sqeezed out of its socket by the snake. You could even go as far to say that the snake in this every same scene, thumping its rubber tail on the ground like a dog wagging its tail a good effect... but I don't.

I could go on, but for now I'll move on the plot. The plot basically need not be there as it does not interfere with the movie whatsoever. However its meant to revolve around Dr Steven Cole (Eric Stoltz - Pulp Fiction & 2 Days in the Valley) and his group of film makers that includes Jennifer Lopez (U-Turn, Money Train), Ice Cube (Higher Learining, Boyz in the Hood), Kari Wuhrer (Kissing a Fool), plus Jonathan Hyde (Jumanji) and Owen Wilson travelling down the Amazon looking for a lost tribe to film for a documentary. They pick up Paul Sarone (Jon Voight - Midnight Cowboy, Deliverance) who preceeds to try and convince them to help him catch the Anaconda of the title and begins to plot against them when they refuse.

An easy transition from here is to move onto the acting. Each of the actors gives a very good bad performance. Particularly Stoltz, who spends a good two thirds of the movie unconscious. Also worth a mention is Ice Cube who continues his role from Higher Learning. A note to Cube, you're in the middle of the Amazon, I don't think the jungle tribes give a shit about your preachings. Jennifer Lopez is surprisingly weak but I think that it was just the role she had. The only consolation of her performance is a nice shot of her wearing a small, tight almost see-through singlet. The rest of the cast is almost inconsequental.

However, the acting award for this venture must go to Voight. This is quite truly the worst performance that I have seen from a seasoned actor, EVER. What the HELL is a former Oscar winner for Best Actor doing in this movie??? Things to look out for include:

** You'll be amazed by the mysteriously stupid faces that Voight constantly pulls at the camera for no good reason.
** You'll be amazed at Voight's thoroughly unauthentic Peruvian accent, and finally...
** You will be truly amazed at Voights ability to wink... yes wink after being eaten and regurgitated by a 40-foot snake. This alone is worth seeing the movie for.

The real star of the movie though is the snake of the title. BUT this is no ordinary snake, oh no. This is a snake that can single handedly almost destroy the credibility of the entire FX industry. This is a snake than can devour a fully grown man in less than 30 seconds and regurgitate him in less than 2. This is a snake that can survive without feeding for weeks or months on end but will try to devour eight people in as many days given the chance. And, as a coup de grace, this is a snake that, when it has devoured a human, can leave the perfect impression of that person's face in an expression of horror imprinted on its belly for all to see. Whoa Baby!

Enough said.


Other reviews for this movie:

Jason Coffman




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