One of the best movie-going experiences of my life as seeing Anaconda at the dollar show with a rowdy crowd that was screaming at the screen throughout the entire movie. It probably made the actual film a lot better than I remembered, which is how going to the movies should be.
Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez in a role that both Julianna Margulies and Gillian Anderson passed on) and her crew are in the Amazon shooting a documentary on the lost Shirishamas tribe.
The crew is made up of her childhood friend and camera guy Danny (Ice Cube, who that out of control dollar theater audience made the hero of this movie); Denise the production manager (Kari Wuhrer, who is moving on up here while nearly everyone else is slumming it); sound engineer Gary (Owen Wilson); rich dude Warren (Jonathan Hyde); book captain Mateo (Vincent Castellanos) and anthropologist Professor Steven Cale (Eric Stoltz). Soon, they are joined by a Paraguayan snake hunter — yes, that’s a thing — named Paul Serone, who claims he can help them find the lost tribe. Honestly, they should have taken away Jon Voight’s Oscar for being in this, as he’s the hammiest ham that has ever hammed.
Before you can say “sss” the titular anaconda and Serone are both vying to kill everyone on the ship. Voight’s character is Moby Dick-ing the big snake, using everyone on board to try and grab it. I mean, what other movie has a badly accented Voight dumping monkey blood all over people so that gigantic snakes will attack them? This is also the movie where a snake throws up the corpse of a still shaking Jon Voight, so there’s that, too.
Danny Trejo shows up for a few moments in the opening and if you need a voice to do the sound effects for the snake, who better than Frank Welker to do it?
This was followed by 2004’s Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, 2008’s Anaconda 3: Offspring and 2009’s Anacondas: Trail of Blood before the franchise did a rare dual series crossover with 2015’s Lake Placid vs. Anaconda.
This was nominated for nearly every category in the 1998 Razzie Awards, but lost mostly to the Kevin Costner vehicle The Postman. It’s not that bad — it’s ridiculous but more than willing to entertain you — and even without that dollar movie crowd, you can still find something to enjoy. I mean, it has J Lo in booty shorts before we even knew that was a thing being menaced by a ridiculously huge snake. What’s not to love?
You can watch this for free on Tubi, but we really recommend the new blu ray release from Mill Creek Media.
DISCLAIMER: We were sent this movie by Mill Creek, but that has no impact on our review.