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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Luis Llosa

Reviewer. Dan Cook

It may feature a giant man-eating snake but it is a notoriously absurd turn from Academy Award winner Jon Voight that makes the cheesy 1997 creature feature ANACONDA such an enjoyably naff guilty pleasure. Set in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, this multi-Razzie nominated treat from director Luis Llosa tells the story of a documentary crew held hostage by a crazed poacher (Voight) who is hunting for a valuable yet monstrous 25ft long serpent.

Like most big budget B-movies made during this time (see also LAKE PLACID and DEEP RISING), the cast of ANACONDA is impressive yet surprisingly unremarkable, with such big names as Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Kari Wuhrer, Eric Stolz and Owen Wilson delivering performances as convincing as that of their shonky animatronic/CG co-star while the script which rips entire narrative beats from KING KONG [1933] is as wooden as the creaky vessel upon which the characters float.

However, while it may do very little to rise above its pulpy trappings, ANACONDA is undoubtedly a very beautiful looking film thanks to the eye of legendary JAWS cinematographer Bill Butler who bathes the picture in the gorgeous greens of the lush foliage and the blood red of the South American sunsets. And of course, topping it all is the aforementioned Jon Voight who is real highlight here - stealing the entire movie from under the snakes scales with the killer combo of a slimy sneer, a truly ridiculous accent and an extremely memorable wink.

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