TV Party Tonight! #70

TV Party Tonight! #70

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019
COLUMN

Anaconda
[Blu-ray/DVD set]
Mill Creek Entertainment

What is it about 90s bad movies that make them so watchable? Well, let’s look at Anaconda and see if we can decipher this mystery. And before you mock it, know that it was HUGE blockbuster hit, making 130 million on its 30 million budget. I know I thought the movie was amazing when it came out. OK, NOW you can mock it.

For starters, Anaconda features some heavy hitters like Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, and John Voight. Although their careers have veered off on distinct paths, their presence is enough to bring a sense of familiarity to the story. And what a story it is. Clearly feeding off the rampaging blockbuster that was Jurassic park, Anaconda instead asks the question, what if the monster was deadlier but much more ordinary? It’s a story of a rag tag crew of sexy archeologists and filmmakers who are searching for a long-forgotten tribe in Brazil, and instead come across the path of, you guessed it, snake poachers.

But while Jurassic Park had seemingly timeless special effects, Anaconda has trademark 90s CGI with all its unusual movements and shiny looks. And it also growls, sneers, and roars for some reason, just like a dinosaur. Also growling sneering and roaring is Jon Voight’s character Serone who is clearly the highlight of the entire movie. Every time the man is on screen or says something, it’s a delight. His character is Spanish or perhaps French and might be from Uruguay by way of Louisiana and also outer space. Serone is a hilarious caricature of a bad guy, with no motivation except greed, no value for human life, sex-deprived, sadistic, pompous, religious (?), manipulative and with a terrible accent. So, he’s the PERFECT villain. There is a cut on YouTube of JUST his scenes in Anaconda and I highly recommend watching it.

Not in spite, but BECAUSE all of this Anaconda works and is a blast to watch. The story itself is interesting and engaging. The pacing works because so little time is spent focusing on anything that isn’t the snake and Serone. The kills are, for lack of a better word, super fun to watch. And the whole ambience of the movie is cool and exotic.

Anaconda is a movie that is endlessly rewatchable and will draw you in whenever it’s on. It’s perfect for lovers of bad movies, scary movies, or monster movies.

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