Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Anaconda (1997)

Wado (Cherokee for Thank You) to all you beautiful readers out there! I noticed that my count is now up to and past 117,500, which I thank you all for profusely, considering that I have been less than faithful with getting my promised movie reviews up and running. Thank you all for your patience, your loyalty, and most of all, your sense of humor.

Speaking of sense a humor, I have no less than three bad, bad rubber piggy movies (otherwise known as Nazi movies), and yes, they will be put on my blog as long as there is breath in my body, even if there is no strength in my arms.

Actual picture on RiffTrax Facebook...
Yup, I'm using the dictation program again, and I'll spare you the reasons why. Today's movie is a Columbia Pictures blockbuster from 1997 called Anaconda. I chose it for two reasons: 1. It sounded like it could be as funny as Sharknado; 2. I saw an article that said RiffTrax, the offshoot of MST3K, were going to do this movie live because of overwhelming requests. That got me curious. What was so good about a movie with a huge snake that would catch the funny bone of anybody?

Oh yeah, and please go to RiffTrax Facebook page and find out if you're in the right area to see 'em live. If you can't - read on...

Oh brother. They start the movie by telling you that Anacondas are such bad mofo's that they will actually catch prey, swallow it, then, uh, vomit it out so they can catch and kill again... which got the hubby a bit confused. How do you kill your prey again? Is it zombie prey? I gently tried to walk him through it but the puzzlement wasn't leaving his face so...

First off, the movie stars the ass of Jennifer Lopez. I'm not being crass, you look at where they point the camera. Some of the time it's at her very see-through tank top, others it's straight at her ass. I watched the first five minutes, saw some of the big star power and horrible effects in the movie, and decided I was going to need some help. Thus, with a lot of screaming and complaining, the hubby finally agreed to help me with this review.

And so we begin with the crew being DEEP in the Amazon jungle. We called bullshit on that one considering that a couple of times they show the Atlantic Ocean (which the river flows into). And this story of many, many errors is about to begin...

Whoops, almost didn't give Danny Trejo his 90 seconds. At the beginning Danny, with a lot fewer tattoos as this is 1997, is trying to radio for help from his dilapidated boat. He doesn't get any. What he does get is something unseen chasing him and his contract is now up so he shoots himself in the head. Bye bye Danny.

But Danny didn't have enough meat on him so the anaconda goes for a jaguar (or black panther, whatever) who the camera crew keeps still by feeding it (I imagine a leash is probably employed as well). And whoops there goes another rubber tree plant's worth of fake snake shown wrapping around what is plainly (and within animal safety regulatory guidelines) a stuffed panther. The 'snake' takes off with its prey... leaving nothing but the right EYYYYYYYEEEEE OF THE TIGER..... <sorry Survivor>. No, but seriously - this movie has something against right eyes - I'll explain later <sorry reader>.

But I digest. This movie is about a huge freaking snake that would never ever grow to this kind of size, although anacondas can grow to considerable sizes in the Amazon (but at least it's eligible for free shipping <rim shot>). This movie is also full of so many outright errors, stupidities, and apparent lack of research about life in the Amazon on the part of the writers that it began to transition from a scary movie about a big snake into my hubby and I breaking into giggles on a regular basis. We even got a little crazy, because, well, you're about to find out.

Now I understand that this movie has two sequels. You will not be seeing them on this blog. I've had enough of fake plastic - no, wait, that would be rubber, snakes to last a lifetime. This movie had some big (for that time anyway) names in it. We've got Ice Cube (not to be confused with Ice -T, leading to my hubby's new little joke: if Ice Cube and Ice-T had a child, it would be an ICE ICE BABY). My hubby thanks you for your pity laugh. 

We have of course the ass of Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Kari Wuhrer (You'd probably recognize her if you saw Hellraiser: Deader - which means you don't know who the hell she is, right?), Eric Stoltz (who scored the easiest job in his life, considering that he spends most of the movie unconscious and in bed). 

There is Owen Wilson (who as you know is one of those character actors, I just hate with a passion for no reason whatsoever, so I really hoped he would die first), and Jonathan Hyde (also a great character actor who appeared in such films as the Titanic and Jumanji).

You'll also notice the name Frank Welker appear and probably scratch your head. Don't. That stirs up the fleas. Frank Welker, for those not in the know, is a voice actor. Why does Anaconda need a voice actor, you may ask? Okay, so you didn't ask yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, apparently the great people of Columbia Pictures thought the snake needed a voice. 

Snakes really have no voice. At least none that you can really understand unless you speak in Parseltongue. Among Welker's many credits is Futurama, where he played the voice of Nibbler. So every time we heard the snake make noise, we giggled that much more. Our characters? Oh I'm sorry. 

Lopez' ass plays the director Terri, Ice Cube is cameraman Danny (and since this movie is PG-13 is probably the most he's ever spoken without dropping F bombs), Kari is production manager Teri, and Doucheb... umm, I mean Owen is sound engineer Gary. Whoops, can't forget Mateo (Vincent Castellanos) who is, I guess, their captain.

On with the movie (finally). This is about a film crew whose main objective is to piss off all the natives in the Amazon basin. Now a very short geography lesson and I only include it because, although I made good grades at school, geography, history, and science in my brain are severely lacking. 

The Amazon flows out into the Atlantic. It mostly passes through the country of Brazil. To the south of Brazil lies Paraguay. For the most part in Brazil, they speak Portuguese. In Paraguay they speak Spanish (for those of you who saw that I had those languages backward at first, my apologies - told you I was a dumb dumb when it comes to that kind of stuff). So needless to say, those who traverse the Amazon usually know at least those two languages, if not more. Why do I mention Paraguay? Oh, you are going to regret that one.

The film crew is looking for the long-lost Shirishama tribe, a tribe that has bothered no one and has not been seen in many, many moons, so of course these Americans have to piss them off and invade their tribal lands. The so-called expert who knows how to find tribes is Stephen Cale (Eric Stoltz). The narrator, who for some reason has to be there with them instead of just reading a script in a studio is Warren (Jonathan Hyde). 

It begins to rain, hard. That is a movie signal by the way. In movies, when something bad is about to happen, it rains. Have you ever seen a movie funeral where it did not rain? Just an example. In the rain, they hear shouts for help. It turns out to be a man called Paul Serone (Jon Voight), who claims to have been a priest, but now poaches snakes for big money. Like idiots, and because this movie has to get started, they let him on their boat. At first he plays nice, even saving two of them from a wild boar. Too bad THERE ARE NO WILD BOARS IN THE AMAZON. Meh, maybe he found a boar WalMart. As for 'pigs' in the Amazon, the mammal is called a Tapir and they are herbivores.

Remember the short Brazil/Paraguay lesson? Well that was because of the Serone character (Jon Voight). The hubby finally nailed this supposedly Paraguayan character as he was portraying it: He was trying to sound like Marlin Brando attempting to impersonate Christopher Walken. And that is dead on, I swear. For a while. Voight apparently decided that being Paraguayan means never having to stick to a particular accent, so his Brando/Walken schtick alternated with a very drunk sounding Al Pacino as Scarface. Meh.

For whatever reason, a rope is hanging off the back of the boat. It has nothing attached to it, it's just there for the sole purpose of getting caught in the propeller. Eric Stoltz, in his only bit of activity in this movie, puts on scuba gear and attempts to clear the rope. Now Eric is a ginger and is pale with reddish blonde hair. The guy in the scuba suit looked like Carrot Top. Yikes, couldn't you get that to match a little better? Oh, and that is when we get several comments about the infamous pee pee fish. 

No, that's not what they're called. They are called Candiru. Now while you'll find so-called horror stories about men who have had Candiru swimming up their no-no spot, that's been debunked as an urban legend. I imagine there are a ton of bacteria and other nasties in the water, but you don't have to worry about watching your no-no area squirm by itself.

Oh no! Eric is in trouble! Someone has slipped a deadly black wasp in his breathing apparatus! A white wasp is being poisoned by a black wasp! (that joke is not racist, it's funny, relax). Okay, I have to call bullshit. We knew from the beginning that Jon Voight was going to be the bad guy, that's not the issue. The issue is, how did he get the wasp into the breathing apparatus and make it stay there when he didn't even know where they stowed the scuba gear? Huh? Huh? And what, does he just keep deadly wasps in his pocket for just such an occasion? Pffft.... that's when the hubby started going into 'turn it off' mode but I begged him to continue to see if we could salvage this review...

He agreed and I think we drank a little too much because all of a sudden things became very, very funny. No, wait - neither of us had anything to drink. Maybe there was a gas leak somewhere - which would make sense if any of our appliances used gas (they don't).

So since Stoltz has a better contract than Trejo, Serone treats his allergic reaction by cutting a hole in his neck, stuffs a tube in it, and Eric lives and gets to spend the rest of the movie in bed! Wow, what acting! Now they need to go where Serone tells them there's a hospital but of course he's lying because he wants the biiiiig snake for the biiiiiig money.

Serone leads them to restricted territory blocked off by totems and a wooden fence (and an earth dam that a kayak couldn't pass but we won't talk about that one). Using dynamite from his duffel bag (which also included guns, a crossbow, not to mention tons of tranquilizer vials and darts and ammo) he causes three explosions to rip the wall apart, sinking their lifeboat, raining baby snakes all over the boat (which were not baby anacondas, but boa constrictors).

A piece of wood knocks all their gasoline off the boat even though the rope never breaks. How does that happen you ask? Okay you didn't ask but you should have. The rope is actually wrapped around the last barrel so that on cue they can pull all the barrels off of the boat. Oh and all the fuel sinks even though in real life (pfffft) they'd float.

One major product placement I forgot to mention... Converse high top sneakers. That's what Ice Cube wore throughout the entire movie and he must have had 30 pairs or more - plus tons of expensive white socks 'cause he was in and out of the water constantly yet his footwear was always brand new and his socks whiter than white. Nice.

There were really bad continuity errors in this movie so we just started making marks on a piece of paper whenever we saw one and even those were too numerous to keep track of, such as when the stars were wet or dry. I never saw such quickly drying people in my life. One would be in the water, the other on the boat pulling him/her up and boom, both were suddenly dry. Then wet. Then dry. Then wet... you get the idea.

Despite my hopes that Doucheb...umm, I mean Owen would die first, the snake chose Mateo to wrap its fake self around. And I DO MEAN FAKE. The instant the 'victim' is touched by the snake, it becomes some weird rubbery looking dude (with his hair in a ponytail when the real dude had his hair loose) and... pffft.

So with Eric sleeping his life away and Mateo dead, Serone suddenly becomes in charge (He has to find that hospital, remember?) and Doucheb... dammit I've got to stop doing that. Owen's character Gary sides with Serone and up comes our favorite part of the whole damn movie:

Gary: "Do you know where you are? You're in the middle of the jungle!"

Instantly the hubby and I sing, "YOU'RE GONNA DIIIIIEEEE!!!" <Sorry GNR>

Now the movie was very specific about not mistreating animals, but the monkeys they show in the branches of the trees were kept up there with leashes (some can be seen on film). Doesn't sound nice to me... suddenly Serone went and... SHOT THE MONKEY! HEY HEY!

Serone shot a monkey (you may sing now too if you like) for bait but 'Nibbler' wasn't having any of it and spit it in the English guy's face (He... spit the monkey! Hey Hey!). <Sorry Peter>

Serone loaded up a tranquilizing gun but when he goes to shoot 'Nibbler' (our squeaking snake) he uses a crossbow????? He's got guns, a crossbow, drugs, bullets, crossbow bolts and lots of dynamite. In ONE duffle bag. Take THAT Daryl Dixon!

'Nibbler' is shot in the mouth with the crossbow and now is pissed. He crashes around the deck and knocks everybody down. Gary and his girlfriend Kari go in the water, both come out but he gets grabbed - Lopez tries to shoot the snake but Serone stops her as the snake is worth nothing dead and Owen is worth nothing alive so it's bye bye douchebag.

Lopez' ass tries to seduce Serone who is now in full Scarface Al Pacino mode - He says it's been a long time since he's had a woman. Yeah, we know, he used to be a priest and they like... never mind. But we did notice that the closeup of the big snake mouth looked really similar to a woman's va-jay-jay so you know he's probably had opportunity to improvise. It takes three people, but they manage to knock Serone out and tie him to one of the ship's poles.

Cale (Eric Stoltz) meanwhile is STILL in bed from an allergic reaction to the wasp a la Serone (that doesn't even begin to make sense) and the bandage from the hole in his throat constantly changes between bloody and clean. 

They get to a waterfall and find an old mill (?!?) near where the tribe they were looking for were supposed to be. But they hit bottom and are now stranded. All except Teri go in the water to try to find a way to loosen the boat. While they're out there, Teri decides it's a perfect time for payback against Serone. But in a blurry move (so we can't see he's not really doing anything) he grabs her with his legs, suffocating her and kicking her overboard.

Aaaaaand here comes the snake - Warren tells the other two to get back to the boat where they find Serone free so scuffle, scuffle, scuffle... the tree carrying the snake and Warren falls on the boat and all go in the water. This wakes Eric up and he's cranky (kidding).

Aaaaand I apparently don't know the
difference between a shotgun and a rifle,
so that's a double DUH on me, right?
All try to get back on the boat. Lopez is first and grabs the bolt action rifle and proceeds to treat it like a semi-automatic since she never cocks the thing - this same gun also has never been loaded but of course in movie duh style never runs out of ammo either. Serone (who is now free) is pissed that she would ruin his moneymaker just for some guy. Oh and the right eye of the snake is gone. What the hell is it with right eyes in this movie?

They all scuffle some more until Eric gets out of bed and stabs Serone in the back with a tranquilizer dart. Serone grabs Eric's neck at the bottom of his bandage and blood starts to run. Ummm, no, no it wouldn't. Doesn't matter though 'cause quick cutaway and back and Serone's hand is at the TOP of the bandage and blood still runs. Sigh. Serone is knocked into the water. The boat has been freed and they can back out in this beautiful scene. Now my young ones, tell me what is wrong with this little video? Hmmm? 

Oh the pitfalls of trying to save money by reusing footage! So we've got (as I'm sure you saw) a backward waterfall. Moving on...

They see a dilapidated building and think they're gonna find fuel. They're also dry again. How many pairs of Converse sneakers did Ice go through to make this movie? Also, I like his dainty little ankle socks - they stayed sooo white no matter how many times he went in the nasty, nasty wawa....  They gingerly go across a wooden dock and see weapons. She picks up a rifle BY THE TRIGGER (gee, hope it's not loaded) and drops it. Nice.

When they go inside, somehow Lopez' hair is soaking again and her tank top dry - and tight enough to see some backfat (hey, you look for yourself - I'm not kidding)...

When they think they find fuel, boom out comes Serone who's nice and alive as well as not drugged and attacks them. Lopez and Ice are tied together. Serone covers them with monkey blood a la Carrie for a big snack for an even bigger snake. Trouble is, well geez, if you've got a sharp eye (hell even if you're blind you can see it), the two already HAVE blood on them BEFORE the blood hits. 

This blood also disappears and reappears for the rest of the movie - on Lopez. Apparently monkey blood was not cool with the Ice 'cause you don't see it on him for the rest of the movie. So. Bigger snake comes in, Serone misses with tranquilizer. The two tied up get away, Serone is wrapped up, and we get bird's eye view of snake belly cam which, I must say again, represents a huuuuuge va jay jay.

All of this is done with the worst stop motion, green screen, CGI, I don't know what the hell they used, it all was just horrible and not realistic looking in the least, even if there ever WAS a va-jay-jay that big.

Even though the snake has over 200 pounds of a bad actor in it, it wants that sweet, sweet Latino ass. So it goes after Lopez. Ice tries to lure it away but she keeps shaking it and it wants her.

Oy I'm farklempt. I need a moment - talk amongst yourselves. The Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire - discuss... (sorry Mike Myers)

Okay, I'm better now. Lopez hides - but her hiding place is the playpen of the: Baby Snakes; Late at night is when they come out; Baby Snakes; Sure you know what I'm talkin' about; Pink 'n' wet; They make the best kinda pet. <sorry Zappa>

Okay, the hubby and I needed a break for more than a minute this time. See, when the BIIIIIG snake comes through the wall to get Lopez it makes room by... umm by... uh... oh hell, YOU watch this part...

What the hell is up with this movie and right eyes? And why is he drippings with goo? <sorry Ghostbusters 2>

Also his face is melting like the Nazis at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark (see, I knew I'd get a Nazi reference in there somewhere). I need to stop and grab a tube because now the hubby can't breathe and I have to cut a hole in his neck before he passes out, hold on a second... and I guarantee he won't bleed near as badly as Stoltz seems to...

Okay, after five minutes or so, the hubby recovered enough oxygen to swear he could get through the rest of the movie - so I started it. One-eyed goopy Serone was still on the screen but our composure was back - until the corpse winked with the one eye he had left (Get it? Left?). So this big snake definitely has a thing for right eyes. Remember folks - if you visit the Amazon, wear a patch over your right eye and you should be fine...

Hmm? The snake? Oh they blew it up with gasoline they found in the building, using a fire hose as a wick because everybody knows that fire hoses are the most flammable material in the world, right? Right?

Epilogue: Lopez and Ice survive and so does Stoltz (who now has an occlusive bandage on like he should have had in the first place) and not a spot of blood on him anywhere. His shirt, unbuttoned, also has on the right a small square pocket with the obvious ring of a condom in it. That's classy.

Suddenly we see the BIIIIG payoff - the elusive Shirishama tribe they've been trying to find casually paddle their way towards the smashed up boat. How sweet. How insensitive. How convenient. Saaaaaay, didn't they describe how to find the tribe in the middle of the movie? Yes. Yes they did. It involved climbing the waterfall, going along until they found a huge wall, walk to the end and maybe there might be Shirishama people there. Huh. Oh well, you want the movie to end, don't you? So shut up.

But the Shirishama people are cannibals, so guess what's for dinner?

Nah, just kidding, but that would have been cool, huh?