One of the slithering, genetically enhanced anaconda offspring has regenerated to live on in this next action-packed chapter of the Anaconda series. The dying mogul, Murdoch, hires a doctor to harvest a fresh supply of blood orchids and experiment with the regenerative nectar on a baby snake. Overnight, the offspring grows monstrous enough in size and appetite to devour the good doctor whole, before slithering free on a regenerative rampage. The beautiful herpetologist, Amanda, dedicated to destroying the vicious beasts she helped create, leads a team of young scientists against a ruthless pack of Murdoch's armed thugs to get the coveted orchids before the snake hunts both factions down. The bloodthirsty offspring is seemingly invincible, sliding through explosions and gunfire only to regenerate and prey insatiably on anything in its path.
I suppose there's a home video market large enough to fuel the demand of having such movies made, the umpteenth film of a franchise that has been milked way past its expiry date. Being shot back to back with Anaconda III, at least that version had an 80s hero in David Hasselhoff, but we all would know what had happened when you don't see his name in the credits over here.
This time, we have the female protagonist in Amanda (Crystal Allen) whom we already got acquainted with in Part III, doing her best Lara Croft impersonation with tank top and two handguns holstered at the thigh as she goes about looking for a rogue scientist, and to destroy any remnants of the Blood Orchid and its serum, which has been the root cause of the larger than life CGI snakes. Not too bad a career change for the once herpetologist who has seen the evil ways of her ex-employer Murdoch (John Rhys-Davies), and now seek to oppose him.
For fans (if there are any) of the franchise, then you would already know about the rumoured potency of the blood orchid serum being linked to fountain-of-youth like abilities. Enemies come more in the form of human mercenaries whom Murdoch employs, rather than the big snake itself, who seem more like a distraction and a great leveler between the forces of good and evil here.
With any monster film, the more anonymous folks presented, the better, and we get a group of archaeologists thrown in for good body-count measure. You don't really care much about the supporting characters here because they serve only one purpose, and one purpose only - getting annihilated, only that this time round, in order to save on CG work, deaths by humans seem to be the modus operandi, but that's not to say that you'll get too shortchanged in not witnessing how the Anaconda gets to utilize its strength and fangs.
It's modestly budgeted so do forgive the snake looking really artificial, or that it seemed to only move in one pre-determined manner and along the same route only. And that aside, there's plenty of continuity goofs abound, so if you're pretty bored with the narrative, you can keep you eyes peeled for the next unintentional blooper that will jump right at your face. I'm not too sure about how much quality control here, but those obvious and poorly done blue/green screen superimposition does get on your nerves once in a while.
Bottom line is, pick this up only if you are absolutely clueless about knowing how to better utilize your time.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The only features on this DVD are trailers, so unless you enjoy preview after preview of films that are hitting the home video market, and some of them red band ones too, there's a huge, and I mean huge, selection to choose from, such as those which autoplay when the disc is popped into the player - The Devil's Tomb, Blood The Last Vampire, The Art of War III: Retribution, and those that don't, such as Messengers 2: The Scarecrow, The Grudge 3, REC, Vinyan, The Pocket Club, The Firth Commandment (this one looks not too bad actually), Anaconda 1 to 3, animated films such as The Sky Crawlers and Waltz with Bashir, a trailer for the entire TV series of The Shield, and a website (Fearnet.com) too!
For a straight to DVD release, the quality visuals aren't scrimped upon and gets a decent presentation in anamorphic widescreen format. Audio wise, this film plays on the surprise element of the huge serpent trying to creep up on you, so that 5.1 Dolby Digital sound will prove useful for total immersion, but I guess the novelty wears out after way too many repetitions of the same tactic.
by Stefan Shih
Posted on 31 May 2009