Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

My initial plan was to watch ‘Anaconda 3’ and follow that up, double feature style, with this movie ‘Anaconda 4’ all on the same night. Well after forcing myself to sit through ‘Anaconda 3’ there was no way in hell that I was going to subject myself to that level abuse twice in the same night so I had to decompress a little, regather my faculties and work up the courage to watch the fourth in the Anaconda series. On an unrelated note did you realize that ‘regather’ isn’t a legitimate word? Just learned that. As it turns out ‘Anaconda 4: Trail of Blood’ is better than ‘Anaconda 3’, in the sense that drowning to death is better than being burned to death, but better is better isn’t it?

Last time we saw our heroine Dr. Amanda she was kung-fuing the shit out David Hasselhoff and destroying all evidence of her ill conceived research on snakes and that mysterious blood orchid. Also we saw Peter, a rogue scientist working for the evil and dying Mr. Murdoch (John Rhys-Davies), who stole one of those surviving baby snakes to continue these ill advised experiments.

Now Dr. Amanda has traded in her tight white tank top and ill fitting khaki’s from the last movie for a tight black tank top and ill fitting army greens as she stalks the forests of northern Europe trying to find Peter, destroy his research and hopefully take out a snake or two in the process. Meanwhile, Murdoch fearing that Peter has solved the blood orchid problem and may have taken his findings to another higher bidder, has hired some evil mercenary dude to kill Peter, grab his research and if he happens to stumble across Amanda, kill her as well. Though he doesn’t know this yet, killing Peter will not be necessary as Peter kept a super strong, super large, super pissed off Anaconda with the ability to regenerate its missing head caged in the equivalent of a wet paper bag which of course led to its escape and Peters quick and timely demise.

Since we don’t have nearly enough people to die in this flick as of yet, a team of tasty paleontologist or something led by Dr. Jackson (Linden Ashby) and some random dude named Alex (Colin Stanciu) are injected in the mix and now our death coffers are full. Now its time to run around in the woods for a while and get chased by a CGI snake of varying sizes AND try to avoid the evil mercenaries who seemed to be more than equipped to shoot humans in the back with ease, but can’t hit 80 foot snake that’s staring them dead square in the face. Outstanding.

The reason why I found this installment of the movie ‘better’ than the previous one is because at least this one had no ‘hunters’. You see my main problem with the last flick, a film that was filled with problems, is that the snake hunters didn’t hunt at all, they just ran around in the woods shooting anything that moved. So with no hunters to deal with and just regular folks and mercenaries hanging around, it made sense for people to run in the woods and shoot anything that moved. That’s what I would do. And though this isn’t necessarily a ‘better’ thing since it was in the last movie as well but Crystal Allen sure is fit. Not only her physical appearance which features a body that might consist of 3% body fat but she does a lot of running in this movie and not once does she seem to be tired or out of breath or exhausted even a little bit.

However the movie is still terrible. There are long stretches of this movie in which absolutely nothing happen as heroes just walk around the forest avoiding nothing since the snake is either sleeping or digesting or something. I just know its not chasing them. We won’t even get into how little sense this movie makes but I like the scene where the one character, in a glorious scene of chivalry, forced Amanda to keep running while he sacrificed himself to be eaten. Now that would’ve been admirable if the snake actually got full, which it doesn’t, and stopped for a little while to enjoy this meal but snake pretty much eats this idiot on the fly while still nipping at Amanda’s heels. I’m thinking that the actor playing this dude simply got tired of running since nobody in this movie was near as fit as Crystal Allen and told director Don E. Fauntleroy that they’re going to have to budget for another cheaply done snake eating scene.

We did miss David Hasselhoff from the first movie. Nothing but mad love for Linden Ashby who all things considered is probably a better actor than Hoff, but he’s not Hoff. And there was way less poorly done fake CGI blood and stuff in this one and sad to say it too was missed. Better to have bad special effects than no special effects combined with people running in the woods from nothing.

If you absolutely have to watch an ‘Anaconda’ movie that doesn’t have J-Lo or Morris Chestnut in it then I suppose this one is your best bet. I suppose. Personally I might give ‘Mega Snake’ a try before sampling either of these two.

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