by: Dr. Boogie
You may remember a movie from a few years back called Anaconda. It was a movie about a giant snake, and the producers were able to bring in a handful of A-list actors to sell the whole thing. It was a pretty lousy movie, but it made a lot of money, so there was plenty of demand for a sequel. Unfortunately, the inherent crappiness of the film limited the level of star power the project could draw, from A-list down to "who?"
Even so, the sequel, which involved more anacondas and a bunch of rare flowers that could grant immortality, made money. Another sequel was on the horizon, and this time, the producers decided to save even more money by shooting yet another sequel back-to-back with the third film. It was a risky move, so the producers decided to bring in a low-end star: David Hasselhoff.
Hiring The Hoff worked because it sent a message to the film-going public: "Yes, we're making a horror movie, but we don't care how scary it is, and neither should you. You say there's no real tension in the movie? Hey, look, it's that guy from Baywatch! You say the characters are braindead losers, and our CGI snakes look awful? Hey, remember when he was eating that cheeseburger? Hilarious."
They want you to know that one way or another, you're going to enjoy Anaconda 3, a movie about David Hasselhoff hunting giant snakes in Romania.
We begin with a shot of a mercenary group stalking their way through a deciduous forest that the director would have us believe is a jungle. Hasselhoff is there, and so is a guy named "Peter". That's about all you need to know about this scene. They stumble around until a giant anaconda attacks them.
The first thing it does is vomit blood into Peter's face. This kind of confuses Peter, but doesn't do much else. He stumbles around, and the rest of the group starts frantically shooting at the snake. This goes on for a little while, and then Peter runs into a tree and passes out.
He awakes sometime later to find that the rest of the group, except for Hasselhoff's character, Hammett, are gone. Hammett taunts him, then wanders off, leaving Peter to gawk at the freshly-slain anaconda.
Astonished by the sheer size of the beast, Peter can only remark, "God help us all." And... scene.
What was the point of that? Who are these people, and why were they shooting at a giant anaconda? The answer to these questions is simple: we don't know. None of what just happened plays any part in the rest of the movie. The only real reason the scene exists is to show you a couple minutes of Hammett before he disappears.
You see, when I said that Hasselhoff "stars" in this movie, what I really meant was that he's in a little over half the movie. In all fairness, though, it's the best half. Which should give you some idea of what kind of movie you're in for.
"Hey heeeeey, come out and play!"
As the opening credits roll, we're treated to some shots of scientific stuff happening, along with footage of a woman exercising in a forest. It's a good representation of the film: a little bit of superficial science, and a little bit of running around the woods. Stay tuned!
After a few seconds of this, we're introduced to Mr. Murdoch, the CEO of Wexel Hall Pharmaceuticals who looks an awful lot like John Rhys-Davies. He's put on his finest ascot so that he'll look good while touring a lab that his company is running. The wormy fellow on the right is Pinkus, the supervisor of said lab, and he's about to get an earful from Murdoch because a leak in the company has clued PETA into the animal testing that goes on in this formerly-secret lab.
As the tour continues, Murdoch meets up with Professor Kane, the head of research. Kane lets us in on what's going on in the lab: they've been trying to synthesis an immortality serum from the Blood Orchid. However, every kind of animal they've injected it into has died, with one exception. What animal is able to handle the serum? You guessed it: capybaras.
Oh, and they introduce some lab tech, Daryl, but we won't need to worry about him until he gets killed a few minutes from now.
The way the serum works on snakes is that it makes them, "bigger, faster, stronger, and a hell of a lot meaner." Kind of a step in the wrong direction when you're hoping for an immortality serum. Still, Murdoch said he wanted results. He didn't say what kind of results.
Kane is about to tell Murdoch more about the dangerous mutants they're creating when in walks the woman from the opening montage. Kane introduces her as Dr. Amanda Hayes, their resident herpetologist (she studies amphibians and snakes... and the sores on their lips). She has some complaints about the facility: they need bigger tanks, more security, and she'd like the holding cells for the giant snakes to be made out of a strong material. Like balsa wood.
She figures out that the reason Murdoch wants the serum so soon is because he's dying. She guesses that he has cancer based on a number of different symptoms, including "severe weight loss". Boy, is she right. I think he's down to almost 250 pounds.
Meanwhile, a bored Murdoch decides to annoy the killer mutant snake by shining a flashlight at it. Pinkus tries to tell him that flashlights are the anaconda's natural enemy, but it's too late. The severely-pissed snake starts pounding the windows of its holding area. The glass cracks immediately, but Pinkus assures him that everything is okay, and Murdoch believes him! I don't think this man is as scared of death as Hayes thought. Lab tech Daryl fills the snake's chamber with knockout gas, and the situation is back in hand.
Poor Daryl. That's what happens when you can't deliver your lines well enough to be in the rest of the movie.
So we're finally getting to the meat of things. The mutated anaconda, with a giant knife on its tail, has broken out. Kane puts the entire lab on lockdown and Hayes gives everyone a dartgun. Sure, an entire roomful of knockout gas wasn't enough to sedate it, but I have faith that a couple of tiny darts will do the trick.
Our main characters hole up in the control room, waiting for the snake to bust in and impale the lot of them. The noise dies down, and Kane suggests that the gas has finally taken effect. After all, it is strong enough to "knockout ten rhinos." Hayes, however, points out that it's only strong enough to knock those ten rhinos out for five minutes. That means they only have... fifty unconscious rhino minutes to evacuate! Pinkus takes Murdoch and escorts him out while Kane and Hayes go to check out the snake, which has got to be unconscious by now, right?
Hell no, it isn't. I didn't suffer through all that crappy exposition just to have things peter out after a couple minutes.
So there's a guard, and he hears something rattling around in a vent. He temporarily forgets that there's a giant killer snake on the loose and sticks his head inside to investigate.
The snake bites him so hard that he busts right through the plaster wall at the front of this fake-looking vent. Still, at least his corpse doesn't look as bad as the snake.
Meanwhile, Hayes and Kane are investigating the snake room, with gas masks to protect them from the airborne rhino sedative. All they find is Daryl's bloody corpse, so they look elsewhere.
Not only has the snake still conscious; it's on a veritable spree. It has already killed pretty much everyone else in the lab, and it knocked out the power somehow. Worse yet, Hayes believes the snake is on its way to the "queen". Do anacondas have queens?
They do when they're on the serum. The neatly-cut hole in the queen's cage coupled with the wrenched-open grate can mean only one thing: "he broke her out," Professor Kane explains. Really? Didn't the snake have to explode the entire window to get out of his pen? Did he steal some glass-cutting tools from the janitor?
All of the sudden, the male snake (the black one) bursts into the room and grabs Kane. Hayes quickly abandons her friend and hides just outside of the room while the snake is busy devouring him. Hey Dr. Hayes, you know that one-pound black thing in your hand? It's a gun, and you were the one who insisted that everybody take one. Why not use it?
Once she's sure the snake has killed her friend and left, Hayes reenters to room to examine Kane's headless corpse. Just prior to the snake attack, Hayes remarked, "this is all my fault." That wasn't your fault, Hayes. This is your fault.
Outside, Pinkus assures a furious Murdoch that he's brought in a team of trackers to recover the snakes. Their leader, Grozny, introduces himself, but Murdoch isn't in a talking mood. Before he drives out of the movie, Murdoch tells Pinkus to accompany the trackers and report to him hourly. Good idea. After all, he did so well running your giant snake lab.
Suddenly, we cut to some old B-roll of some Middle Eastern village. That's how the director signals that it's time to bring David Hasselhoff back into this movie.
There's still more of Anaconda 3 to see!
Click here to continue onward to page 2!
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