31 Days of Guilty Pleasures – ‘Anaconda’

Jason McDonald

A few years ago I did a daily countdown to Halloween that featured some of my favorite scares from 31 different horror movies.  This year I’m bringing back the feature, but this time we’re taking a look at some of my favorite guilty pleasures.

There’s no rhyme or reason to how these movies are being listed, so the placement on the countdown doesn’t denote any sort of ranking.  Also, my definition of guilty pleasure is a movie that ranges from either being not very good to outright bad, but there’s something about it that still makes it endearing to watch.

Twenty one years ago a giant snake slithered into theaters and wrapped itself firmly around our hearts.  “Anaconda” was made by a Peruvian critic-turned-director named Luis Llosa whose previous American made films included such classics as “The Specialist” with Sylvester Stallone and “Fire on the Amazon” with Sandra Bullock.  Never heard of them? Neither have I, but you should totally check out the trailer for “The Specialist”, it looks incredible.

Given that Llosa was from South America and had done a few movies about the Amazon, he seemed like a natural fit for “Anaconda.”  However, the writers were a bit of a surprise as these were the guys that had written classics like “Top Gun”, “Turner & Hooch”, and “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.”

But let’s be honest, the reason “Anaconda” is so great isn’t purely because of the talent behind the film. No this movie featured a banging group of actors. You’ve got J. Lo, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Frank Welker (aka Megatron) as the ANACONDA.  That’s right they just got the talented Frank Welker to hiss and make weird sounds into a mic for a hour.  What an awesome career that guy has had.

There are a lot of great moments to be had in this movie, like the bit where Owen Wilson gets swallowed up by the snake and then we see a terrible CG rendition of him trapped in the stomach of the snake.

Anaconda Owen

However, what is easily the best part of the movie though is the final scene with Jon Voight.  So you’ve got crazy Jon Voight kidnapping J. Lo and Ice Cube all the way he’s trying to capture this giant anaconda by himself.  His plan nearly succeeds, but of course it fails at the last minute and Voight gets eaten up.  That’s the last we’ll see of him right? Check out the clip down below.

That’s right, this giant pissed off snake just projectile vomits Jon Voight all over Jennifer Lopez.  This has to be easily one of the best villain sign offs as this deformed half-melted Jon Voight gives J. Lo a hilarious wink before finally succumbing.  What an amazing character death.

“Anaconda” is a truly wonderful mix of strange talent that doesn’t make a good movie, but it results in something that is pretty damn memorable.  Check it out.



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