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Still shot from the movie: Anaconda.


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Overall: C+
Violence: D
Sexual Content: C+
Language: D+
Drugs/Alcohol: --
Run Time: 89
Theater Release: 11 Apr 1997
Video Release:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Budding filmmakers itching to make their own Creature Feature should view Anaconda as a modern lesson in overused monster movie techniques. First, pick an enemy that half of your potential audience is already going to be terrified of -- for example a snake. As even a garter snake will send some people ducking under the theater seat, something like an anaconda, the second largest snake in the world, should do just fine.

Next you need a big cast so the snake has something to chew on. Preferably you want a mixture of personalities, especially the ones snakes like to eat, and just a few that won't make good snake bait. (I'll let you decide which is which.) Try the tough but logical female, and her almost as tough boyfriend. Definitely a voluptuous female with her boyfriend, and a stuck up nose-in-the-air type with a British accent. Finally, the villain -- in this case the classic Jon Voight doing his best evil guy accent. Now put everyone in a confined area--how about a raft on a tropical river? With these ingredients, the basic monster movie requirements are fulfilled, and you're sure to have some satisfied snakes in the end.

This is the type of film that teens are just dying to rent for a late night party, but parents should slither into the video shop to check it out first. This movie fits the PG-13 category like an anaconda in a shoe box and reaches the limits for language and violence in this rating classification. There is also a brief sexual interlude in the dark of the jungle that is interrupted by the usual, ?Did you hear that!??

Critics still debate whether this was supposed to be a campy, obviously silly movie, or if it was a serious project gone wrong. In either event, I didn't find it funny or particularly frightening. Huge foreshadowing clues warn of every turn in the plot, leaving a film that's heavy on violence and language but light on intelligent ideas that keep you on the edge of your seat.

Anaconda is rated PG-13: for intense adventure violence, and for brief language and sensuality.

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight
Studio: (pictures (c)1997 Columbia Pictures)

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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