Sony // 2008 // 91 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 10th, 2008
"You follow my lead and I'll take you right up this snake's
-- David Hasselhoff
The only difference between this movie and every other low-budget mutant snake flick is the presence of David Hasselhoff. And yes, that might be enough...especially when he says things like, "I intend to get myself a nice new pair of anaconda snakeskin boots in the morning."
Do I even need to write anything in this space? You know how it goes down: Some well-intentioned, but ultimately misguided and incompetent scientists (seriously, build a giant snake containment vessel out of something stronger than safety glass) are working on a serum that may have the ability to cure cancer and for some reason that requires the foolhardy genetic manipulation of a gigantic anaconda.
Said anaconda promptly breaks out of its holding cell, eats a bunch of heads, and takes off into the great wide open, charting a course for civilization. On its trail: a scientist (Crystal Allen) who is -- get this -- brilliant, blonde, and clad in a form-hugging tank top that happens to get muddy; a squad of highly trained soldiers; and Hammett (Hasselhoff), a grizzled poacher with a flair for the non-sequitur.
Ugh. Stay far, far away. Anaconda 3: Offspring has exactly two things going for it -- the gore and The Hoff, both of which merely serve to bolster the film's so-stupid-you-can-laugh-at-it-with-your-dumbass-friends appeal.
I'll say this much: this thing puts its R-rating to good use. There is a lot of red stuff flying around and the record for most-heads-devoured-in-a-single-crappy-snake-movie is almost certainly smashed. That's the good news. The bad news? Most of the bloodshed is computer-generated and looks incredibly stupid. The very few practical effects -- a headless body spurting arterial spray, gaping chest wound make-up -- are decent, but just serve to further illuminate the half-assed visual effects.
Scenery-chewing and over-the-top as you'd expect, Hasselhoff is actually an inspired choice, lending what is otherwise a cookie-cutter reptilian horror outing a smidgen of personality. My favorite Hoff moment: when he's following the snake and boasting of his expert tracking skills to an underling, even though it's fairly obvious where his prey traveled, thanks to the giant swaths of grass pressed down in a strangely coincidental snake-like pattern.
No different from any other CGI-borne serpent you've ever seen in any SciFi original TV movie. Massive, purple, and fake-looking, this anaconda is about as fearsome as a Bounty commercial. Plot-wise, it's the typical game plan: big snake escapes, eats some fools, a group of elite soldiers who turn out to be not so elite are systematically slaughtered, and...well, there is one little twist to be unearthed, so I won't spoil it. But let me just say being deprived of seeing a semi-digested David Hasselhoff being vomited out of a huge snake's belly was a profound disappointment .
While the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Surround are both solid, there's something else you'll be deprived of seeing -- extras of any kind.
It's a sucky, killer CGI snake movie, but the laughable gore and Grade-A Hasselhoff action might be just enough for Anaconda 3: Offspring to sell five or six copies.
Still Guilty, though.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R