Anaconda 3: Offspring (2008)

Anaconda III: Offspring (2008)

They can smell your fear

In a secret research facility, two giant snakes are being bred by a brilliant scientist. But when the wealthy financier behind the experiments pushes the snakes too far, they escape from the facility, hungry, heading for civilisation and expecting a litter. Ruthless snake hunter and mercenary, Hammett, is hired to track the snakes down before it’s too late.

 

The second sequel to the modestly successful (and let’s face it, mildly entertaining) Anaconda sees The Hoff himself, David Hasselhoff, pitted against a deadly CGI snake duo. It’s a major comedown after watching Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Jon Voight tussle with the snake back in 1997 but eleven years later, who really cares? The film series has been confined to the straight-to-TV basement bin and rightfully so. It’s not like we haven’t seen this thing recently (Python, King Cobra, er…Boa Vs Python, etc) and there’s only so much originality a giant snake flick can have. The Sci-Fi Channel has resurrected this series for financial gain as it has nothing to do with the earlier two films and could have been just another snake film had it not been slapped with the Anaconda moniker. Damn them and their endless supply of cheap killer animal flicks!

The film follows the standard ‘killer animal escapes remote science lab’ plot to the wire. We’re shown the security measures at the facility, only for them to be broken moments later. We’re shown plenty of security guards and personnel standing around in non-speaking parts only to be fed to the creatures when they escape. We are told plenty of facts about the snakes to make them appear more threatening and intelligent than they really are. Then as soon as the snakes are free we’re given numerous token characters to throw into danger. If you’ve seen one of these killer snake films, then you’ve seen them all. And if you haven’t seen one, then please don’t start!

The snakes look really bad. It’s almost as though CGI is getting progressively worse when it should be getting better. The snakes stick out like a sore thumb from the undergrowth they are supposed to be hiding it. Weather, lighting and natural conditions seem to have no affect on these snakes as they are exactly the same colour and shape every time you see them – sort of like a shiny piece of piping. They can strike from anywhere without the slightest rustle of a bush or breaking or a branch. This flick also has the unfortunate tendency to use CGI gore effects instead of a bit of make-up and corn syrup. I guess that has something to do with the snakes deciding to bite people’s heads off instead of crushing them to death, like anacondas are supposed to do. It does manage to eat a few people whole including an unlucky farmer who goes into his barn to investigate a noise, knocks himself out cold and then wakes up to find himself half in the snake’s mouth.

Whether you love him or hate him, Hasselhoff does have a massive fan base and its cheesy films like this that cement his ultimate B-grade celebrity status. He’s not the greatest actor alive but he’s entertaining enough in his roles be it charming the pants off a hot chick or trading punches with someone. Surprisingly, he’s not actually that bad here and his whole persona fits the mercenary role of Hammett to a tee. He hams it up and overacts but why not? He knows the film is just a pay cheque and at least it gives the viewer a few chuckles and cringes along the way. He doesn’t have a lot to do in the film though so it’s a criminal waste of his ‘talents.’

John Rhys-Davies has a small role as the financier who causes the snakes to escape. He could have played the role in his sleep such is its complexity. All he needs to do is remind everyone of how much money the project is costing, that he wants results and that he wants everything covered up when the snakes get out. I keep forgetting that he was Gimli in the Lord of the Rings trilogy so why the hell he’s returned to these cheap schlock sci-fi horrors is beyond me. Crystal Allen does her ‘hot blonde scientist in a tight white tank top’ thing to perfection which had me hooked. It’s a pity that the film just wastes her character with sloppy interaction with Hasselhoff’s mercenary.

 

Even giant snakes know not to Hassle the Hoff. It’s a sad state of affairs to claim that the Hoff is the best part of your film but that’s the only claim to fame that Anaconda 3: The Offspring is going to get. It’s arguably one of the Sci-Fi Channel’s better killer monster flicks but that’s like saying you’d rather kiss a turd than drink wee. Either way you’re screwed.

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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