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Film / Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

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Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid is a 2004 horror film and the first sequel to Anaconda.

A research team is assembled to go to the Indonesian island Borneo, which contains a rare flower only found in that one location on earth: the blood orchid. It is theorized to contain a chemical that can be used for biological immortality, but the orchid only blooms once every 7 years. They make a deal with a local boat owner and set out into the jungle mainland before they crash their boat off a waterfall. As they try to get back to civilization the area they're traveling through turns out to be crawling with dozens of gigantic anacondas: it's mating season.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Camp Ruins: The group stumbles onto a tribal village after wading through the anaconda-infested swamps for days on end. Unfortunately, it's abandoned, with the strong implication that the natives were all eaten by the large number of snakes that arrived in the area very recently.
  • Actually, That's My Assistant: Tran is mistaken for Bill the captain at first (although it’s somewhat justified since they were looking for a “Jinn-Soo”, the local corruption of Bill’s last name).
  • Agony of the Feet: Gordon has some raw-looking blisters due to hiking through the jungle in wet boots without socks for most of the day.
  • Asshole Victim: Jack, in a Karmic Death to boot.
  • And I Must Scream: Such a fate is suffered by Gordon, only in this case, he gets bitten by a spider whose venom will paralyze him completely for two days, outside of breathing and retaining consciousness. He gets discovered but is obviously unable to communicate his situation and then gets swallowed alive by one of the snakes. Being digested alive soon becomes the least of his worries as the other characters then burn down the hut that the snake is in, presumably roasting it, and him, alive.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: The pet monkey often gets these, including looking nervous as a character is given CPR.
  • Big Bad: Jack is exposed as this by the end of the film. His position as the team leader and his determination to find the blood orchid, even at the expense of his colleagues, makes him responsible for every death in the film.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Gloriously subverted when Cole, the whiny, scared, "we never should have come here" black guy is one of the four people to survive to the end. And all of his complaints were actually valid (and typically considered valid by non Idiot Ball holders), if ignored. Gordon does get killed, but he's nowhere near the first.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The stone spider is shown in one scene, where it's pointed out how strong its paralyzing toxin is, but they put it in a jar instead of squishing it. Jack take it as a potential source of anesthetic and later uses it against Gordon when he goes bad, and during the climax another rock spider later paralyzes him in turn.
    • One camper who's been carrying a too-large backpack as it come in handy when a snake tries to grab him from behind and its mouth gets stuck on the pack. He's totally unhurt.
  • Commander Contrarian: Gail has a lot of insight and ideas about the orchid and the potential problems with it and is repeatedly stating her opinion that they won’t find anything worthwhile.
  • Death by Mocking: Played straight and subverted.
    • The characters are wading through a river. Ben keeps humming the Jaws theme. A girl keeps telling him to stop (instead of just punching him in the face). He's one of the first victims.
    • Subverted later when another character is taunting a freshly killed anaconda snake, only to be grabbed by another. Unlike the previous victim, the other characters manage to save him from death at the last minute.
  • Doomed Hurt Guy: Gordon gets bitten and paralyzed by a spider that Jack throws onto him to prevent him from calling off the expedition. Sam discovers him in time to alert the others but while they're busy confronting Jack about this instead of trying to get Gordon some help, an anaconda happens upon Gordon and devours him whole. Just for good measure, if he hadn't gotten those nasty blisters that forced him to rest his feet while the others were occupied, Jack wouldn't have been able to get him alone.
  • Dulcinea Effect: When Gail gets attacked by a crocodile, rather than grabbing a rifle, Bill simply jumps into the water and starts wrestling the crocodile with a knife. Lampshaded.
    Sam: That is either the bravest or the stupidest thing I've ever seen.
    Bill: It's a fine line.
  • Eaten Alive: Gordon's unfortunate fate, after he's paralyzed by Jack with the spider, and an anaconda happens upon him. For his own, Jack's implied to suffer a similar fate. Notably, anacondas don't do this in real life, as they've been observed to sense a prey's heartbeat when constricting, and don't actually consume it until they feel it stop.
  • Evil Brit: Jack is the only one to turn Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist in the search for the rare and immensely valuable blood orchid, willfully sacrificing his colleagues to do so.
  • Flare Gun: Used by Cole to kill one of the largest anacondas at the end, which in turns sets up a massive explosion incinerating most of the anaconda ball.
  • Flower from the Mountaintop: A science team travels to the jungle of Borneo to collect the blood orchid, a rare flower that possesses the key to longevity. However, it's located deep within giant snake-invested territory.
  • Glass Cannon: The anacondas are noticeably not as durable as they were in the last film. They can still easily kill anything that they manage to get in their coils, but whereas one of the anacondas from the first movie can take several axe blows to the head (after being set ablaze), the anacondas here are easily beheaded by a machete and their skulls are effortlessly pierced by a bowie knife.
  • The Great Serpent: Due to exposure to the blood orchid, the snakes in this movie reach enormous sizes.
  • Honest Corporate Executive:
    • Gail is quick to say that she's worked hard to get where she is and is skeptical about the supposed immortality bringing drugs in the first place, pointing out that they've yet to stand the test of human trials.
    • Ultimately subverted (although not in a major way) with Gordon, he is a major pusher for continuing after the orchid but also indicates that any drugs from the orchid could/should be sold for affordable prices (if only because it will be in high enough demand to afford it). He's a bit of a Jerkass though and somewhat suggests selling any new anesthetic derived form the spider to the highest bidder rather than turn it back over to their company.
  • Just Desserts: Jack eventually becomes a villain when he considers the lives of his colleagues worth sacrificing to get the Blood Orchid. He gets bitten by the paralyzing spider that he had previously used on somebody else and falls into the Anaconda mating ball, becoming snake chow.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: The search for the blood orchid flower, the chemicals of which could yield the attainment of biological immortality.
  • Hazardous Water: Naturally, given water is an anaconda's natural habitat and the only thing that allows it to support its weight while moving. The first death occurs as the characters cross a waterway and another occurs underwater in a flooded cave.
  • Hired for Their Looks: Gail implies that she thinks this of Sam. It’s later shown that Jack does in fact want to have a relationship with Sam (while assuring her that she was brought along for her scientific credentials) but she repeatedly turns him down.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jack gets bitten by his own paralyzing spider, falling into the snake pit and getting eaten. Considering this is exactly how he caused Gordon's demise, it crosses over into Laser Guided Karmic Death territory.
  • Idiot Ball: Continuing with the mission once they realize what's going on subverted by Jack stealing the boats to strand them there.
  • Immortality Inducer: The namesake McGuffin the Blood Orchid. So-called because of its blood-red color, its regenerative properties greatly extend the lifespan of animals that feed on it. Because the predatory anacondas in turn feed on those herbivores, they inadvertently consume the same chemicals, and since reptiles continue growing into adulthood...
  • Inevitable Waterfall: The boat somehow manages to go over a waterfall while heading up the river.
  • Instant Leech: Just Fall in Water!: While the crew are wading through the marshes of the Indonesian jungle, Bill notices a leech on the neck of Cole and uses a lighter to kill it. When they lift up his shirt they find that his entire back is covered with dozens of leeches, so they spent the next hour or so removing them one by one.
  • It's All My Fault: Bill openly says that he’s the one who should get blamed for Ben getting killed and the boat wrecking because they stayed on the river after Jack bribed him. saying it was his kill.
  • Karmic Death: Jack dies the same way he kills Gordon: being bit by a spider whose venom paralyzes him, causing him to be eaten alive.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Gordon is initially for continuing on with the expedition despite what they've encountered but changes his tune once they find out there's multiple anacondas out there.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Though not to the same extent as the first movie, the anacondas are still much faster on land than their bulk would allow.
  • MacGuffin: The expedition to Borneo is to find the blood orchid, a rare flower that holds the key to eternal life. The next two Direct to Video films revolve around the Umbrella Corporation-style efforts of the biotech company to get access to the blood orchid come hell or high water.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: This movie has anacondas in Borneo and not one of the experts makes any attempt to point this out. Bill, in fact, treats this as if they're a naturally occurring species when it would have been more plausible to say they were smuggled into the country via illegal pet trading, got loose, and displaced the native python species as the top predator. . As made clear in the first movie, their home territory is the Amazon jungle and various swamps in Brazil, half a world away. There's also a South American howler monkey in the opening scene, despite it also featuring an Asian tiger. One wonders if the filmmakers changed the locale halfway through the production because they couldn't get a trained jaguar to shoot that scene.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: After Gail accidentally falls into the water, she is attacked by a crocodile. Bill dives in to rescue her and kills the thing with his knife.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Used often in the first half of the movie, where our view of the snakes are limited to either quick, unclear glimpses, or quick shots of coils underwater. We don't actually see a snake clearly until one attacks Ben.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jack ends up finding the possibility of human lifespan extension well worth sacrificing the lives of his colleagues...but this only ever comes up when he needs to convince others to side with him, when he doesn't, he only talks about the fame and money the discovery will bring, making it clear he's a Glory Hound..
  • Off with His Head!: At one point, Sam despatches an anaconda by slashing clean through its neck with a machete, instantly decapitating it.
  • Only in It for the Money: Mitchell and Gail clearly only got dollar signs in their heads in regards to their expedition to find the orchid. However, unlike Jack and his For Science! reasons, after enduring wave and wave of misfortunes, they wisely decided the unimaginable profits they could potential reap was no longer worth their lives.
  • Police Are Useless: When the expedition loses their boat to an Inevitable Waterfall, Gail suggests using their satellite phone to call the police. Tran explains that the nearest river patrol is back in the village they left several days ago, and would have to somehow travel safely across the same waterfall to reach them.
  • Perma-Stubble: Bill retains his five o'clock shadow throughout the entire movie.
  • Save the Villain: In spite of everything Jack has done up to that point, during the climax Bill extends a hand and tries to help him get out of the snake pit. Jack tries to reach for it, but can't move because of the paralyzing spider bite he received.
  • Serpent of Immortality: The main characters are seeking a flower, the Blood Orchid, which contains chemicals that can prolong life when eaten. However, the anacondas in the area have been feeding on animals which fed on the flower, and as reptiles don't stop growing, the jungle is now packed with very large, very old snakes that have gathered for the mating season.
  • Snake Pit: Possibly the scariest version to date—a snake pit completely filled with giant anacondas, all huddled together in a giant mating ball. And the MacGuffin just so happens to be right above the pit, so the main characters have to crawl across a slippery tree trunk to get there.
  • Stronger with Age: The movie uses this to justify Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: the titular snakes are stated to keep growing for their entire life, thus ones that consume blood orchids — flowers that can prevent aging — can grow to be much bigger than normal.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Played with. The jungle expert notes that there's no way a single anaconda, even a giant one, is going to pursue the others after already eating one of them. However, the film justifies the trope by explicitly featuring a large group of hungry snakes who are all in the same area because of a mating season and the humans simply cannot avoid running into them. The traveling male snakes are hyper-aggressive for the same reason.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Bill kills one of the giant snakes and saves Cole from being eaten in the process by throwing his bowie knife at its head for an insta-kill.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: The movie is set in Borneo.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Cole is terrified of everything, sure he'll die and pure comedic relief. He is one of the four survivors, and more often than not, his fears aren't unfounded.