Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid might not be great cinema, but it does feature the most nightmarish death in the series. Dwight H. Little is one of the great, unsung journeyman directors of the horror and action genres. The name may not be familiar, but Little has some gems to his name, including Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers, Brandan Lee’s Rapid Fire, Marked For Death and Robert Englund’s oddity The Phantom of the Opera.
In recent years, Dwight H. Little has moved towards TV, directing episodes of Agents Of SHIELD or From Dusk Till Dawn. In 2004 he took the helm of Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, a sequel to the 1996 creature feature starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Owen Wilson. While that movie received largely bad reviews, it has remained a b-movie favorite and was a surprisingly big hit. The sequel has no real connection to the original film outside of seeing a group of characters – hunting for the mythical “Blood Orchid” flower in Borneo that is said to extend life – being hunted and eaten by giant snakes.
Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid is undemanding fun, though it’s hurt by a PG-13 rating and CGI anaconda snakes that don’t hold up well through modern eyes. The sequel takes somewhat ghoulish delight in making viewers squirm, such as the scene where a character pulls up their shirt to reveal an army of leeches stuck to their back. While the tone is fairly light and goofy, it does feature one fairly unpleasant kill. Around the midway point, Gordon (Morris Chestnut) is left paralyzed due to a poisonous spider bite; this is caused by the movie’s human villain wanting to stop him calling off the flower hunt. He’s then left alone in a hut, only to realize a giant anaconda is in there with him.
Adding to poor Gordon’s woes is that Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid’s lead character Sam (KaDee Strickland, The Grudge 2004) comes to check on him, unaware there’s a huge snake in the ceiling. Gordon is unable to move or talk due to the venom, so Sam rushes out to get help from the others, and Gordon is left staring into the eyes of the snake and is utterly helpless as it swallows him whole. The scene isn’t particularly gory – again, it’s PG-13 – but conceptually it’s quite unsettling.
Being paralyzed due to the spider’s bite is one thing, but being left alone with a man-eating snake and being unable to call for help – even when another character is right there – is another. While the original Anaconda had some gory deaths – including the infamous demise of Jon Voight’s hunter – Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid might top the list in terms of the most disturbing kill in the series.