Plot: Murdoch (John Rhys-Davies) is still alive, but time is not on his side and he could be in his final week of life. He was motivated before to rush into the blood orchid research to find a potential cancer cure, but now he is desperate and whatever ethics he once had have gone out the window. But he isn’t alone in his quest for the blood orchids, as his former researcher Amanda (Crystal Allen) has abandoned his side and seeks to block his efforts to harness the power of the flowers. Now Murdoch’s mercenaries are in a race against Amanda and her crew to secure the blood orchids and the anacondas that are connected to the flower’s incredible gifts.
Entertainment Value: This fourth Anaconda installment was filmed back to back with Anaconda 3, but the two movies take much different approaches to the anaconda formula. The previous film took a b movie inspired, over the top tactic, focused on snake attacks and David Hasselhoff one liners, but Trail of Blood opts for an action cheese fest, with dampened animal attack elements. So expect a lot of low rent jungle warfare scenes, complete with gun battles, explosions, and mercenaries galore, rather than a stalk and swallow snake massacre. The action sequences are passable, but not the kind of spectacle or outlandish set pieces that would make sense here, just basic, serviceable stuff at best. I would have much rather had more anaconda attacks, rather than bland action scenes. The snakes are still around and make some fun appearances, but feel like an afterthought, rather than the rightful focus. A few bright spots of b movie fun creep in as well, but not enough and Trail of Blood winds up as rather dull, thanks to the shifts in approach. If you’re a dedicated fan of the series or when animals attack cinema, you might get some fun here, but keep your expectations low.
No nakedness. There’s no time for romance between the shootouts and snake attacks, so the lack of sleaze makes sense. The movie does have some bloodshed, with some mild gunshot wounds and of course, the anaconda assaults. The snakes rip someone in half, put the squeeze on folks, chomp on heads, and general snake related violence. There’s also stab wounds and one of the movie’s best moments, when an idiot is killed by his own grenade. That scene is hilarious and I wish Trail of Blood had more like it, as that is pure b movie magic. The dialogue isn’t that memorable, but John Rhys-Davies has some nice exchanges and Linden Ashby has a humorous line or two. I think Ashby was a wise casting choice, but I wish the movie would have let him loose more, both in the action scenes and with some sharper lines. The film’s craziness is rather low, but the mild b movie vibes help and the grenade mishap scene is a classic, enough to push up the score by an entire point.
Overall Insanity: 2/10
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