Picking up where "Anaconda 3" left off, "Anacondas: Trail of Blood" is another dreadful CGI monster movie, with occasional amusing distractions. The major distraction is the sheer number of characters. There are at least four groups of mutually disagreeable people roaming in the woods, all serving to either senselessly bloat the film's running time or serve as snake chow. The film opens with a mad scientist making a serum from blood orchids (see "Anaconda 3") that will make snakes regenerate when injured, and will somehow cure rich but evil mogul Murdoch's (John Rhys-Davies) bone cancer. (Right.) Murdoch wants that serum, and dispatches a Romanian hit man and his team to kill the researcher and if necessary his lovely assistant, Amanda (Crystal Allen, who looks better than most people in fatigues.)
This sets into motion the primary motive factor of the film: walking around in the woods. The snake is rarely seen, and when it is, it is hilarious. I especially like the long-focus silhouette shots of it eating bad guys. Amanda meets Alex (Calin Stanciu,) a student paleontologist who is also independently walking around in the woods near Bucharest. Alex is perhaps the character I sympathize most with in the film, and as his reward he comes away unscathed at the end. Next up a wholly loathsome group of anthropology researchers are on a field trip for business and pleasure. You will know you can't tolerate them as soon as the worst car dancing scene in history ("I am a slave to rhythm.") unveils itself. You will literally be counting the minutes until they meet the snake. It takes longer than you think. While Amanda is trying to blow up a secret greenhouse, the anthropologists make a grisly discovery at a camp. Since there were gruesome killings at the camp, they just decide to hang out there. Crystal explains a lot in flashbacks and in contrived exposition, while over in the anthropologist camp there is a spider bite requiring emergency surgery. Oh the dramatic loose ends!
Meanwhile Alex has lost his keys, and decided to spend the night in his car: in short order we learn that Crystal Allen is apparently also a stunt driver, that giant snakes scream like little girls, and that the best way to avoid a super-fast predator is to run out of protective buildings and into open fields. Disparate groups fleeing the serpent join up and then split up for seemingly no reason; the accents of the local actors really get difficult to understand, especially when they are screaming, so you know it's exciting! Great leaps of logic occur with startling frequency. Question: if you are holding a machine gun, and a giant snake is slithering towards you, do you fire at the snake in an attempt to kill or injure it, or do you fire wildly into the air, aiming at nothing to allow the snake the best possible chance to eat you whole? Obviously, you fire into the air.
Eventually everybody winds up together in the camp, and Crystal won't give up the serum until the goons threaten Alex, so she agrees to go get it for them. This involves a lot of amusing subplots including a secret compartment in a bedroom floor, a hilarious and awkward kiss distraction, a pointless grenade suicide, and even a scene which harkens back to "Jaws" as its muse. There's quite incredible gunplay in a tent, Murdoch's short-lived cure, and fisticuffs aplenty. There's self-sacrifice, a ludicrous floral coda, and action ending, with lots of people proving that you can get shot and get right back up as if nothing happened. I will not reveal the totally gratuitous conclusion that actually makes the title technically correct and invites yet another sequel, but I hope that Amanda retires and teaches botanical herpetology at a local community college somewhere, because they need someone with real world experience.
Sure, "Anacondas: Trail of Blood" is bad, but did you expect otherwise? The CGI is lamentable, the acting terrible, the premise and meandering disjointed plot are not focused, but there are moments of over-the-top camp value that fans of cinematic cheese will appreciate if they are in the mood.