Netflix Losing The Best ’90s Horror Creature Blockbuster, Stream Before It’s Gone

By TeeJay Small | Updated

If you grew up watching the SyFy channel as a kid, you’ve likely witnessed your fair share of low budget creature features. One of the undisputed greatest films of all time within this genre is 1997’s Anaconda, which took the scale and excitement of Jaws and applied it to massive rainforest snakes in place of a furious shark. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of checking this film out, or are just desperately overdue for a rewatch, you can stream Anaconda on Netflix, though the film is on pace to leave the streaming library as of July 31.



Anaconda was written by Komodo scribe Hans Bauer, in collaboration with the screenwriting duo of Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr., who are best known for co-writing the over-the-top 80s action classic Top Gun. The film was directed by Luis Llosa, and stars Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Danny Trejo, and legendary rapper Ice Cube. Iconic Scooby-Doo and Megatron voice actor Frank Welker also lends his voice to the film, providing the grumbling roar of the eponymous snake.

Doomed From The Start

Anaconda 1997

As you can likely imagine, Anaconda centers on a massive snake as it terrorizes a documentary film crew cruising through the Amazon River on a small boat. The crew is led by a passionate anthropologist named Steven Cale, who believes he can use the film to educate the public about the long-extinct Shirishamas tribe who once lived along the river.

After enlisting the assistance of a Paraguayan snake hunter named Paul Serone, the crew quickly learn that Serone’s intentions are far from altruistic, as he intends to commandeer their vessel and use it to hunt and capture a record-breaking green anaconda for sale on the black market.

Campy Creature Feature

jennifer lopez anaconda

Much to the chagrin of everyone involved, nature had other plans for the 25-foot-long snake, as the creature begins systemically hunting down and slaughtering each member of the crew, while smashing up the boat along the way.

The result is a Jaws-style creature feature combined with the slasher elements of A Nightmare on Elm Street. There’s no need to dive into spoiler territory for Anaconda here, but suffice is to say, the film packs a dark, twisted, and sometimes campy punch, which will surely leave you on the edge of your seat.

A Cult Classic “Stinker”

Anaconda 1997

Despite the film’s status as something of a cult classic, Anaconda received exceptionally poor reviews upon release. The film clearly isn’t trying to be a high-brow Pulitzer Prize contender, and pays off its premise well, but offers little substance to the elite film critics who believe that every movie should have the writing merit of Citizen Kane. In fact, Anaconda received such poor reviews that the film was actually nominated for over a dozen Golden Raspberry Awards, and took home two ‘Stinkers’ Bad Movie Awards.

Stream Anaconda On Netflix While You Still Can

Anaconda 1997


Even with the negative reviews, I personally think Anaconda is a blast, and not just because I permanently burned it into my brain by watching it on VHS roughly 650 times throughout my childhood. If you’re interested in checking out Anaconda today, the film is streaming on Netflix until July 31. To hear more about Anaconda, check out the official breakdown on the GenreVision podcast.