The Crock Hunter

I am watching Animal Planet’s In Search of the Giant Anaconda with Austin Stevens.

bq. “Having tackled the most venomous snakes in Africa, Austin Stevens seeks out the largest and most powerful snake in the world. A snake which can weigh over 1,000 lbs, and measure 44 ” around. One of the few snakes in the world that actually preys on humans. Throwing a ‘death loop’ of coils around its hapless victim this monster is capable of literally crushing a man to death. Austin plans to photograph one of these feared beasts in its natural habitat. To do that he’ll need to wrestle it from the water. Austin is a black belt in Kung-Fu, but he has been undergoing additional training for this mission for the last twelve months, working on the amount of time he can stay underwater, and increasing his upper body strength. Now there is no turning back…”

The man has been doing “additional training” for Anaconda fighting?! Excellent.

Austin has just spotted a sleeping boa in a tree overhanging the river. I am on the edge of my seat here. Spinning back kick? Elbow strike? How is he going to take that thing out?!

After wrestling with the comatose boa for a minute or two he managed to hurl the both of them into the river below. I am not sure the boa ever woke up.

I, out of sympathy for the boa, actually fell asleep at this point. But I woke up in time to see the final anaconda confrontation. I think it was the dramatic music that woke me up. Yes, they scored his anaconda fight to music.

Before I describe this fiasco, can just I ask, if “Austin plans to photograph one of these feared beasts in its natural habitat” why in the hell does he “need to wrestle it from the water”?!

The anaconda was just swimming lazily when Austin leapt from the boat and tackled it. Not only was there dramatic music, but they actually had three or four of those stop-motion pan-around-the-action Matrix fight scene shots! I might have forgiven this idiocy if Austin had put that additional Kung Foo training into practice and used some kind of submission hold on the snake, but no, just more awkward flopping punctuated by stop motion “matrix shots”. Actually, I don’t think there is anything they could have done to make me forgive this. I stopped watching. Austin is a pathetic snake fighter, and the mighty anaconda looked mighty bored by the little man tugging on him. If I thought there was any chance the snake would have swallowed Austin whole (or that matrix-effect camera guy would be shot) the show might have kept my attention.

Who comes up with this crap? I am sure the producers initially wanted the snake to come at him with a gun in an alley, but were talked out of it by the staff herpetologist.


Producer: “OK, so the anaconda comes at him with a gun…”

Herpetologist: “Are you insane!?”

Producer: “OK then, a knife…”


The only way I will watch Austin on TV again is if there is a Crocodile Hunter special in which Steve Irwin has to photograph Austin “in his natural habitat”. Steve could ambush Austin as he walked to the mailbox. Leap out from the bushes, beat him into submission (I am really not worried about Austin’s Kung Foo after seeing it in action), hurl him into a stream and then photograph him.

That I would watch.

12 responses for The Crock Hunter

  1. Old Prof says:

    I feel like I have watched it. And I have this ineratic image in my mind of a sunset shot, with the quiet river and a one thousand two hundred and ten pound anaconda in an aluminum boat with its tail wrapped around the tiller, an old felt hat low on its head, gliding down the river with the wind in its face and Austin’s pipe clenched in its teeth(Smiling and sighing contentedly;the anaconda and I). Once again josh, Thank you.

  2. john says:

    This is so unfair – have you ever tried to capture an anaconda in it’s natural habitat? The training all leads to understanding the individual psyche of each snake, some need to be wrestled to the ground, some need to be given a forearm shiver to tell them just who is boss, and some need to be wined and dined.

    Austin clearly was utilizing his zen like mastery of wrestling the giant snakes. If you approach an Anaconda in such an inept manner it takes them off their guard and they are much more likely to submit to matrix like panning motions by camera-men. It’s well known in herptology circles that there is nothing more hated by giant Anaconda’s than the us of a matrix-effect – it completely sets them off. Austin was simply allowing his actions to take the Anaconda’s attention away from the camera man who would have been swallowed whole.

    By the way, in singapore we regularly saw pictures snakes that had swallowed someone in Malaysia – pictures of people’s legs sticking out of some snake —

  3. dave says:

    Its all so sad. This reminds me of a time I got so mad at this dude, named Brad, who was older and bigger than I. I attacked and attacked and he sauntered on his merry way shrugging me off with remarkable ease. The harder I tried the easier it was. He finally rolled his eyes, twisted my arm behind my back, and pushed me away. I can’t believe I’m telling you this. It’s all so sad, nay, pathetic. But I atleast have the benefit of knowing that it’s only on this blog and not on television, and this blog. I suppose I’m hoping that this purging will relieve me of my constant thirst in becoming the anaconda so to speak.

  4. dave says:

    Old Prof,

    I can see the glazed and distant look in the snakes eyes as Lorne Greene’s voice comes over: “Now the majestic giant has eaten enough and will spend many days digesting and perhaps letting his mind work weightier things. His cunniving instincts won’t lead to selfish decadence. He rolls up the river and basks in fresh memories of his victory over man, and the man’s folley, until he lays his pipe down and hunts again.

  5. That had me literally laughing out loud. (And when I say “literally,” I do not mean it in the sense of “figuratively.”)

  6. Nancy says:

    I really didn’t want to do this, but your post reminded me of the Southpark episode featuring “Steve Irwin.” It consisted of him attacking animals and sticking his thumb up their…well, butthole, just to irritate them. Does this fellow have an accent and make up silly words to make Americans think they all say them?

  7. andrew says:

    I was inspired by you to put 1997’s “Anaconda”, starring Jon Voight as a “ex-Jesuit turned insane snake hunter” (along with Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Eric Stoltz)who fights a gigantic anaconda, on my rental queue via netflix. i can’t wait!

  8. Kim says:

    Where is the “snake hunter” from anyways. And I agree, I wouldn’t watch him unless Steve was on his show to show him up!

  9. Trevor Hisanaga says:

    Hi Austin,

    My name is Trevor and I am 5 yrs old. I love stories and pictures of snakes. I have lots of pictures of snakes from the internet and also two books, “The Encyclopedia of Snakes” and “Snake” the essential visual guide to the world of snakes by Chris Mattison.

    Please tell me why does the spitting cobra spit venom? What is your favorite snake? Do you have snakes at home and what kind of snakes do you have? Why does a cobra have a hood? Why is the Black Mamba the most venomous snake?

  10. Ricardo says:

    HI Austin, yesterday my boss call me to the office and told me that I have to write about you, please tell me where can i contact you by mail or order to know something more to write. I have three days to do this work. Thank you in advance. Ricardo Streiff

  11. perry says:

    that was the funniest “article” that i have ever read in my life. Here i am sitting at work looking for pictures of steve irwin so that i can dress up like him for halloween and “crikey” i stumbled upon this site through google and now after reading that article i have throughly peed my pants. hats off to the amishrobot.