15 – 88mins – 2015
CROC OF SHIT
“They’re monsters is what they are!”
In the late nineties they were two colossi of the creature feature sub-genre. With father/daughter heavyweights Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie hunting for the legendary giant Anaconda in the theatrical rainforest of 1997 and Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda battling the original 30-foot reptile in 1999’s Lake Placid, these two initially legitimate monster movie franchises have, with each successive (and cheaper) DTV sequel, fallen ever fouler of the modern trend for Roger Corman-esque Z-movies. Thanks, Sharknado!
Produced by the Syfy channel (uh-oh!), this low budget crossover from last year marks the fifth instalment in each series. And how the mighty have fallen… But for all its multitudinous shortcomings, I must give credit to Berkeley Anderson, Lake Placid vs Anaconda’s tireless screenwriter, for gamely going to the effort of continuing each long-running story arc.
Sharp shooting Sheriff Reba (Yancy Butler) and piratical walking wounded Jim Bickerman (Robert Englund) have somehow survived long enough to still be keeping Clear Lake, umm, clear of mutated crocs, while the elusive hunt for the Blood Orchid’s secrets of immortality have brought John Rhys-Davis’ daughter, Murdoch (Annabel Wright), from the Amazon to Maine with a caravan full of genetically engineered man-eating sliverers. Their goal? To breed their caged collection with the scaly super-size snappers to eradicate a flaw in the cellular process. Well, of course! What could possibly go wrong?!
Sadly, everything. Ranging from bitchy to sociopathic, you won’t care a jot for the dumb, heartless characters who run around spouting lame (occasionally poorly dubbed) dire-logue (“You know tops are optional on my boat?”). Budget constraints or not, there’s no excuse for the atrociously ropey CGI, which is often not aided by a persistence to shoot every scene in broad daylight. Additionally, there’s an awkward and often painful horror-comedy tonal pitch which only the man who will forever be known as Freddie Krueger nails successfully.
I know this type of OTT schlock-fest isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but Lake Placid vs Anaconda is so incompetent it routinely fails to entertain, eliciting embarrassed cringes instead of laughter and being wholly scare-free despite an abundance of the red stuff (again, not aided by the less-than-spooky summer sun). The most shocking aspect of this so-called “Uncut Edition” is the abundance of horrendously crowbarred boob shots. Titillating? Hardly – more like Lake Flaccid.
CR@B’s Claw Score: