Lake Placid 2 (2007)

Lake Placid 2 (2007)

You’ll never know what bit you

When a giant crocodile kills a man fishing in Lake Placid, it’s down to the local sheriff to track it down and kill it before anyone else gets hurt. However there is more than meets the eye to the whole situation and it turns out that there is not one but three giant crocodiles terrorising the lake.

 

When the words ‘straight-to-video sequel’ and ‘Sci-Fi Channel’ were joined together in an unholy union, Hell froze over, the heavens opened and the world descended into the Apocalypse. In all honesty, I don’t think there’s any worse combination for a horror fan like myself to stumble across. Straight-to-video sequels blow most of the time with a poorer cast and lower budget usually trying to better the original with disastrous consequences. And the Sci-Fi Channel has an appalling record of these killer monster flicks: Pterodactyl, Attack of the Sabretooth, Hammerhead, Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep, Cerberus – need I go on? Like a marriage made by the Devil himself, Lake Placid 2 lives up to both of these admittedly low expectations about it sucking balls for being a straight-to-video sequel and er, well sucking balls for being a Sci-Fi Channel flick.

Lake Placid was a modest hit. It played to its strengths, featured some (for the time) decent special effects and was fun to see some reasonably big names (Pullman, Fonda, Platt) enjoying themselves in a monster flick. But it was hardly worth a sequel, was it? Call me cynical but I’d hazard money on this being written as a stand alone crocodile flick before someone decided to slap the Lake Placid tag on it and re-write a few parts to tie it all in. The problem is that every character here seems to be based on watered-down versions of characters from the original. The sheriff here is the equivalent of Bill Pullman’s Fish and Game warden. The Fish and Game warden here is the equivalent of Bridget Fonda’s scientist. And Oliver Platt’s crocodile lover from the original is replaced by a hunter. Throw in some unnecessary teenagers and you’ve got a horrid mix of clichés, stereotypes and re-hashes.

I’ll at least give the film credit for some mild gore (a few dismembered limbs but you’ll probably find better props at a Halloween party) and some hot skanky teenagers whipping their tops off (three of them no less). In another film, I’d maybe have given more of a damned about that but here it just seems to be lazy pandering to people like me ie. their target audience. Give me some decent killer croc action before you even think about getting the slutty blonde chick to show us her rack! Mind you at least you could see why she was cast.

One of the strengths of the original Lake Placid was its special effects. Granted you’re never going to get a 100% believable CGI crocodile but it was as near as you could get for the time it was made. The scene where it leapt out of the water and attacked the bear was worth the price of viewing alone. Given that they were making a film about a killer crocodile and not trying to win an Oscar, you knew where their priorities lie. But here they seem to have forgotten how to make special effects, let alone convincing ones. The CGI is horrible and the shots of the crocs swimming through the water are simply poor models floating along. The model reminded me of the one they had in Italian hack-job The Big Alligator River.

Thankfully there’s not actually that much croc action until about two-thirds of the way in so the trashy crocodile effects don’t get to see much light of day. Even then most of the munching take places with poorly acted characters pretending to writhe around whilst they are attacked by CGI. Don’t let the cover box fool you because at no point do I remember any death scene being as remotely interesting as that!

 

Lake Placid 2 is just another cheap cash-in on a relatively successful and entertaining film. It has nothing worthwhile to watch it for. If you’re going to watch a film about a killer crocodile, why not just watch the original again? Someone who made this should have done to see how it was done!

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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