The original LAKE PLACID was a fun, self-aware B-movie that boasted some A-level talent. It had a non-stop barrage of great one-liners (courtesy of scribe David E. Kelley), some memorable characters in Oliver Platt, Bridget Fonda and a rancid-mouthed Betty White, plus giant reptiles eating people. It almost perfectly lends itself to a direct-to-video sequel. Unfortunately, said follow-up comes to us courtesy of the Sci-Fi channel.
Donít get me wrong; Sci-Fi Channel Original movies are boatloads of fun. I could single handedly run the DVD Clinicís Awfully Good column with their flicks alone. But theyíre at the point now where each movie is pumped out on such a cheap budget and fast pace that itís losing a lot of potential fun. For LAKE PLACID 2, they bring in writers with reality TV credits and the director of the schlock classic BOA VS. PYTHON. And while there are some ensuing moments of enjoyably bad entertainment, thereís also a lot of waiting around to get there.
So what works? Obviously the horribly CG crocodile is a blast, as is the digitally rendered gore and a plane that looks like itís from Microsoft Flight Simulator Ď91. Thereís former Duke of Hazzard John Schneider playing action hero and Cloris Leachman having fun with the trashy dialogue. You also get an actor whose accent switches from British to Scottish to American within the same sentence, which has ďdrinking gameĒ written all over it.
However, for every fun spot, thereís twenty minutes of bad writing to get through. Everybody seems to have forgotten the events of the first film, wasting the first half hour figuring out what the creature is. Then thereís the PETA ranger who predictably wants to capture the croc alive because itís an endangered species. (Címon guys, you have an open palette here. Give us something creative!) The writers also try to capture the clever one-liners from the first movie but fail pretty much every time. (A tired crack at George W. Bush in my B-movie? Really?)
I did appreciate the effort made for the unrated version though, which consists of sticking in a completely unconnected scene that serves no purpose other than to have some buxom campers take off their tops. D-plus for effort.
Sex, Guns and Croc-n-Roll (3:57): Aside from the awesome title, I like how a) thereís no talking, just fun behind the scenes stuff set against music; and b) the first footage shown is for the nude scene.
Surviving a Crocodile Attack (3:50): Thirteen mostly serious tips on how to react when caught in a crocodile death grip.
LAKE PLACID 2: The Gnawed Up Version (9:03): A fast forwarded version of the movie that only stops for the gory parts (and actually slow-moís the nudity). Nice!
Extra Tidbit: David E. Kelley, who wrote the first LAKE PLACID, is also the creator of Ally McBeal, The Practice and Doogie Howser, M.D.