Awfully Good: Lake Placid 3

Lake Placid 3 (2010)

Director: G.E. Furst
Stars:Colin Ferguson, Yancy Butler, Michael Ironside

Is there a plot?

Betty White's grandson inherits her lakeside cottage after she dies, as well as her pesky giant reptilian neighbors.

What's the damage?

Longtime Awfully Good readers may remember us tackling the first and equally unexpected and unnecessary sequel to 1999's LAKE PLACID. While the original movie was memorable for David Kelley's surprisingly biting script and an ahead-of-its-time foul-mouthed Betty White, I still cannot believe this has become a franchise. The SyFy Channel would be better off going all out with ULTRACROC or ROBO-GATOR or something else silly, instead of trying to capitalize on a 12 year old movie that only Bill Pullman's immediate family remembers.

Though valiant in spirit and resolve, Helen Keller's dream of being the next Crocodile Hunter would be short lived.

Alas, it exists so we might as well take a look at LAKE PLACID 3. Like its predecessor, this one is also standard SyFy Original fodder. While the opening sequence is a fun and funny riff on the skinny dipping intro to JAWS, by the end it's already evolved in to JAWS 4 when the survivors make it back to town safely…only to have the crocodile follow them there for revenge. Despite this taking place in upstate New York, the film was clearly shot in Bulgaria for pennies; supporting characters can barely speak English and the supermarket has European signs inside they couldn't even bother to take down. And amazingly enough, as technology continues to grow and reinvent itself at a quicker pace, the CG in these movies has defied all odds and gotten progressively worse. The crocodiles look like handdrawn 2D animation and the filmmakers are so lazy they don't even attempt to make the effects exist in the same dimensional plane as everything else. At this point I would gladly welcome somebody holding a toy alligator in front of the camera and moving it around, for the sake of realism.

"And that was just TOTAL RECALL! Wait, til I tell you about the STARSHIP TROOPERS set!"

The second film managed to snag former "Duke of Hazzard" John Schneider and Cloris Leachman. LAKE PLACID 3 splurges on one time "Witchblade" Yancy Butler and TOTAL RECALL star Michael Ironside, who's looking more and more like Jack Nincholson everyday. The filmmakers also went all out on the story this time, attempting to weave three separate plots with multiple characters together and make this the Robert Altman movie of the LAKE PLACID series. In Plot A, a local zoologist (and the grandson of Betty White's character from the first film) attempts to save his family from the killer crocs, leading to hilarious drama about a father spending too much time with elk and alienating his son. Plot B contains the requisite horny teenage campers, who are more concerned about love triangles and high school drama than the ferocious reptiles currently opening a Golden Corral buffet inside their friend's insides. And finally Plot C stars Butler as a badass Kathleen Turner-voiced hunter (you know she's a badass because she talks about shooting a giraffe at the zoo) who's leading a guy to find a girl from Plot B in the wilderness. At one point Butler is fighting with a croc when she gets shot by her own team member. You just know the writers are trying to use this as a means to suggest that the real monster here is Man himself. [Pat on the back.]

While Disney found success with other similar ventures, the live-action remake of BAMBI proved poorly thought out.

However, that's not the final message of LAKE PLACID 3. You see the true culprit here is the main kid: a ginger child with no friends, who raises the crocodiles and feeds them daily for two years until they're strong and healthy adults…at which point they attack and start killing everyone. The moral of this story: Never trust a ginger.

And thus, a new Sir Mix-A-Lot song was born.


"Best" Line

Some coy banter between the films opening couple/victims. (NSFW)

"Best" Parts

All the best crocodile attack scenes. Now you don't have to watch the entire movie. You're welcome. (NSFW)

Nudity Watch

There's nudity and sex within the first two minutes. Even the girls who say they’re not going to get naked…get naked


Mourn the absence of Oliver Platt! Buy this movie here!

Play Along at Home!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Michael Ironside says, "Yes dear"
  • English is clearly not someone's first language
  • Yancy Butler goes John Woo on a crocodile
  • Someone quotes Jerry Maguire…poorly
  • There's a nod to other bad SyFy Originals

Double shot if:

  • Michael Ironside punches an alligator


Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email and give him an excuse to drink.

Source: Digital Dorm
Tags: awfully good



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