INT: Sony Pictures offices.
A studio head sits at his desk and ushers in another man
Man: I’ve got a pitch for a new horror film.
Sony Man: Go for it.
Man: It’s about crocodiles!
Sony Man: Next.
Man: Killer crocodiles.
Sony Man: Been there, done that.
Man: Umm, it’s a sequel to Lake Placid!
Sony Man: Who wants to see a sequel to that?
Man: Err, everyone?
Sony Man: NEXT.
Man: Um…there’ll be two crocodiles this time…
Sony Man: Big wow. Next.
Man: OK THERE’LL BE FOUR FUCKING CROCODILES.
**END OF SPOILERS**
Sony Man: This will be the greatest film in the history of everything.
If you’ve seen Tobe Hooper’s “Crocodile” then chances are you’ve seen “Lake Placid 2”, even though you may not know it. The reason for this is that they’re pretty much the same film, only one has MORE CROCODILES. Still, “Crocodile” was disposable fun; sure it was a long way from “Alligator” and “Lake Placid”, but there was a certain amount of cheesy charm to it, and in the same way, “Lake Placid 2” retains that similar sense of unbridled tacky tastelessness.
The ‘story’ concerns a city boy who’s visiting his father in a small town that’s recently had a number of disappearances in the area surrounding the huge lake nearby. The sheriff, an animal conservation worker (who loves animals so much she enjoys leaving live turtles as bait for crocodiles), a big game hunter and other assorted (read: disposable) characters therefore decide to investigate the lake but end up running into some pretty pissed-off crocs. Meanwhile some topless women sunbathe and some jocks drink beer and the Academy Awards panel drop their coffee and stare in disbelief at how fantastic this film is.
Anyway, storyline is always redundant in these kinds of movies and as a result, the whole film usually hinges on the important part – the creature – as without an effective adversary the film loses all reason. So what’s the bad guy in this film like? Well, similar to Sadako in “Ring”, the final scene in “Lake Placid 2” has the crocodile crawling straight out of the iMac that created it. Not really, but this CGI beasty is unfortunately not very impressive or frightening and in some scenes could have easily been replaced with an animatronic model to greater effect. But again, it’s quite possible that you’re not expecting state-of-the-art special effects when watching the STV sequel to a film about a giant crocodile, so such qualms may again seem unimportant.
On the up-side, the film does at least try to ape the same mix of humor and horror that the original displayed so well and it achieves this to some extent, but too often it aims for an “American Pie” style of frat-boy comedy that doesn’t always sit so well with the tone of the rest of the film. Either way, it has its amusing moments and some of the more serious scenes provide an adequate amount of tension and/or excitement, if just not enough for the film to be overly memorable. Other plus-points are good acting from most players and an adequate soundtrack, but most essentially, a pace that certainly never gets boring – as the screenwriters have clearly adhered to the following well-worn rule:
Amount of crocodiles included is inversely proportional to chances of falling asleep during movie.
(This can be applied to ANY film or television program.)
So to conclude, anyone that enjoys Sci-Fi Originals will find something to like in this sequel (it’s co-produced with the Sci-Fi channel) as for a rather large dose of unassuming monster-mayhem, you could do a lot worse than “Lake Placid 2”. You could easily do a lot better (“Alligator”), but you could do worse too.
David Flores (director) / Todd Hurvitz, Howie Miller (screenplay)
CAST: John Schneider … Sheriff James Riley
Sarah Lafleur … Emily ‘Emma’ Warner
Sam McMurray … Struthers
Chad Collins … Scott Riley
Alicia Ziegler … Kerri
Joe Holt … Ahmad
Ian Reed Kesler … Thad
Justin Urich … Larry
Cloris Leachman … Sadie Bickerman