Crocodile (2000) Friday Morning Creature Feature from the Bargain Basement of Terror
Eight teens decide to go ‘yay spring break’ on a house boat in a southern Californian lake. There’s Duncan (Chris Solari) the really obnoxious one, his pal Brady (Mark McLachlan) , Bradys’s girlfriend Claire (Caitlin Martin), the girl Brady cheated on Claire with although Claire doesn’t know it yet, Kit (DW Reisler) the serious almost grown up one who gets to drive the boat, his girlfriend the one with the stupid pampered dog who might as well be called ‘Bait’ and two other loudmouthed chestwaxed buffoons who are just there to get eaten before anyone else.
At the lake they have a run in with sheriff Redneck before getting down to the serious business of drinking, toking and having domestics. That night at the creepy old camp fire Kit tells the ‘true’ story of the local hotel owner who brought a Nile crocodile to the lake 100 years ago and started an ancient Egyptian croc worshipping cult (hence the Egyptianate musical flourishes in the score). Well the locals didn’t like these unchristian ways and when the croc somehow produced a clutch of eggs, they rose up and in the ensuing chaos the croc with the very Egyptian name of Flat Dog escaped into the lake.
As it should happen some local fishermen stumble into a clutch of eggs and promptly get munched. then Duncan and his mates find the nest and as a gag put an undamaged egg in Claire’s rucksack, get the picture, yep not a lot of folks are going to walk out of this alive.
Directed by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s Tobe Hooper, Crocodile seems like a massive step backwards after movies like Poltergeist (1982) and Lifeforce (1985). Sure there’s some nice cinematography, the action sequences are managed well and the creature prosthetics and puppetry are OK, but oh dear, when the CGI croc gets out of the water it is just a bit rubbish. And as for the characterisation and cast, well I think the art of making a team ensemble shocker is that you should care enough about some of the characters that you want to either see them survive or at least feel a bit of loss when they get eaten, but I just wanted every last one of this bunch to get munched.
Still not bad for a quid from the British Heart Foundation Shop, I give Crocodile a 444/666