Lake Placid (1999)
Directed by: Steve Miner
Written by: David E. Kelley
Starring: Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Betty White, Meredith Salenger
I saw this movie a while ago on television - the reception was crap on that channel, so I had no frigging idea what the hell was going. It was almost like watching static with dialogue. I don't know why I kept watching it... but anyway, I finally saw this movie as it was meant to be...
It's about this 30 foot crocodile living in a lake in Maine (not New York, apparently) and a bunch of people who are trying to capture and/or kill it. None of them can really figure out what it's doing there - it seems to have migrated from Asia.
And it's sort of a comedy. Not like, I dunno, Scary Movie or whatever, it's just really sarcastic. There are a lot of snappy lines. It's funny. I laughed.
Anyway, it's not exactly a great movie, but it's a pretty good monster flick, and for some reason I love Bill Pullman. He's kind of gross and smug or something, but I like him. Maybe it was after I saw him play a crazy person. I don't know.
Actually, the cast is quite good, particularly for a giant reptile movie. Yeah, Anaconda had Jennifer Lopez and Jon Voight. And Ice Cube and Owen Wilson, but they seemed to skip out on the production values for that movie (the backwards waterfall is one of the funniest fuck ups ever). And the script really sucked. Anyway, this one had Oliver Platt in it. Hey. He and Brendan Gleeson were good together. They make a good couple.
This movie was actually well made, which is important. I mean, there are some really obvious cliches - the obnoxious mean lady from New York who initially hates the rugged Maine forest ranger guy, but falls in love with him after stitching his wounds. Okay, the lady wasn't obnoxious and mean, she was just sarcastic and negative.
And the crocodile didn't look too bad. Some of the stuff was obviously CG, but it looked okay, and a lot of the croc stuff was done with puppets and models, which is always good. Not too much Ray Harryhausen style stop motion goodness, but that's okay.
Another perk - they weren't afraid to pile on the gore. In the first scene a guy gets bitten in half, people get decapitated, deer heads get thrown around. It's great. There wasn't a lot of splatter type stuff, but it wasn't necessary. It didn't need to be disgusting, really.
I enjoyed the movie. And it had a nice open ending. I was always surprised that they didn't make a sequel to it, although now I can see they have.
Oh yeah, and it's a Canadian co-production, all shot out in B.C. (of course - most American movies set in the woods are shot in Vancouver). Which is odd seeing as it's on the wrong side of the continent...