Lake Placid - Prehistoric Predator Preys on People - A Munching Good Time
What do you get when you combine the comedy styling of Betty White, a thirty plus foot crocodile, an out of her element, city girl, geek, a few cute cops and one crazy hunter/rich playboy? You get Lake Placid.
Basically, we are talking about a Prehistoric gator that terrorizes Maine to the disbelief of well, everyone. Okay, technically speaking, it's a thought to be prehistoric species of crocodile. You get the idea. I guess you could say dino-crock but that's actually the title of a whole different flick.
Regardless, it sounded like the makings for a classic creature feature to me.
It hit close to home.
I love creature features, big time. I would have watched it no matter where I was living at the time, but it just so happens I was living on a Texas bayou when I saw this. A few weeks before seeing the movie, we saw an alligator not 500 yards from the front door. It wasn't that big, a few feet, but it was cool.
When I saw the movie jacket a few weeks later, I knew I had to check it out. Starring Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman and Oliver Platt, I thought it might be interesting. I was right.
Our team at a glance:
The girl - Kicked out of the office by her two timing boss, our insect-o-phobic, city girl, paleontologist, museum worker finds herself suddenly chasing a gator in the boons.
The hero - A game warden just looking to keep the peace, this poor guy often finds himself being the lone voice of reason.
The cop - Just a good old boy doing his job, our guy finds himself a bit out of his element in the woods but he's not going to let that be a deterrent.
The nutcase - Rich, over indulgent, and infatuated with all things crocodile, this guy is hysterical. While I called him a nut case, and the other characters would agree, he's actually very intelligent and well educated. He just has some, shall we say, eccentric ideas, too much time and money and no common sense.
These guys really don't get along.
Many a movie shows strong bonds form between characters as they face down the bad guy. One of my favorite things about this show is that most of the characters just don't. They don't like each other and it shows in some really funny ways.
Ironically, I found myself cheering for the gator more than anyone. Not that I didn't like the characters, but really I couldn't help but cheer for the creature. He's outnumbered. It doesn't really matter though for he holds his own well.
It's all good until someone looses an eye.
Old folks used to tell us kids that all the time. It pretty much sums up the situation as our tale begins. It was all good, a quaint little community out in the boons. Everything was coming up roses until folks started disappearing on the water.
A little investigating leads our somewhat strangely combined team to an old woman who lives on the lake. While it's really not much more than a bit part, Betty White flat out steals the show. Her conversation with the cops will literally leave you laughing in your seat.
The biggest star is the gator. He's kind of cute too... at the end. You have to see it.
I do mean big in reference to our creature being featured. This thing is monster huge. Think Jaws sized but for gators and you got it. The acting is funny and believable, if not Oscar worthy. Things move fast in this flick. One minute your laughing and the next about to jump out of your seat.
Originally released in 1999, directed by Steve Miner, Lake Placid was not a hit with the critics. What do they know? Generating several sequels that each got progressively crazier, they still managed to keep the two main things that makes these gator fests good, the funny and the gargantuan gators. For fans of creature features, Betty White, sci-fi and campy horror, Lake Placid is a fun filled flick.
Scope on the trailers.
Be warned, the one with Betty White has some foul language. While I can't condone such, it really is hysterical coming from her.
Background image credit; Poetvix.
WARNING; Granny's got the bad language going on.
Have you seen it?
I have one and two. I've seen the other installments, but don't have them yet. For campy comedy creature feature finery, go ahead, get your gator on.