Night #7: Lake Placid

Bill Pullman, Brendan Gleeson, Oliver Platt and a giant Crocodile! What is there not to love?


I hadn’t seen Lake Placid since its inital release, when I remember some vague things about it, but watching it again I’m sorry I didn’t revisit it sooner. Ostensibly Jaws on a lake the film is about a Crocodile terrorising a small Maine town. It’s also written by Legal drama extrodanaire David E Kelly in what is his only Horror film, or film about giant Crocodile.


Weirdly the film plays more like a comedy about a giant Crocodile than it does a monster movie with comedy bits in it. But rest assured it is very funny, and for people who like that sort of thing there is a decent bit of gore. Curiously though I noticed that more animals get killed than people do, an act which I’m sure put Kelly and Director Steve Miner (Making his first appearance this month) on the PETA hitlist. But then where else am I going to see a Crocodile take down a Bear?


The cast are uniformly great, even if Bridget Fonda is a bit shrew (Though amusingly she does have a habit of getting knocked out of things, whether it’s boats or trucks. So much so that it really has to be intentional). Bill Pullman is largely on the sidelines, which surprised me. This is essentially a film about Oliver Platt’s rich eccentric Croc expert and Brendan Gleeson’s deadpan Sheriff. How I’d love it if the film was just about these two, instead we have to keep cutting back to an awkward romance subplot which genuinely feels out of place. Sadly because the film is so short (Only 82 minutes) we feel those moments harder, but thankfully Kelly always cuts in with a joke before things get too sappy.


It’s perfect Saturday night viewing, short and easy on the brain. If you want to make an excellent double bill then throw on the classic Alligator and you’re off to the races. Surprisingly both films are similar in town, but Alligator features a lot more monster mayhem, and 100% more Robert Forster which is what every film could really do with.


Up Next: Mutant Bears bring warnings about the Enviroment!


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