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Fox Home Entertainment presents
“Good morning, sunshine! So, are we having fun yet?”
DVD ReviewIn 1999, Lake Placid came at us like a crocodile out of water. Well, actually, the movie was about a killer crocodile that came out of the water, but it had just enough other elements in it to drum up $10 million in opening weekend box office business. It’s actually more of a surprise that it took so long for a sequel to emerge. Apparently, after seven years, confidence has waned in prospects for a franchise, as Lake Placid 2 is bypassing theaters and coming to DVD, following a premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2007. The DVD sports the Unrated version, which contains a few things the TV version left out: gore and nudity.
When a boater is chewed up by a crocodile, Sheriff Riley (John Schneider) is dispatched to investigate. He’s accompanied by the lovely Emily (Sarah Lafleur), who claims to have at least some expertise when it comes to killer crocodiles. After the croc attacks a group of young, sex-starved campers, Riley, Emily, and his son, Scott (Chad Collins) seek refuge at the “lakefront” home of Sadie Bickerman (Cloris Leachman), an elderly woman who knows a little too much about the beast, herself. Riley and his crew engage the scaly giant in a battle of guns, huge teeth, and, occasionally, wits.
The opening sequence features some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen, and the performances only go downhill from there, with each and every scene muddled by pedestrian actors delivering dialogue like they’re reading it off a card that’s right in front of them. At least Schneider seems to be having fun with this stuff, regardless of how ridiculous it gets. He’s just about the only one that brings even a hint of professionalism to his work, showing that he did, indeed, learn a thing or two from The Dukes of Hazzard. Plus, he gives us a classic, Schwarzenegger-ian one-liner that will go down among the greatest in B-movie history.
We also get the epitome of a gratuitous nude scene, during which some schlubby guy gets yelled at by his girlfriend for watching their busty, blonde friend inexplicably take her shirt off, and in slow-motion no less. The gorgeous girlfriend then, also inexplicably, takes her shirt off, and jumps in the lake to frolic with the aforementioned busty blonde.
The special effects are amazingly cheap-looking, with the big crocodile wearing the low budget CGI right there on his scaly sleeve. Still, I’ve seen effects look far more impressive during movies with much lower budgets, so it’s easy to assume that the filmmakers were just phoning it in here (most of the actors surely were). Even the “quality” of the severed limbs is shoddy, as they look absolutely nothing like their “attached” versions. So, if you’re going to endure this poor excuse for a B-movie, the best I can say is don’t expect much going in and you just might enjoy yourself… if only a little bit.
Rating for Style: D+
Rating for Substance: D
Image Transfer Review: Sporting a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation, the overall video quality is quite good, considering the extremely low budget nature of the production. Unfortunately, the finely detailed images bring to light the poor quality of the CGI effects. This isn’t the transfer’s fault, though, as bright, vivid colors excel.
Image Transfer Grade: B
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is better than expected for the material, exhibiting a great deal of depth and a wide dynamic range. The rear speakers are used quite a bit during the more action-intensive sequences, and the dialogue is always crisp and clear.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Bachelor Party: The Second Coming, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, Sunshine, Resurrecting the Champ
Packaging: Keep Case
Surviving a Crocodile Attack runs for just under four minutes and is a quick public-service-announcement piece blending survival tips with more footage from the movie.
Lastly, Lake Placid 2: The “Gnawed Up” Version is the entire film sped-up so the running time is cut to nine minutes. I’m really not sure what the point of this supplement is, other than to focus on the gore and nudity a bit more.
Extras Grade: D+
Final CommentsIf you’re expecting another does of good, clean, B-movie fun from Lake Placid 2, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Instead, this is a horribly acted, schlocky affair that’s extremely difficult to sit through, even at under 90 minutes. Fox’s DVD is solid enough, with good audio and video presentations joined by a few throwaway extras.
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