Genius Products presents
"Crocs kill hundreds of people every year, but this one is upping the ante."- Jack (Peter Tuinstra)
Stars: Peter Tuinstra, Sherry Phungprasert, Michael Madsen
Other Stars: Scott Hazell, Elizabeth Healey, Tawon Saetang, Wasan Junsook, Duangduean Kumphasee, Amy Lackgren, Elizabeth Lackgren
Director: Stewart Raffill
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence)
Run Time: 01h:30m:07s
Release Date: 2008-02-05
Genre: suspense thriller
DVD ReviewIf you've seen Jaws, you've seen Croc, which means watching this isn't really necessary. At all.
A big, rogue croc—represented here by some very questionable CG effects and the occasional mechanical head—is munching on folks in Thailand, forcing an oddball team of "experts" to unite in order to take it down. In this case, it's the owner of a rundown tourist trap (Peter Tuinstra), a pretty animal welfare agent (Sherry Phungprasert), and the obligatory grizzled hunter (Michael Madsen).
The grand disappointment for me is that Croc comes from director Stewart Raffill, whose The Philadelphia Experiment and The Ice Pirates were two real guilty pleasures of mine back in the mid-1980s. With this made-for-cable outing, Raffill is left with an apparently minimal effects budget and a tired script that regurgitates familiar plot points that we've seen countless times before, where even the sometimes enjoyably surly Michael Madsen seems like nothing more than a dull caricature.
On the plus side, the Thai scenery is very nice looking, but I knew when I found myself fixating more on the view than the story, something was amiss. And it's not that I'm a prude about genres stealing from other films (it happens all the time); it's just that I expect something a little different when it occurs to set it apart somehow, and simply tossing in a big croc and an exotic locale doesn't do it. This is purely paint-by-numbers filmmaking from Raffill, and knowing his ability to assemble enjoyable B-grade entertainment makes Croc seem even more tame.
A couple of subplots serve only to stretch the time between the next attack, which, given the caliber of the CG effects, may or may not be a bad thing. There are a few severed limbs, a number of pretty girls, and copious gallons of blood, but none of it gels the way a good bad movie should.
Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D-
|Aspect Ratio||1.78:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Croc arrives with a nice-looking 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Colors aren't overly vivid, but do retain a consistent, natural palette throughout. Edges are moderately soft, but facial features manage to reveal a fair amount of detail.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: Audio is presented in 2.0 stereo, with dialogue sounding understandable, with no hiss or clipping. Not much in the way of spatial movement, but it's a generally workable mix, offering nothing more than the basics.
Audio Transfer Grade: B-
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Furnace, Maneater, In The Spider's Web, Blood Monkey
Packaging: Amaray with slipcase
Extras Review: This one comes with a slipcase, if that sort of thing appeals to you. On the disc, there's nothing other than four trailers and a skimpy eight chapter stops.
Extras Grade: F
Final CommentsAnother Jaws variant, this time a low-budget, made-for-cable entry substituting a giant crocodile in Thailand for a great white off Amity Island. Subpar special effects and a general sense of having seen it all before—and better—makes this not only thematically redundant, but unenjoyably pointless.
Rich Rosell 2008-02-04