Sony // 2012 // 90 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 15th, 2013
It's anything but tasteless.
I had no idea this was still a thing. Yet apparently it is and here we are, having had enough installments of the Lake Placid franchise to qualify for a "Final Chapter" movie. (We are talking about a franchise based on a mediocre creature feature from the '90s starring Bill Pullman, right?)
Black Lake is swarming with killer crocodiles, giant, man-eating, bloodthirsty beasts that await all manner of dopey twenty-something to wander in haplessly and offer themselves up as tasty delicacies. Hot on the trail of these beasts is bad-ass femme EPA agent Reba Butler (Yancy Butler, Kick-Ass) and an enterprising local sheriff (Elizabeth Röhm, Angel). Reports have been filtering out about these crocs causing mayhem, but they have been elusive.
When a group of, hey, twenty-somethings find themselves marooned on an island in the middle of Black Lake, it's open season. One by one they succumb to the powerful jaws of the crocs. But then again you probably already knew that.
Why? Because I am certain that you have seen this movie before, in some fashion. It may be Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (Ha! Fat chance!), but the game plan this film abides by is a beat-for-beat replication of killer beasties flicks that have preceded it. On the other hand, it is unrated and boasts a fair amount of digital blood and some random nipple shots, so that might earn it a bit more credibili -- nah, it still stinks.
The thrust of the plot is a "croc hunt," where our heroes and heroines take the fight to the reptiles. Along the way they're out to rescue their loved ones (the sheriff's daughter is among the stranded). On this thin plot hangs the violence and screaming, but who are we kidding? That's the only point of the story. You will care about these kids and the peril they're about as much as you've ever cared about any nameless cannon fodder in a Killer _______ movie. They exist merely to get chomped, and get chomped they do.
For gorehounds, know that the bloodshed is sedate. Blossoms of CGI blood explode along with a harsh biting sound effects and flashes of computer-generated croc teeth. The only time you'll see practical sinew effects is during the "after the attack" shots, where gnashed corpses get inspected by incredulous morons who should be a lot more interested in running as fast as their stupid feet will carry them.
So this is Lake Placid: The Final Chapter. Is there any closure? I guess, but I'll confess that I haven't exactly been following the lore. If you're a Placid-head (copyright!), there is some carryover to indulge in (apparently the Reba Butler character is a relic from past entries). Let's be honest with each other: there's a reason the cover of the disc shows a bikini-clad body locked in the jaws of a crocodile. They're selling you gore and cleavage. And they deliver the, er, bare minimum. Skip it.
The DVD: standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic, Dolby 5.1 Surround, no extras.
More like Lake Flaccid, huh? Yeah!
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Thai)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated