Aug 26, 2014

Review: Lake Placid 2 (2007)

A sequel to Lake Placid eight years later? Who even asked for that? Well the Sci-Fi Channel must have heard someone ask for a sequel. Right? What's crazy is that it must have done pretty well for itself because there are still two more Lake Placid movies that I got to get through.

It's not a stupid idea from a business point of view anyhow. Scale the budget down from that way-too-high-for-TV $35 million of the original movie and bring in someone who's past their prime and would be funny to watch in some sort of horror schlock. In this case we get John Schneider of The Dukes of Hazzard fame.


Genre: horror, sci-fi
Directed by: David Flores
Produced by: Jeffery Beach, Phillip J. Roth, T.J. Sakasegawa, etc.
Written by: Todd Hurvitz, Howie Miller
Music by: Nathan Furst
Running time: 88 minutes
Production company: Asgaard Branding, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, etc.
Distributed by: The Sci-Fi Channel, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, etc.
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $2,000,000 AUD
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: John Schneider, Sarah Lafleur, Sam McMurray, Chad Michael Collins, Alicia Ziegler, Joe Holt, Ian Reed Kesler, Justin Urich, Cloris Leachman, VJ Kewl, Robert Blush, Jonas Talkington, Terence H. Winkless, Michael McCoy, Andrea Enright, Zhasmina Toskova, Vlado Mihailov, Yana Marinova




Here we are back at Lake Placid and basically everyone in the town has forgotten the events of what happened eight years ago. Or at least only Sheriff James Riley (John Schneider) really seems to remember. To everyone else, the crocodiles that were raised by Delores Bickerman have fallen into rumour. A man is (un)shockingly killed by a crocodile, prompting James Riley to investigate with Emma Warner (Sarah Lafleur) of the Fish and Wildlife department. Sadie Bickerman (Cloris Leachman), the sister of Delores now resides in the cabin by Lake Placid but refuses to offer any information about what's going on. 


I'm going to start with what's good about Lake Placid 2. It's true that John Schneider may just be a case of stunt casting in the sense that he's a name associated with something that used to be popular. But to be honest, he actually takes the material he's given in stride and doesn't make a fool of himself. He has fun with the dialogue and rolls with it. He brings just the right amount of acting cheese and left me impressed. Despite how mindbogglingly bad the dialogue may be, Schneider delivers without just simply hamming it up.

When it comes to basically every other actor in Lake Placid 2, the awful dialogue rears its ugly head many, many times. It's wooden and as painful as a stilt to the gut. Sure, Cloris Leachman can sort of trudge her way through the muck but no one else is as capable of dealing with the script as John Schneider is. Anyway, how come Cloris couldn't find something better to do with her time? Why on earth would an old, accomplished actress want to travel to Bulgaria to film such an unfun TV movie?

The script calls for some horribly stupid decisions from the characters. The main plan that's used to kill one of the supercrocs calls for the pilot of a plane to shoot at it while its hooked by a boat. Um, doesn't the pilot of the plane have to  actually pilot? It seems to me like you need another person to be the shooter on the plane. A little believability is probably too much to ask I guess.

With a budget of only $2 million, I can tell you that maybe $50 was used for CGI. Cinematography is awful and frustratingly enough, the story is nothing more than a cheap remake of the first Lake Placid. The main difference here is that there is more than one crocodile and there's an injection of dumb teenagers doomed to make dumb mistakes. There's no point to Lake Placid 2 and it makes the first Lake Placid look like a masterpiece. I might just want to re-watch that now to clean my palate.



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