Sunday, October 20, 2019

Lake Placid vs. Anaconda

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  Can the screen contain so much awesome?

Lake Placid vs. Anaconda – 1 out of 5

If you read my blog, you know I am obsessed with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The ambition of Marvel Studios to create a shared movie universe with their heroes and create the atmosphere of the comics is my jam and a true achievement in the world of movies (despite what some pretentious and overrated filmmakers will tell ya—yeah, that’s right.  I think Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola are overrated).  However, I realized that the MCU wasn’t the achievement it was because, as it turns out, the Lake Placid franchise crossed over with the Anaconda franchise.  It’s basically just like the MCU…only really bad and fun for all the wrong reasons.

Oh, this movie is being one silly goose!

Sarah Murdoch has this in her office.  I don't understand.
Is this a power move to has someone see a silhouette
of you changing?
In an attempt to once again perfect the serum from that damn Blood Orchid, Wexel Hall Corporation CEO and daughter to the late Peter “J.D.” Murdoch; Sarah Murdoch (Annabel Wright) has a team of scientists try to crossbreed the blood of a giant crocodile with their anacondas but, as luck would have it, the buggers escape and are now free to kill and eat anything that gets in their way.  As she leads a team with local hunter Jim Bickerman (Robert Englund), the local sheriff (Yancy Butler) teams with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer; Will “Tully” Tull (Corin Nemec) to try and contain the situation.  Unfortunately, Tully’s daughter Bethany (Skye Lourie) is out with her sorority and is in danger of becoming a meal for the monstrous animals.

"I blame my sorority for taking a shitty vacation to a crappy lake for this!"

Full Disclosure:  I have only seen the first Lake Placid film and never seen any of the sequels.  To be honest, I only learned there were sequels when I learned of this crossover feature.  Perhaps next year I will work my way through the Lake Placid franchise *Thinking emoji* With that out of the way, I will be blunt and say this movie is really, really bad.  However, unlike the last Anaconda film, this one is kinda amusing with how bad it is as it hits that right balance of being so bad it is fun.

After this, Ice Cube showed up and saw the crushed vehicle and said,
"There are snakes out there that strong?"

At this point, I know what I am getting into with this franchise and all the bullet points are here and checked off.  First off, you got the terrible special effects—and this one gets super bad.  It’s not like the Anaconda franchise was built on a foundation of cutting edge effects but this one takes it to a new low of effects that I can only describe as PlayStation One quality but with smoother edges.  The true choice moments with the effects come in the form of a person being eaten by either the crocs or the snakes.  It’s obvious that the budget was so low that they couldn’t even afford to move the actors on set in order to sell the reality of the characters being consumed so what you get is a person being eaten but never really being consumed.  Essentially, you are watching a monster just chew endlessly on a single section of the character.

Somehow one of the crocs got under the bed of two people having sex in
a motel.  I'm sure you can imagine what occurs next.

"Itssss been awhile crocodile!"
Next you have the weak-sauce story.  You don’t really expect anything really too complicated with these films so there is no real surprises here.  Once again the tale leaps head-first into the well of this damn serum derived from the Blood Orchid.  It’s truly astounding that the Wexel Hall Corporation will continue to burn money on this serum.  I get that it has the potential to make billions but surely one can’t have the stomach to keep going down this path with it constantly resulting in death and destruction—oh wait, Capitalism.  Anyway, this film once again uses the serum as an excuse for the monsters getting out and causing mayhem and the ensuing hunt to stop them.  Only this time, the scientists at Wexel thinks combing the DNA of the large crocs and the altered anacondas will make it better.

Sure, Avengers:  Endgame was an amazing achievement and a crossover
masterpiece but was there a scene that had a giant crocodile throw an
anaconda into a helicopter?  Checkmate, Marvel Studios!

He shows up again in a post-credit scene where he
talks about how he is putting together a team that will
fight bad CG monsters.
The cast is…a bit of a mixed bag.  Like all low-budget monster movies, this film is not without its fair share of really bad performers.  They mostly come in the form of the easy victims like the bro-dudes, the sorority girls and a sheriff’s deputy that is supposed to be the comic relief but is more grating to sit through than anything else.  However, there are members to the cast that are genuinely good.  Robert Englund is very enjoyable and clearly is having fun with his character and Yancy Butler and Corin Nemec are both doing excellent with their characters.  Granted, I won’t argue that you will see earth-shattering performances in a film like Lake Placid vs. Anaconda but in a specific type of film that usually only attracts the worst of the worst, you’re doing alright with this one.

My head canon is that Nemec is actually reprising his role of Parker Lewis from
Parker Lewis Can't Lose and has started his life over and the film is actually
an even bigger crossover event than we all realized.

Lake Placid vs. Anaconda is one of those low-budget monster features that pulls no surprises and delivers all the terrible qualities that you would expect.  On its own merits, it’s a horrendous film that isn’t entertaining at all.  However, it is a very fun viewing experience because of the said terrible quality.  It’s easy to laugh at and riff on and is definitely entertaining in that aspect.  So, while it is a very bad movie, it is one that lands right on the “so bad it’s good” area of the spectrum.

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