"Can we just fast forward to the flying guts and assholes?"I don't know if the cheap DVD section from which I gleaned Crocodile and Spiders was specialising in Nu Image films, or that I just so happened to pick up two of their three creature features from the year 2000 (the third being Octopus). I didn't confirm until after watching it that this was birthed from the same production womb as the so-so spider flick I reviewed a couple of weeks ago; but I suspected they might somehow be related.
They have the same feel about them, right down to both having more well known horror fare name checked on the packaging, in order to catch the eye and make you pick it up. The boast of this is that it is directed by Tobe Hooper. "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" the DVD sleeve screams.
Consequently, I could just recycle the Spiders review. By cannily using the 'find and replace' function, I could change every spider-related word in it to a crocodile-related one and all the location specific ones such as "bunker", "spacecraft" to "swamp". That would pretty much be it.
There's even vomiting! Though it's the human coming out of the animal this time.
However, I may be lazy but I am not that lazy. Yet. Please read on.
So, rather like its year of '00 classmate, this entertains well enough when the creature is onscreen, but the rest of the time it's mediocre bordering on dull. This is full of unlikeable spring breakers, their boring relationship woes and badly dyed hair.
A group of friends head out on a houseboat for some drinking, sunbathing and general high jinks (my words, not theirs). On their travels they discover a nest of crocodile eggs and the idiots start tossing them around.
They also let their dog eat the ones they drop. The dog is a poodle... I am therefore prepared to go against my usual morals on dog-deaths and let this one go. Not a massive fan of poodles.
In any case, watching these jerks rattle the croc babies made me think of the poor retarded chickens in Choke, so from this moment on I was pretty much looking forward to justice being served and the horny teens' backs snapping in the jaws of the monster. Bring it.
Well, it did happen, but not nearly quickly or often enough for my liking. They talk and drink and kiss and argue and pass out and wake up and eventually one of them dies. None of them seem that bothered, kinda instantly forget him, carry on partying until the crocodile attacks their boat, killing another. Repeat, until three of them are left.
When in the water, the crocodile is made "real" by the use of practical effects which are pretty good. The out of water CGI is however... ropey, but as in Spiders it is in a sweet way I haven't the heart to criticise too heavily. There are only a couple of instances of the beast walking on land anyway, but it is suspiciously more mobile than in the water! Kinda the wrong way around, surely? Rigidity in the water reaches its peak when the attacking model croc appears to swim backwards at one point. I was reminded of the smoke billowing out of the shark's eye sockets at the end of Jaws 2. That's the thing with creature features: you kind of have to know how the creatures work.
One more thing, shouldn't the eggs be a little larger, if the mother who lays them is over 20ft long?
To sum up! If I want to watch people stumbling in peril around a swamp, then I will watch Hatchet. If I want croc-horror I have it on good authority that I should check out Rogue.
And the fucking poodle doesn't die.