Lake Placid Cover Lake Placid is a watery crevice situated in Maine, New York. And Lake Placid is also a comedy horror adventure of no fixed ability as well. But which one is better? The crevice? Or the film? Lets ask Director: Steve Miner; and Actors: Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson and Betty White. But only in 1999, and for 82-minutes.

Lake Placid

Now who would you call for help if you were Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson), and you just saw one of your pal's being bitten in half by an unknown creature whilst fishing in 'Black Lake'? Yes - I would call Ghostbusters too. But Hank gets a hand from the hometown gaming officer, Jack Wells (Bill Pullman), plus some outside assistance from Palaeontologist, Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda), too.

Very strange combination that, huh? A sheriff. A games officer. And some fossil loving female. Stranger still, is that once they set-up camp by the side of the house belonging to Mrs. Delores Bickerman's (Betty White), they are then joined by crocodile hunter come pain the ass, Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt)!

Yes - that's right - I said 'crocodile hunter'. You see, Hector presumes that this unknown creature is of reptilian origin. Therefore this uncommon looking quartet then decides to head off and investigate what they can find out about 'it'.

Results? Most peculiar indeed. They are attacked on numerous occasions by land and by lake, where a number of their supporting aides are bitten, decapitated, and torn to bits, by this mysterious water bound b*stard.

Moreover, during this time, Hank, Jack, Kelly, and Hector, discover quite a lot about themselves and those around them. Hank discovers that he don't like Hector. Kelly discovers that she likes Jack. Hector discovers that the creature is a thirty foot long crocodile. And Jack discovers Delores Bickerman feeding one of them a cow by the foot of her home.

Oh! Well I suppose that is why what next transpires is a right pain in the scales I can tell you. As crocks bite - colleges fight - cows fly - and an adventure has a nice way of saying good-bye.

The end, but not for Delores.

Now what do you get if you take a low-budget horror film, splash a bit of cash on it, and then make it into a slice of wholesome and jovial Americana? Correct. 'Lake Placid'.

Well, personally speaking of course, I find this film to be a very alternate tale presented in a very conventional way. The actors are good. The story is strange. The special effects are exemplary. The jokes are solid. But I am afraid to say that once you take all of these aspects and then mould them all together, the end result is a good film, but conveyed in a very bad way.

Betty White in Lake Placid

It's hard for me to quantify in words what I actually mean by this you know. Though just imagine what would happen to a film like 'Evil Dead 2' (click here for review), but with added star power and special-effects. Would that make it any better? No - not really. If anything, the added hullabaloo would in someway take the earthiness out of this flick, making a grungy film into a somewhat conventional film.

See what I mean?

Moreover, the other slight nag I have about this horror / comedy movie; is that the story is like a juggling act between the horror and the comedy, and does not really connect within the tale it is trying to convey. Take another film for example, like 'Gremlins' (click here for review). That film had a nice even tone to both the horror and the comedy throughout, by juxtaposing character and plot within the framework of each genre. But regrettably where this one is concerned, the horror / comedy ratio is so lop sided at times, and acts in determent to either aspect. 

Now one of my most favourite scenes in 'Lake Placid', is one in which the monster unveils itself to be a large crocodile, by eating a bear who is about to attack 'the gang'. Well, while I was watching this scene play out, I was not sure what to think of it. At first I was very impressed with how realistic the animals looked. Then I was unsure if this segment was supposed to be funny or not. Plus finally I was bemused because of the juxtaposition of styles.  

See what I mean?

Listen; please don't get the wrong impression about this movie. It is a very nice film, and it is very watch-able too. Bill plays the regular Joe just nicely. Bridget has a very kooky and personable way of holding herself. Plus Oliver and Brendan play too half's of the same coin so well, that I would have liked for them to have been the main focus of this flick. Also, as I have said previously, the special effects are of such a high standard, I actually bought into the whole scenario the more it played out.

Bill and Brigitte in Lake Placid

Oh! I don't know. Maybe these relatable filmic-facts can make me decide if I like this picture or not. (1) Bill Pullman lost his sense of smell after spending two day is a coma due to a head injury. (2) The crocodile was created by legendary creature modeller, Stan Winston. (3) Bridget Fonda was offered the title role on the television lawyer-com 'Ally McBeal'. (4) This movie spurned two sequels. 'Lake Placid 2', a made for television production, first broadcast on the Sci Fi Channel in 2007, starring John Schneider. And 'Lake Placid 3', another made for television production that was also broadcast on Sci Fi Channel, in 2010, starring Yancy Butler. Plus there is a possible forth film is in the works, 'Lake Placid - The Final Chapter', yet another Sci Fi Channel produced spin-off. (5) Brendan Gleeson started acting at the age of 34, after ten years of teaching kids in Dublin, Ireland. (6) This movie was mostly shot in British Columbia, Canada, whilst a select few scenes were shot in Vancouver. Moreover, three different lakes made up for 'Black Lake'; Shawnigan, Buntzen, and Hayward. (7) Oliver Platt is the late princess Diana's second-cousin once-removed. (8) Unlike her character in this film, Betty White is an avid spokesperson for PETA. (9) Whilst he was promoting the film 'Independence Day' in South America, some people actually thought that Bill Pullman was the President of America. (10) Bridget had a small cameo in her grandfather, Peter's, film, 'Easy Rider'.

Crocodile in Lake Placid

No. I still can't decide if 'Lake Placid' of a good bad movie, or a bad good movie. Overall though, it is one of those comedy-horror adventures' that's well worth a watch, just to see what side of the fence you'll fall upon. The producers claimed that it was a financial success. Roger Ebert thought that it was 'wrong headed'. Rotten Tomatoes were even Stevens. And me? Well, I kind of enjoyed it -- maybe, ish, in places, by in large. Maybe you might agree with me?


LAKE PLACID LAKE PLACID Reviewed by David Andrews on July 12, 2012 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.