It was exactly the kind of film that I almost always enjoy. A bunch of tourists in the Australian outback are terrorized by a big salt-water crocodile while they are on a tour boat in a tidal river.
They wind up stuck on a small island that only is accessible at low tide. Wackiness ensues.
It's a simple as hell formula that goes back decades, if not centuries. Bunch of people, remote location, big monster. Who will survive? This one has some decent scenery, solid performances, a not-so ridiculous looking monster and it rarely stoops to stereotypes even though it easily could have.
The film was a box-office flop. In fact, I never even heard about it until a few weeks ago. It's a shame because it was solid work from the director of Wolf Creek, which was a pretty decent slasher flick. And it had an engaging cast including Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell and Sam Worthington. The last guy is now a bit more famous as he stars in the lastest Terminator film.
Anyway, it ain't gonna win any Academy Awards. It's not that kind of film. But sometimes a simple tale like this is all I need and all I want. It was a good film and that was enough for me.
Got me thinking about films with crocodiles and alligators as the big bads, and this one might actually be the best one I've seen. Lake Placid was pretty good because it never took itself too seriously. Yeoman's work from the cast on that one as well. Alligator from 1980 is highly underrated. It was co-written by John Sayles and it had some great work by Robert Forster. It also succeeded by making fun of itself and the genre. Hell, it had a sewage worker named Norton. I dig that.
Primeval was a crocodile film that didn't work as well for me, yet I still kinda enjoyed it. It was based on a true story (like Rogue) of a killer crocodile in Burundi named Gustave. My biggest problem with the film is how it was marketed. They, the film studio, sold us a bill of goods by implying that the film was about a serial killer. A bit of a stretch there. This one was what Rogue might have been had the producers made the characters one-dimensional stereotypes. It's serviceable, but certainly not a good film.
That's all I got. I can't think of any more decent killer crocodile or alligator films. Oh sure, Lake Placid and Alligator both had direct-to-video sequels. But I'm talking about original films that were released in the theaters. I see that Tobe Hooper did a film called Crocodile in 2000, but I haven't seen it. Has anyone? I'd like to make sure I'm not missing anything decent in the genre.
And that last sentence may be the saddest thing I have ever written. Sigh.
Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I remember when rock was young. Me and Suzy had so much fun...