TOBE HOOPER’S ‘CROCODILE.’ 2000. DIRECTED BY TOBE HOOPER. STARRING MARK MCLAUGHLIN, CAITLIN MARTINI, HARRISON YOUNG, TERRENCE EVANS, ADAM GIERASCH, SOMMER KNIGHT AND CHRIS SOLARI. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I truly love a good creature-feature. Man-eating sharks, killer apes, ball-breaking bears, whales, tarantulas, dinosaurs, birds and, of course, crocs and gators. I love ’em all. The bigger the rampaging beast, the better I like it. If it’s a mutated strain of creature, or if it’s been treated with unfeasibly large doses of some sort of growth hormone and now it’s the size of, say, France, well, then I like it even better. CROCODILE is definitely a superior addition to the genre.
Directed by Tobe ‘TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE’ Hooper, it’s the story of a group of typically annoying young people (American high school graduates) who take a houseboat out on the massive Lake Sobek for a bit of a jolly jaunt. What they don’t know, however, is that this lake and the area around it is home to a gigantic man-eating Nile crocodile that has a somewhat chequered history.
Yeah, it seems that old ‘Flat-dog’ the crocodile was the chief attraction at a local hotel a century ago, but sometimes chief attractions run amok and kill everybody in sight and then the locals have to burn down the hotel, see, thinking they’re burning the crocodile. That’ll learn her, or will it…? I’m here to tell you, dear reader, that it most assuredly will not.
Yep, old Flat-dog is on the loose and the sex-mad, boozy students are right at the top of her hit-list. This is mainly because one of them, unknown to herself, is carrying one of the killer croc’s baby-eggs around in her back-pack. Jeez Louise! No wonder Mommy Croc is pissed. Super-pissed. And she wants her little diddums back…
The gory scenes are terrific. The croc sensibly picks off the sluttiest or most irritating of the students first, leaving the slightly less offensive ones for afters. See, when you’re watching it, if you can guess which are which? The croc looks really real and is absolutely terrifying. My favourite scene is the one in which the young folks realise that the monster, the biggest creature they’ve ever seen in their lives, is following them quietly across the lake. Just looking at the sheer length of the creature would give you the willies.
I love Sheriff Bowman too. He’s just brilliant. He’s your typical redneck sheriff with the mirrored sunglasses who calls everyone ‘Boy’ and threatens you with allsorts if you say one word out of line. The students give him plenty of sass-back but they sure are mighty glad of him later on when the going gets tough. Princess the woolly little puppy-dog is adorably cute, by the way, and sooooo brave, bless her.
The two gator-farmers, Shurkin and Lester, are great fun also. Clearly the product of too many years of good old-fashioned inbreeding, they’re just so… so unpleasant. And hard on the eye. Ah well. I don’t suppose that any of that makes one lick-a-difference to the gators they farm. What do they care, so long’s they get fed…?
There are some terrific shots of the lake and the surrounding countryside. It’s a lovely area. My one disappointment was that the film-makers didn’t take us into the creepy and undoubtedly haunted hotel where the initial croc-killings took place, the hotel whose facade we’re shown a fair few times. Why tease us with it, if you’re not going to invite us in for a wee look-see? Seems a mite unfair, especially when we know how spooky abandoned hotels or any ruined structures can be.
Is this a good creature-feature? Absolutely. Superior direction and effects see to that. I love the ending. It’s not predictable, it involves no use of explosives and it shows class, real class. This is one of the ‘monster-crocodile’ movies I return to again and again, like ROGUE, BLACK WATER, DINO-CROC VS. SUPER-GATOR and the LAKE PLACID movies. It’s good gory stuff. You’ll love it.
And Brady the lead guy has lovely blue eyes and a great body. I’m only saying. What he’s doing with that drippy girlfriend of his, I just don’t know. Maybe I should let him know that I’m available. You know, just in case…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
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10) VISITING DAY