Looking back over my previous review of Fabrizio De Angelis’ original Killer Crocodile, I was stunned to see I’d given it a whopping three stars despite it being an impressively stupid, italian Jaws ripoff that contained a touch as subtle and delicate as a mountain troll giving a back rub. After first checking back to see if I’d consumed any out of date medication at the time, I realised that while I usually respectfully rip cheesy, italian knock offs to sheds, Killer Crocodile’s dopey carnage actually won me over in spite of my self. Maybe it was the sheer mean spirited nature of the thing, or maybe it contains one of the most awe-inspiring hat tosses in cinema history, but I thought I’d cut the film a break and class its stunningly hilarious negatives as positives that demand a drunken, late night viewing.
But wait, we weren’t done yet. You see, never one to turn down a quick buck, the producers actually made a filmed a sequel back to back and this blind optimism birthed us the predictably titled Killer Crocodile 2 that immediately set to work trying to out-crap the original with jaw dropping results.
It seems like the inhabitants of the Caribbean swamps that saw a toxic waste embiggened giant crocodile rampage though their world are pretty slow on the uptake. You see, the illegal chemical dumping that saw the original beast grow to the size of Beyonce’s tour bus is still going on and its managed to spawn yet another huge, scaley bastard that’s making it’s way through the local population like a toothy battering ram.
However, while no one seems to be particularly bothered that an entire boat full of nuns and children have taken a direct route to heaven by the way of the croc’s gullet, tough New York reporter, Lisa Post throws herself into trying to catch the unscrupulous Mr Baxter in the act before he starts building his proposed resort on swamp land that’s no doubt riddled with toxic barrels and giant crocodile shit.
Heading out into the swamp with a guide that’s on Baxter’s payroll, Lisa finds herself being threatened first by the skeevy boatman – and then by the giant reptile who chomps down on his wannabe rapist ass and so Lisa finds herself stranded in the swamps with a trailer-sized predator on the prowl.
Enter Kevin Jones (eventually – we’re like 40 minutes into the film at this point), the hero from the previous film who stopped the original rampage by tossing a running boat propeller down the throat of the original threat and has now been hired to track down the wayward reporter but soon realises he’s now in the middle of yet another showdown with a voracious, mutated, prehistoric lizard- and you thought John McClane had repetitive bad luck.
Can Kevin go two for two in the category of battling super charged aquatic sea monsters and finally bring peace to the gore stained swamps before the corrupt businessmen carve it all up for money?
Shit, I’d stick with the croc, to be honest…
So yeah, I’ll hold my hands up and admit that maybe I was sort of overzealous with my review of the first movie. It’s not like I don’t make mistakes (believe me, I’ve gotten plenty of posts conserving my spelling and punctuation to prove that I conclusively do), but in my defence, I was rating Killer Crocodile on sheer, stupid enjoyment instead of actually filmmaking skills, but even if I was to rate the sequel under the same, overeager criteria, it would still come up short. Don’t get me wrong, I’d take this ridiculous, rubbery lunacy over a dead eyed, CGI Lake Placid sequel any day of the week, but to describe Killer Crocodile 2 as a “good” movie is a quick way to end up getting sectioned – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have 84 minutes of pure fun relentlessly skewering this turkey every time it does something forehead slappingly bizarre.
Take the moment when legendary effects man turned director Giannetto De Rossi deems it utterly necessary to have his toothy leading man annihilate a nun and a bunch of screaming kids on-screen and then have no one actually bring this up later despite there being witnesses. Or how about when returning, grizzled, Robert Shaw-esque croc hunter Joe is yanked into the water by the creature only to surface covering blood and dying, but having no noticable bite marks on him anywhere – did… did the croc shiv him to fucking death? Or why the hell during the climax is there a family frolicking on rubber inflatables in the middle of a inhospitable swamp were our titular beast has already given itself IBS by swallowing a bunch of school kids?
The croc itself is pretty much the exact same, oversized bath toy it was in the original that the filmmakers put centre screen as much as they can (they paid to build this thing so you best believe they’re gonna get their money’s worth!) and the movie seems to delight in showing off how muscular this wobbly predator really is by staging outlandish shit like the animal exploding through the side of a shed, eating everyone inside and then dragging the entire structure into the water just like the sort of stuff Arnold Schwarzenegger would do if he was a big, rubber animal. Still, it looks amazingly ridiculous (remember, we’re only seven years away from Anaconda at this point) and matters aren’t helped much when characters breathlessly describe it as being as big as a house and then we cut to a shot of it looking nowhere near as big as a house.
Still, as voracious a predator as the killer croc is, it’s nowhere near as much a man-eater as its female lead and while we should be impressed that an Italian horror movie has given us a reporter who is capable enough to effortlessly knock a car thief on his ass or pull a switch blade on a would-be rapist, we not only get the expected nudity, wet see-through clothes and questionable come on lines that swing for overt sexuality (one attempt leaves our bearded hero softly sigh: “Oh god, what do you have in mind?”), but she also has some stunningly dated dialogue such as the cringe inducing, “Every decent looking man you see at these parties is either married or a faggot.”
While our heroine is making out like a homophobic spin-off from Sex In The City, the movie’s other female characters display the intelligence of single-celled organisms, spouting out head scratching clap trap like “The trouble is when I take off my bathing suit I feel naked.” and “Why so woe be gone?” – but then, when your main character arrives to the movie fourty minutes late and is essentially nothing more than a sentient beard, believable characters are going to be thin on the ground.
Still, the kills are plentiful, the croc is awful and the movie doesn’t even remember to punish the evil corporate waste dumped by the time the credits roll. It may not be a three star film, but that doesn’t mean Killer Crocodile 2 isn’t entertaining in it’s own way.
You’ll shed crocodile tears – of unintentional laughter, that is.