Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Crocodile (1980)

Jaws (1975) was one of the biggest box office smashes ever. It made moviegoers around the world get a little uneasy whenever they stepped into the ocean. The film featured a huge mechanical shark that although was a complete headache to operate (and apparently didn’t function correctly most of the time) it certainly added that “wow factor” to the film. I mean what’s a giant shark movie without a giant shark right? As always when a movie of this type does extremely well in the theaters there will be imitators trying their hand at making some extra cash as well and hoping to ride the coattails to success. In 1980 American film producer Herman Cohen threw a line out to audiences in an attempt to reel in a bounty of moola but his bait was rotten. That bait was known as Crocodile.
Crocodile was made in Thailand by Sompote Sands and brought to the U.S. by Cohen. The film is basically Jaws but with a crocodile and a big one at that. I’m talking about one the size of “Bruce”, the mechanical menace from Jaws, I’m talking Godzilla inspired big. Of course the croc’s size changes size constantly throughout the film but that’s another issue with this rather extremely painful to watch movie.

Our movie opens with a warning about screwing around with nature and we are then treated to a huge hurricane destroying a village. There are lots of shots of miniature huts being pummeled and actors being dosed with barrelfuls of water. We are then introduced to a doctor whose wife finally convinces him to stop being such a workaholic and take the family on a vacation. He does and his wife, kid and sister in law (?) are eaten by a giant crocodile. After grieving for a brief moment he decides to research and find out exactly what killed his family. The culprit is indeed a very large crocodile, one that has grown to enormous size due to radiation from nuclear testing (sound familiar Godzilla fans?). So now he must put together a team to destroy this creature. That team includes his now former future brother in law and some captain of a boat destined to destroy something monstrous because of a tattoo on his chest that he proudly displays……..Quint this guy ain’t.

Whatchoo two doin?
 After lots of filler time of the giant croc attacking and killing people the three sail out to sea and lure the giant out to them with chemically induced barrels of chum…..maybe? I’m not sure the movie makes zero sense.  While waiting they are joined by a photographer, Peter, who shows up as some kind of comic relief yet everyone on board won’t talk to him and generally ignore him. It’s kind of an odd scene which again makes zero sense. The croc finally attacks and eats the captain of the ship. Several harpoons are tossed at the creature to no avail. Finally Peter sacrifices himself by diving headfirst into the croc’s mouth with a handful of dynamite. At least I think that’s kind of what happens. The editing throughout the attack scenes leave your head reeling and wondering just what the hell is going on. The movie ends with the croc and the ship blowing sky high. The end credits roll and well…….everyone’s dead. Wow…….just wow!
Buffalo nom nom nom

You have to see Crocodile to believe it really. It’s that bad. So much amazingly awfulness is to be had. There are lots of shots of the crocs eyes as it surfaces, stock footage mind you, and in some scenes where a fake croc is used, the eyes light up in the dark! I’m talking flashlight eyes here! The croc can also flip its tail or something underwater and create a whirlpool that drowns its victims. It can also jump over boats, somehow propelling its body out of deep water and a good twelve feet above the sea. The scale of the creature also varies from scene to scene. Sometimes these scenes are seconds apart too. At one point a child is eaten and carried away in the crocs mouth. Another time a buffalo is eaten and taken away in the crocs mouth. Odd thing is, is that the kid and buffalo seem to be the same size in each shot telling me that they had several fake croc heads in different scales and no one even attempted to keep the scale correct. 

Swim! Don't run to the theater to see Crocodile!!
I will give Crocodile some credit though. There was a lot of blood and some nudity.With that said, even this couldn't save it. I do recommend seeing it though, at least once. It will make you ponder just how in the world are you going to get those agonizing 97 minutes back!

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