Lake Placid vs. Anaconda- 2015
Scott’s Review #267
Reviewed August 16, 2015
To say that Lake Placid vs. Anaconda is a bad film is being generous. It is poorly made, written, and acted. Containing every horror and comedy cliché in the book, it is clearly not a film to take seriously, and is best watched late at night amongst adult spirits.
The premise is ludicrous, the acting way overdone, and all characters are “types” and one-dimensional. Having seen the original Lake Placid and Anaconda films (and they were not so great themselves), I was unaware that this is actually the fifth film for both franchises and is a crossover.
Premiering on the Syfy network in mid 2015, it is a made for television feature, and the lack of any real gore is apparent for this reason. Robert Englund and Yancy Butler, stars of other installments of the franchise, make return appearances. Sadly, no Betty White or Jennifer Lopez (stars of the original Lake Placid and Anaconda respectively) in this one.
Lake Placid vs. Anaconda is not trying to be great art or necessarily art at all, but rather an idiotic late night experience. I did not rate the film a solid F since it knew what it was and did not try to take itself too seriously, which I respect at least.
The story begins in the middle of the woods near Clear Lake, Maine, as an illegal experiment is occurring inside a truck. Serum is being illegally extracted from a sedated crocodile to sell to a giant corporation for profit. Jim Bickerman (played by horror legend Englund) has been paid handsomely to provide information in order for the plot to happen.
A villainous corporate schemer is on hand to oversee the events. Inevitably, something goes wrong and the crocodile wakes up and gets loose, encountering large anacondas, who are also on the loose. From this point, we are introduced to other inane characters that round out the film, including a group of bitchy sorority sisters on their way to Clear Lake presumably to pledge and party, and Sheriff Reba (Yancy Butler) and her bumbling team of police officers. Also integral to the story is one of the sorority sister’s (Bethany) father, Will, who attempts to help Sheriff Reba rescue everyone from the killer reptiles.
Side stories include the laugh out loud pledge attempts by some of the sorority wannabees (one is forced to dig a hole in the sand large enough for her to hide in within 20 minutes), a friendship between the only two sensible girls, Bethany and Margot, a high leveled female executive intent on capturing the serum for riches, and a burgeoning romance between Reba and Will.
Silly personified, the film is meant to be goofy and the actors play their roles as they are foolishly written. There is not a shred of realism to the film and none of the characters have any depth. The worst offender from a character standpoint, is humorously my favorite. Tiffani is the comically vicious sorority queen. With her constant berating of the new pledges, she regularly demands that they get in the water and swim for her entertainment. Ultimately, the girls are attacked by the crocodile in the water, allowing for multiple camera shots of the girls swimming underwater while scantily clad. Is this a 1980’s low budget horror throwback? When the crocodile emerges to land the remaining girls flee for safety.
In a hilarious scene, Tiffani and one of her minion’s are cornered by the vicious crocodile. The minion asks what they should do and Tiffani replies with, “I have an idea”, and promptly pushes the minion towards the crocodile where she is chewed to bits allowing Tiffani to escape. Later, predictably, Tiffani receives her comeuppance.
I find myself perplexed as to why this film was even made. Clearly, made on a shoe-string budget, with dated CGI effects, little blood, and a preposterous plot. One is to assume that the franchise’s predecessors were similar ventures.
Laced with one dumb scene after another and tough to take at all seriously, Lake Placid vs. Anaconda is as poor filmmaking as they come, but certainly to be taken with a grain of salt and enjoyed for its campy badness. Art, hardly, but rather a fluff horror-comedy for a boozy Saturday night.