Crocodile 2: Death Swamp (2002)
Crocodile 2: Death Swamp (2002)

Genre: Horror Running Time: 1 hr. 29 min.

Release Date: August 13th, 2002 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Gary Jones Actors: Heidi Noelle Lenhart, Chuck Walczak, Jon Sklaroff, Darryl Theirse, David Valcin, James Parks, Martin Kove, Anna Cranage, Suzanne Thirumur, Teea Laitinen

 


 

A

group of unsubtly-dressed bank robbers, adorned in black jackets, ski masks, shotguns, and foreign accents, storms the Arizona Millennium Bank to steal wads of cash. This initial sequence is filled with an impressive amount of slow-motion shootouts, multiple characters diving through glass barriers, a security guard somersaulting behind a counter, and plenty of machinegun fire. It’s an extremely unfitting opening, considering the movie is actually about an oversized, killer crocodile.

At the Orange County Airport, Air Acapulco Flight #211 stewardess Mia Bozeman (Heidi Noelle Lenhart) hopes for smooth sailing so that she can reunite with her boyfriend Zack (Chuck Walczak), who is waiting for her in Mexico. Unfortunately, the bevy of bank plunderers has booked her flight and is intent on harassing all the passengers – paired with the inconvenience of undependable, pill-popping fellow attendant Julie (Anna Cranage). When a storm forces the plane to turn back, the bandits, led by Max (Darryl Theirse), hijack the aircraft and begin randomly shooting annoying passengers. One of the pilots is also killed when he attempts to wrestle a pistol away from Jack “Squid” (James Parks). After the airliner crashes into a swamp, the few survivors attempt to trek through the rain and quagmire to a village several miles away, while worried Zack hires a drunken tracker named Roland (Martin Kove), who wears a T-shirt that says “U.S. Navy Seal Team,” to help find the downed plane.

This film was clearly made before bringing poorly concealed guns onto airplanes was an issue. The option for crew members to waltz in and out of the cockpit is also unimpeded. The entire setup is rather elaborate, considering the basic premise is designed to put a handful of victims in the path of a voracious, toothy beast. Since half the survivors are ruthless murderers (especially Sol, played by Jon Sklaroff, who behaves like an absolute animal and raving lunatic) – many worse than the creature itself – it’s easy to root for no one. Even the civilian passengers that do make it out of the wreck are so flawed or obnoxious that siding with them is difficult. Strangely, this layout draws many parallels to the mediocre horror film “Scarecrows” from 1988.

30 minutes into the film, the first victim is snagged by the crocodile – just when audiences are likely to forget that this is supposed to be a giant reptile movie. The acting isn’t as bad as one might expect from this kind of low-budget B-movie, but the dialogue is atrocious, generating unintentional humor at all the wrong moments. Max’s lines are the most ridiculous, as nearly every sentence contains at least one use of the expletive “motherfucker.” During a few priceless scenes, he’s able to squeeze more than two into a single exchange. The gore and special makeup effects by Robert Hall aren’t terrible, though the appearance of the croc itself alternates between the stunning, practical prop of a 6-foot, fang-filled head – and discount, computer-generated imagery that is noticeably unrealistic. And by the end, featuring a laughable nightmare sequence, it’s debatable whether or not gunshots kill more people than the monster.

– Mike Massie

  • 3/10