Ever since Frankenstein’s monster faced off against the Wolfman, horror fans have flocked to films where behemoths have squared off against each other, with a body count raising in their wake. With Roger Corman continuing the trend with his Sharktopus VS series, and other contenders such as FRANKENSTEIN VS THE MUMMY (review here), the constant flow of fight movies doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. The latest monstrous debacle at hand? LAKE PLACID VS ANACONDA. Yep, the crocs from the Lake Placid series face off against the snakes from the Anaconda franchise.
Geneticists looking to gain access to an anti-aging agent from the Blood Orchid anacondas, decide to trek north to Lake Placid to utilize the strength of their crocodiles to enhance it. Why they couldn’t just get a sample and head back to the Amazon, I’ll never know, but they head up with a female and two male anacondas for their experiment. Being led by local poacher and lowlife Jim Bickerman (Robert Englund reprising his role from LAKE PLACID: THE FINAL CHAPTER), the scientists are able to capture a croc and mix the DNA with that of an anaconda. No sooner that this is done, then the animals escape into the wild, creating chaos for townsfolk in the area.
Blending two franchises that most people didn’t realize had carried on could be a gamble, but for the most part, LAKE PLACID VS ANACONDA keeps things moving quickly. The other good thing is that it keeps things fairly self contained, so it’s not necessary to have seen the previous films to understand what’s going on. All you need to know is that people shouldn’t meddle with Mother Nature, and get ready for crazy kills.
Starring Yancy Butler as Sheriff Reba, a recurring character from both LAKE PLACID 3 and LAKE PLACID: THE FINAL CHAPTER, Reba wins the award for most cold blooded, which is saying a lot being surrounded by giant reptiles. Butler plays Reba as no-nonsense, and given her history, someone that despises the monstrous crocs (and now ginormous snakes). Had she been the only human fighting the monsters, it would have been difficult to not root for the animal kingdom, but she’s backed up by Fish & Wildlife’s Will Tull, played by Corin Nemec (Parker Loser Can’t Lose, Stargate SG-1).
Nemec has been on a roll with tackling giant animals as of late, from MANSQUITO to THE SEA BEAST to ROBOCROC. I blame it all on his role in OPERATION DUMBO DROP, a film that’s involved actors haven’t enjoyed a lot of box office success lately. Despite this, he’s a likable leading man, making it even more glaring as to how big of a bitch Butler’s character is.
While you can’t expect an epic, LAKE PLACID VS ANACONDA does succeed in inventive kills, and in the unrated version, gratuitous nudity. While this isn’t the film for everyone, it should definitely appease the fan of most SyFy Channel originals. While not on par with the budget and effects of the SHARKNADO series, the CGI isn’t used to the point of being annoying.
Sadly the DVD doesn’t have any special features, which could add to the fun, nor are there any clear plans for a box set, but if you’re in the mood for a giant animal shlockfest, then you could choose much worse.
LAKE PLACID VS ANACONDA is available on unrated DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of Tuesday, August 4th, 2015.