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Lake Placid 2 (Unrated) DVD Review

Buy Lake Placid 2: Unrated DVD from Amazon.com Lake Placid 2
Movie & DVD Details

Director: David Flores

Cast: John Schneider (Sheriff Riley), Sarah Lafleur (Emily), Sam McMurray (Struthers), Chad Collins (Scott Riley), Alicia Ziegler (Kerri), Joe Holt (Ahmad), Ian Reed Kesler (Thad), Justin Urich (Larry), Cloris Leachman (Sadie Bickerman), VJ Kewl (Rachel), Robert Blush (Frank), Jonas Talkington (Cal Miner), Terence H. Winkless (Deputy Davis)

Original Air Date: April 28, 2007 / Running Time: 88 Minutes / Rating: Not Rated (Alternate Version Rated R)

1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; Closed Captioned; Extras Not Subtitled
DVD Release Date: January 29, 2008
Suggested Retail Price: $14.98 (Reduced from $26.98)
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9)

Buy Lake Placid 2 on DVD from Amazon.com: Unrated Edition R-Rated Edition 2-Pack

By Christopher Disher

From the cable network that consistently brings you bad made-for-TV movies comes yet another sequel to fall into the compost pit: Lake Placid 2. Having next to nothing to do with the original 1999 thriller, it's a wonder this title ever got the green light in the first place. The Sci-Fi Channel has consistently made itself known for producing cheesy films with scary creatures,
but I would have much rather seen their primary success story, "Stargate SG-1", renewed for an eleventh season. Succeeding its predecessor chronologically but not qualitatively, Placid 2 brings nothing new to the franchise, genre or the craft itself.

The film opens with a standard aerial shot of the setting and later immerses us underwater as we take the crocodile's point of view. As we watch a pair of workers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a conversation of obvious foreshadowing, little time is spent before jumping into the biting action. In much of the same spirit as Jaws, Lake Placid 2's plot develops when the death of an EPA employee alerts the local sheriff to the potential danger of having a man-eating crocodile in his lake during tourist season. Played by seasoned TV actor John Schneider, Sheriff Riley musters up the meager scale of his force to track down and kill the beast. A battle between man and nature clashes with a battle of ideologies when Emily (Sarah Lafleur), a well-intentioned woman from Fish and Wildlife Services who happens to be a former love interest of Sheriff Riley's, joins in on the hunt.

Famed hunter Struthers (Sam McMurray) gets spooked by his prey. As Sheriff Riley, John Schneider uses his favorite, and only, expression and looks intently in the misty woods.

Lake Placid 2's genre went ripe decades ago. Following the first so ineptly makes the already rotten apple a bit mushier. The movie takes every opportunity to be banal, formulaic, and excessive. It panders to its young target audience with senseless female nudity and poorly contrived gore. The action is entirely convenient and ridiculous by every measure. The acting isn't even solid enough to say it has flaws -- the performances are flawed in their entirety.
The filmmakers break elementary rules of screen direction and the cuts don't match with the special effects, which look like they were drawn by a high-schooler in a dated computer lab. The characters deserve no attention or emotional investment as they parade around with their pretty TV faces, a masquerade that mocks the reality of the professions they attempted to imitate.

If the film can be considered at all compelling, it's in the anticipation of the characters' untimely deaths at the hands of a vicious and poorly animated creature. It's a shame the writers weren't on strike when this film entered the gauntlet. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if the final script was also the first draft of some other creature film laying in the waste bin at The Sci-Fi Channel's story department, the product of a pimply adolescent who slept through a Robert McKee lecture. But if cheesy Sci-Fi Channel fare is your cup of tea, Lake Placid 2 is the cream and sugar.


The quality of the film merits a presentation of equal quality. Therefore, it is fitting that the feature presentation includes only one audio track, a 5.1 Dolby mix in English, and a subtitle selection of English, Spanish, and French. I received a screener for this review and the picture plays in its original 16x9 aspect ratio and maintains the quality of a decently funded TV movie. The audio mix and cinematography are below ordinary -- everything you'd expect from this film. The vocals were clearly done in a studio via the ADR process. Consequently, the character's voices never sound as if they're speaking in their own environment but instead sound rehearsed and fake.

One of many survival tips the characters in "Lake Placid 2" should have adhered to. Despite the circumstances, the main actors still look dashing on the stagnant home menu.


Nine full months since debuting on Sci-Fi, Lake Placid 2 comes to DVD with a very limited selection of special features.
First is a four-minute montage of action scenes, babe scenes, and shots of the crew working juxtaposed with the finished product. It's a worthy watch for its upbeat pace and ability to inform with no extraneous narration or interviews.

Next is a humorous and informative piece detailing in slide form a number of tips on how to survive a crocodile attack (3:50). The selection is wrapped up with LAKE PLACID 2: The "Gnawed Up" Version (9:05). Just as the name suggests, this bonus selection is a sort of re-mix of the entire film with attention on the exciting creature attacks and lascivious nudity. It cues through everything but the chicks and violence; leaving a vastly improved, and incredibly succinct, version of the film.

The menus are all stagnant, though attractive, with oppressive background music. They are presented in 16:9 and are fairly easy to navigate, although the buttons are sometimes counterintuitive in selection order.

Scott Riley (Chad Collins) stands still, thinking the croc's vision is based on movement like the T-Rex. Sadie Bickerman (Cloris Leachman, replacing Betty White) shows her spoiled meat collection.


Lake Placid 2 is worth a watch if and only if you can find humor in bad filmmaking. The special features are worth checking out but I recommend going no further than that unless you want a learning experience on how not to make a movie.

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Reviewed January 29, 2008.

Text copyright 2008 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2007 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
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