Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring David Carradine, Cory Landis, John Callahan, Amy Rasimas, Rib Hillis, Delia Sheppard
Directed by Jay Andrews AKA Jim Wynorski
Could it really be that Mega Piranha has raised the bar for this sort of over-the-top nature gone amok creature feature lunacy? I’m actually thinking the answer might very well be ‘yes’ after watching Dinocroc vs. Supergator. A mildly amusing bit of cheeseball Syfy monster nonsense courtesy producer of Roger Corman and director Jim Wynorski; still not as much as fun as I had hoped, and certainly nowhere near as frenetically paced or inventively insane as Mega Piranha was a few weeks back. Who’d have thunk the day would come that The Asylum could raise the bar for cinema in a positive manner?
David Carradine runs a genetics lab experimenting with a growth forum that creates giant-sized mushrooms, perhaps to feed mankind, or possibly at the behest of the makers of next year’s Smurfs movie wanting a life-size Smurf Village for promotional purposes. I was disappointed there wasn’t more to the movie involving these gardens of giant mushrooms. It has been nearly half a century since Attack of the Mushroom People and I would love another mutant monster mushroom movie again. We’re always getting giant killer fish or giant mutant reptiles; why so little love for giant killer vegetables?
David Carradine’s unscrupulous mogul wants to test the growth forum on an animal – I understand this. The animals he insists they use the serum on are an alligator and a crocodile – this I do not understand. Nobody on the scientific team has the guts to stand up to their boss by asking, “Can’t we start with an animal less likely to eat us? How about an aardvark? Who’s afraid of a giant aardvark?” But when your genetics lab is run by Kill Bill and your top geneticist was previously seen aardvarking others in such erotic thrillers as Mirror Images and Sins of Desire, mistakes are bound to be made.
Having written that last paragraph, don’t be surprised to hear Syfy announce production has begun on “Mega Aardvark”. Former cast members of “Stargate SG-1” got to eat.
When the giant reptile rampage begins in the opening 10 seconds of the movie (Wynorski wisely wastes no time getting to the chomping, though the way he occasionally pads out the running time by dragging out minor shots and tossing in a needless lengthy flashback messes with the pacing), crafty Carradine sends his sexy henchwoman to silence non-devoured whistleblowers and calls in a skilled gator hunter from Louisiana known simply as “The Cajun” to deal with the matter with his special brand of explosive crossbow hunting.
I have a bone to pick with casting of “The Cajun”. This guy should have been some older, sleazy, swamp rat type. Instead they cast a young stud that looks like what I imagine the lead in a gay porn spoof of Crocodile Dundee would look like. This sleeveless “Cajun” never even attempts so much as the faintest Cajun accent either; something I’m not sure I should be disappointed by or thankful for. Still, this guy should have looked less like a male model and more like Tim Sizemore on a particularly bad day.
A federal agent in a Hawaiian shirt that isn’t nearly so ugly as to warrant the number of lame jokes about his ugly shirt is also in Hawaii looking for evidence to bring down Carradine’s illegal enterprise. His investigation pairs him up with a cute conservationist whose sweaty daddy is the local sheriff. Something about this agent’s hair and manner of speak brought to mind Robert Reed as Mike Brady. Something about the conservationist chick reminded me of an adult Cindy Brady. Their romance amused me greatly because I kept getting this twisted vision of “Brady Bunch” incest. Never really bought into their relationship anyway, not that it will matter, since the third act tosses their romance aside in lieu of a blooming bromance between the agent and the Cajun.
In between all the stuff that actually constitutes a plot are scenes designed to introduce random deaf, dumb, and blind characters, many a brainless bikini babe, for a minute or two before getting chomped into the next life. The second these people enter the fray you know their life expectancy will be short, making it all the more obvious when the inevitable happens.
The actors chew the scenery. The reptiles chew the actors. Its bold filmmaking to make the last line of dialogue in a movie like this be, “Glad that’s over with.” Bold indeed. Almost as bold as the rousing score that sounded more appropriate to a western than a creature feature.
As is always the case with these “versus” films, the title battle doesn’t actually occur until the final five minutes. That will disappoint some, especially considering disappointing what a one-sided affair the fight is. One giant reptile snout slaps the other all over the place before unleashing the fatal chomp. Kind of a letdown and yet still a vast improvement over Wynorksi’s last trip down reptile vs. reptile lane: Komodo vs. Kobra, a film I still to this day revile with every fiber of my being.
The bipedal Dinocroc looks roughly the same as it did in 2004’s Dinocroc, though for some reason they’ve changed its roar to one identical to the Jurassic Park T-Rex. The Supergator of 2007’s Supergator was nothing more than the Dinocroc with a greener paint job. Since having two nearly identical monsters fighting would have been too confusing, Supergator has been reverted back to being an ordinary, giant-sized, four-legged alligator, but with unusual back spines to make it appear more mutated.
Personally, I preferred the Supergator with its superior CGI much more than Dinocroc that looks to have just escaped from a Playstation cut scene. I think another reason I preferred Supergator was because he was far more proactive throughout the film; Dinocroc just loiters about a sugar mill most of the second half waiting for the action to come to him. Dinocroc is such a primadonna.
There’s definitely some fun to be had with Dinocroc vs. Supergator. Seeing one of these behemoths magically pop out of a foot of water and swallow someone whole in the blink of an eye is laughable. Watching the Dinocroc and Supergator chase after moving vehicles in such a way as to bring to mind a dog chasing a speeding car is funny. Counting the gunshots being fired from a revolver that never get reloaded is comical. Witnessing a character make the single most unnecessary noble sacrifice, as if they were suicidal to begin with and decided that since the chance to commit suicide by gator was upon them they shouldn’t let this opportunity slip by, makes for an absurd turn of events. Gawking at the silly death face the late David Carradine makes as his character perishes and knowing this is one of the last images of him ever put to film, that certainly brings a stupid smile to your face. But overall, yeah, I’m definitely thinking Mega Piranha has raised the bar for this particular breed of b-movie. Balls in your court, Sharktopus.
2 1/2 out of 5
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