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Croc (DVD)

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Croc DVDReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Michael Madsen, Peter Tuinstra, Sherry Phungprasert, Elizabeth Healey, Scott Hazell

Directed by Stewart Raffil

Distributed by Genius Products, LLC.


Croc is every bit as generic as its title implies. A positively perfunctory exercise in nature gone amok filmmaking, if not for the exotic Thailand locales and Thai supporting actors – some of whom recite their lines in stilted English – Croc would just be another run-of-the-mill killer animal movie that’s short on fun and long on formula. Eventually even the Thai flavoring cannot save Croc from being just another mundane killer crocodile flick in a long line of mundane killer crocodile flicks.

A really big crocodile starts terrorizing a Thailand tourist resort area. In all honesty, that’s practically the entire film’s plot in a nutshell. Big croc, Thai tourists start getting eaten, and people set out to stop it before more people get eaten. End of story.

There’s this guy named Jack McQuade (who looks way too young for the part) running an animal park tourist attraction in Thailand that attracts more creditors than customers and even some nefarious individuals determined to run him off by hook or by crook. I was never quite sure if they were shady underworld types who appeared to be even younger than McQuade or if they were just young rich pricks stooping to underworld tactics, but aside from being ultimately unnecessary to the plot, these prerequiste human villains for the sake of giving the movie some human villains come across more like a bunch of Thai frat boys plotting how to steal a keg of beer than criminal elements scheming to steal someone’s land.

A Thai animal welfare lady shows up to chastise McQuade for some minor infractions and you better believe romance eventually blossoms between the two. McQuade also has a young horndog nephew named Theo who is also constantly macking on the local Thai beauties.

Meanwhile, a really big crocodile has shown up and begun eating tourists and locals alike. Why has this big man-eating croc that’s been terrorizing peasant villagers upriver suddenly made its way south to terrorize tourist areas? Why global warming, of course. At least that was the best excuse they could hypothesize, not that they spend much time trying to hypothesize its reason for being there. However, it is quite obvious the screenwriter got his hands on a big book of crocodile facts given how often such random facts spew forth from the mouths of various characters.

Saboteurs released some of the crocs from McQuade’s tourist trap and authorities look to blame him when body parts wash ashore. Oh, if only there was a name actor who could help sell this film to international markets that they could cast in the bit part as a grizzled crocodile hunter who’ll prove McQuade’s crocs aren’t responsible and then join forces with him to help hunt down and kill the croc that actually is.

And that’s when Michael Madsen shows up to collect an easy paycheck. I’d dare call his an effortless performance in the sense that he does the absolute minimum required of him both verbally and physically. Mr. Blonde has his “I’m only here ’cause I need beer money” face on, which is fitting since his character constantly looks and sounds like he’s nursing a hangover. Method acting?

But who cares about plot and characters when what we’re all really here for is the killer crocodile and seeing it chomp people. Prepare for massive disappointment. Aside from infrequent use of a CGI crocodile and a prosthetic croc head that’s used even less, Croc‘s croc is pretty much a product of nature footage of a real-life crocodile. If you like close-up shots of a crocodile’s eye then you’ll be happy. It’s supposed to be a rather large crocodile but there’s almost never any sense of scale due to the stock footage being of an average crocodile; the illusion of its enormity only works when the prosthetic head or CGI is used. Outside of a highly improbable swimming pool death scene that comes complete with multiple continuity errors, most of the croc attacks are pretty par for the course, telegraphed well in advance to the point of negating any suspense, and many occur underwater in a manner obscuring the carnage. There’s just not a lot of fun to be had watching this croc attack.

You know a killer animal flick stinks when the climax has six characters heading off to kill the beast and when the dust settles all six are still alive and predominantly uninjured, despite two of them actually getting chomped and dragged off by the croc.

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    Film:

    1 1/2 out of 5

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    0 out of 5

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    Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

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    We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

    In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

    Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

    If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

    The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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    Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View

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    Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

    Directed by Marcel Sarmiento


    Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

    17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

    What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

    • Film
    2.0

    Summary

    Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

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    IAMX’s Alive in New Light Review – A Dark, Hypnotic, and Stunning Musical Endeavor

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    Recording eight albums is an achievement no matter the artist, group, or band. This is especially true for Chris Corner’s IAMX, his solo project after the trip hop group Sneaker Pimps, which has enchanted listeners since 2004’s Kiss + Swallow with its dark electronic aesthetic. There’s something fascinating about the music Corner puts out as IAMX. Perhaps it’s the underlying melancholy that seems to pervade the music, almost certainly a result of the musician’s battle with depression and chronic insomnia [Source]. Perhaps it’s the unexpected melodies that reveal themselves with each new measure. Whatever it is, IAMX’s music is a constant delight.

    On Alive in New Light, Corner reveals that his eighth album was a product he created as a way of “…breaking free from demons that have long plagued him,” per an official press release. Strangely enough, this uplifting attitude may easily be overlooked but repeat listens unveil a sense of hope and wonder that are simply breathtaking. The title track echoes with almost angelic choir pads that positively shine as Corner exultingly cries in a shimmering falsetto, “I’m alive in new light!” This comes after the Depeche Mode-esque “Stardust”, which offers the first collaboration with Kat Von D, whose pure voice is a beautiful addition to the pulsating track.

    The third track, “Break The Chains”, has an opening that immediately called to mind Birds of Tokyo’s “Discoloured”, which is meant as a compliment. It’s followed by the Nine Inch Nails influenced “Body Politics”, which meshes Corner’s crooning vocals with a 90’s industrial backdrop. “Exit” has an almost sinister progression lurking in the background that builds to an aggressive, in-your-face third act. The cinematic Middle Eastern flairs of “Stalker” mutate effortlessly into a heartbeat pulse that features back-and-forth vocals between Corner and Von D. The haunted circus vibe that permeates through “Big Man” is mirrored by its playful gothic aura, ghostly “oohs” and “aahs” sprinkled carefully here and there.

    While the album has been a delight up to this point, it’s the final two tracks that took my breath away and left me stunned. “Mile Deep Hollow” builds layer after layer while Corner passionately cries out, “So thank you/you need to know/that you dragged me out/of a mile deep hollow/and I love you/you brought me home/because you dragged me out/of a mile deep hollow.” The way the song’s melodies back these wonderfully uplifting lyrics feels grand and epic, as though a journey is coming to an end, which is where “The Power and the Glory” comes in. Far more subdued, it’s a beautiful song that feels almost like a religious experience, a hymn of a soul that is desperate to claw its way to salvation and escape a life of pain and darkness.

    What makes Alive in New Light so wonderful is how much there is to experience. I got the album and listened to it no less than five times in a row without pause. I simply couldn’t turn it off because each return revealed something new in the music. Corner also makes fantastic use of Von D’s vocals, carefully placing them so as to make them a treat and not a commonplace certainty.

    While some may be disappointed that there are only nine tracks, each of the songs is carefully and meticulously crafted to be as powerful and meaningful as possible. It really is a stunning accomplishment and I’m nothing short of blown away by how masterfully Alive in New Light plays out.

    • Alive in New Light
    5.0

    Summary

    IAMX’s Alive in New Light is a triumph of music. Full of beauty and confidence, it doesn’t forget the foundation that fans have come to know and love for over a decade but instead embraces that comfortable darkness with open arms. Corner states that this album was a way to break free from his demons. It certainly feels like he’s made peace with them.

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