Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Cynthia Rose Hall, Kim Little, Matthew Blashaw, David Novak
Directed by Scott Harper
About a week ago I bought a two piece fish combo from Long John Silver's, got home, sat down to eat and opened the box to find that all they gave me was a box of french fries. No fish. No hushpuppies. Just a box of french fries. I sat there thinking to myself as to what level of mental retardation does it take for someone to screw up a food order to that degree. I realize that fast food orders often get screwed up but in this case they'd screwed it up so bad that they actually failed the most basic primary function of fast food service. If you order a burger, tell them to hold the pickles and lettuce, and they still put put pickles and lettuce on the burger - that's just a screw-up. To order an entree and actually have them forget to include the entree - that takes a whole other level of incompetence. Supercroc is the movie equivalent to that box of french fries.
You go into it a nature gone amok movie expecting to see the killer animal in question stalk, maul, mangle, mutilate, and munch on victims. You go into a giant monster movie expecting to see the oversized beast destroy things, smash things, lay waste to infrastructure, and wreck havoc on the general populace. The Asylum's Supercroc combines those two genres and still gives you little-to-none of what you anticipate when watching such films. I watched Supercroc and for 80-minutes I watched nothing. Nothing to get excited about, nothing to see here, absolutely nothing; the movie fails Creature Feature Filmmaking 101. Actually, the makers of Supercroc failed Basic Filmmaking 101 by even attempting to make this movie in the first place. If you don't have the means by which to make a movie so that it lives up to even the most basic expectations of potential viewers THEN DON'T MAKE THAT MOVIE!
Seriously, make another movie if you don't have the means to make the movie you're setting out to make. You're making a movie about a 50-foot crocodile; you don't suppose people watching this movie are going to expect to see that crocodile do more than just walk around? We're certainly not watching this movie because we want to listen to people talk endlessly about the crocodile or to repeatedly see soldiers shooting at the giant crocodile without actually seeing the giant crocodile they're shooting at. Or to see aerial attacks in which the croc is blasted without effect by rockets, getting to see the rockets launched and flying through the air, but when the rockets approach their target we only get to see a background explosion shown from a distance and mostly obscured by trees. We never actually get to see when they attempt to gas the croc - just a shot of the croc passed out afterwards. Sheesh, even when they kill the damn croc at the end we don't actually get to see it happen - only a shot of its eviscerated remains after the fact.
The not-so-super-croc has limited screen time to begin with and what little it does get is quite little indeed. A blurry (thanks to the lower tier Sci-Fi Channel-quality CGI) tussle between the crocodile and a helicopter is the most elaborate sequence of the film. Aside from that, I hope you like seeing a giant crocodile walking through the woods, on the beach, along or across empty streets, past some matte paintings, or squashing a random car and killing a few random people in bloodless, often visually obscured fashion. Supercroc is a scam that constantly cheats us out of the very reason we're watching the blasted film in the first place. Even the exceptionally cheesy Eden Formula (review here) and its puppet T-Rex delivered more rampaging monster in the city streets action than this.
I'll say this for it, the films boasts a solid score that conveys a sense of action and suspense contrary to the uneventful non-action occurring on the screen. Characters are constantly shown in the military command center tracking the croc's movement are reacting like its 9/11 all over again even though the croc really hasn't done much of anything to warrant this level of panic. It's established very early on that the croc's hide is so thick that machine gun fire does nothing and yet even after that has been established the bulk of the military vs. giant croc action consists of soldier shooting at it with their machine guns. And more often than not, you see soldiers shooting without actually seeing what they're supposed to be shooting at. I'm thinking The Asylum should have ripped-off an old black & white Spanish monster flick called Sound of Horror and made a movie about a giant invisible crocodile on the prowl instead. The lack of visible on-screen giant croc action in a movie called INVISOCROC would at least be somewhat more justifiable.
The plot synopsis on the back of the DVD actually begins with the line, "In this non-stop action adventure..." Excuse me? For action to be non-stop I do believe it actually has to start. Supercroc never gets going; things rarely ever rise past the level of being a crushing bore. You know a movie has serious problems when you're already bored out of your mind and you're only a few minutes removed from the opening credits. This thing is DOA.
Even more laughable is seeing "Original Uncut Version" plastered at the top of the front of the DVD case for a movie that would probably merit a PG-rating if not for the profanity. Maybe that's it; maybe this is the original cut of the film with more obscenities.
And as for those vulgarity-spouting talking heads, either this was one of the worst shot movies The Asylum's ever made or they did a lousy job cropping it for widescreen after the fact because characters keep getting the tops of their heads chopped off at the hairline. I lost count of the number of people that appeared on the screen sans scalp.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, Supercroc is about a giant crocodile. This giant crocodile lurks in the woods near the California lake it's residing in. It's laid a few eggs there too. Soldiers have been sent in but quickly find themselves no match for the monstrous croc. A female forensic paleontologist and some military higher-ups back at base command track the croc, speculate on how such a giant croc could come to be, and debate/panic over how they should deal with it. They have to find a way to stop the giant crocodile before it reaches downtown Los Angeles in pursuit of its last remaining egg that the forensic paleontologist has possession of.
That paragraph above is not just the plot synopsis - that's the whole damn movie in a nutshell! It never gets anymore creative or complex than what I just described. The script isn't even innovative enough to qualify as being overly clichéd. What we have here is just the most basic structure of a giant monster movie that's been strip-mined to its bare bones and presented in a far too matter-of-fact manner. Simplistic as it may be, it still could have made for an entertaining monster movie if the movie actually allowed the monster to appear on the screen more than it does and run amok like any good rampaging movie monster should when doing so. Instead we get the harrowing tale of the United States military attempting to stop a 50-foot crocodile as it walks towards Los Angeles where it will threaten to walk some more. Oh, lord, the suspense is killing me!
Outside of "Walking with Supercrocs," we get characters so devoid of character they merely qualify as talking heads spouting dialogue that ranges from perfunctory to inane. The serious-minded script is as unenthusiastic as it is insufferably deadpan (at least until the last half hour where every other shouted line of dialogue is peppered with some variation of "fuck" or "goddammit"), so much so that there isn't even a chance for the movie to try and develop anything resembling a sense of fun. If the croc's hide was as stiff as this script they'd have never killed it.
Someone explain to me why did The Asylum make this movie? Why would anyone make a giant monster movie where the monster barely appears and doesn't do much of anything when it does? Why spend the whole movie building up a giant monster reeking havoc on a major American city only to have it finally get there and do little more than walk down some streets? Why even insist on making the crocodile gigantic to begin with? Why not just make a more typical nature gone amok flick about a big man-eating crocodile that surely would have been more feasible given the limited budget, especially given that this film was initially designed to capitalize on the release of the croc-themed films Primeval and Rogue? Why attempt a movie at all if the budget doesn't even allow for the necessary special effects to do the concept justice in even the most simplistic of fashion?
By the time Supercroc was over I'd gone from bored to flabbergasted to bored again to total apathy. The dullness eventually numbed me to the point of not even getting outraged by what a rip-off the movie was. I didn't go into this movie with high expectations, but I did go in figuring that even at its worst it would at least deliver on a few primary elements of the genre. What The Asylum has done with this movie, it's like they made a porno where everyone spends more time talking about what the sex is going to be like and debating what sexual techniques they should use, but when it actually comes time for the sex there's hardly any to be seen and those involved barely move and finish quickly. Again, why make it?
I will resist the urge to call Supercroc "a super croc of shit" and simply fall back on using the less witty description of Supercroc being a "superbore."
1/2 out of 5
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