Lake Placid (1999) - Steve Minor

When I was growing up Lake Placid was an awesome movie. It was horror enough, that it had decapitations and mild mutilations. However, it had always felt like family friendly gore. It's the kind of movie that had all of that stuff but wasn't really scary at all. Those scenes just passed by like nothing usually. Sometimes they were funny. When the deputy's head is eaten, most people are laughing at the reactions. Yeah, the characters are scared but it's all in good fun. Right?

Lake Placid is about a thirty foot crocodile that wreaks havoc on a small town in Maine. It eats a few people, a moose, and even a bear. Oliver Platt, Bill Pullman, and Bridget Fonda are the main characters in a group that is trying to figure out how to capture the Croc. Bill Pullman wants to kill it, Oliver Platt wants to study it, and Bridget Fonda wants to protect it. Then we have Betty White that wants to love it. She lives on the lake and seems to be taking care of it. That's about it.
The movie itself is following on the short-lived, giant monster phase of the 90's. Movies like Eight Legged Freaks, Ticks, Mosquito,and Bats were a dime a dozen. None of them really stand above the others. They all feel plagued by the cheapness that surrounds the genre. Most of them get so lost in the comedy aspect you can't even come back around. Lake Placid doesn't do that quite to the extent that the others do. Oliver Platt and Betty White are there for the yucks, it's no secret. Alternatively Bill Pullman acts as the heavy and makes it work. Whereas Fonda acts as the heroine and doesn't do it so well. Her character feels forced and unbelievable.

I loved the movie. It hadn't seen it in years and feared that it would suffer the same fate as the GI Joe cartoon and He-Man. It didn't. The jokes still rang true after all these years. Betty White was great. Like she always WAS. This was years before the big Betty White boom that exploded into Hot in Cleveland.

If you haven't seen this movie. It is worth checking out. I think it was the last decent thing that Oliver Platt was in. Am I correct with that? This movie is fun for parties. Tons of stuff to comment on and laugh at. Is it scary... no. 
"I'm rooting for the crocodile. I hope he swallows your friends whole."
  • In the hospital, someone can be heard paging Mr. Miner in the background. Lake Placid was directed by Steve Miner
  • Betty White's character is told that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) would be interested to learn of her alleged mistreatment of her cows. In reality, Betty White is a major on-air spokesperson for PETA.  
  • Three sequels follow the film Lake Placid. All are television/Syfy films and were not as successful as the original.