While Anaconda did manage to have its first sequel come out in theathers.. that luck wouldn’t spread to other reptilian based killer animal series, since after the 1999 original, we had to wait 8 years for the first of the many direct-to-video/made for TV sequels to appear, with Lake Placid 2.
All roads lead to strings of TV sequels for SciFi, after all.
And by now you should have a good understanding what that entails: the same basic plot with basically all the same characters but a completely different cast, and often a bugdet slashed in half, if the production it’s extremely lucky. IF.
Obviously the cast it’s also a massive downgrade, with some of the first entries in these killer animals series often having some well known actors in it… so of course here we a lot of TV actors you most likely never heard of, and Cloris Leachman.
You know, the first film ended with the lake-dwelling old widow feeding baby crocs, so you already had something to work off for a sequel, but nope, not even Betty White returns as the odd lakeside farmer’s widow Delores Bickerman, we’re told in a line of exposition that her character disappeared, and so instead we have her sister, Sadie Bickerman, which de facto means having Cloris Leachman do basically the same exact type of character, only she’s actively luring people to feed her crocodiles. Even so, she’s way too good for this fuckin trash and this role.
I mean, technically that was true for Betty White’s role in the previous movie, but as i feared, all the wit found in the first one it’s completely gone, as Lake Placid 2 it’s just a bog standard (pun kinda intended) b-movie, just regular TV trash with some tits and asses just for good measure, the tired cliche of the divorced couple forced to work together for this case, boring and annoying cliched characters, and other stuff that’s not really interesting or worth describing.
It’s such a downgrade that inevitably disappoints, especially as it does all the cheap shit the original movie avoided because it was above, like not showing the creature properly only to mask how crappy the CG creature looks, or actually being 10 minutes longer, when the first one knew it was better to keep this type of movie short and to the point.
Judged on its own merits, Lake Placid 2 is honestly not that awful, it’s pretty average, and while the CG effects are fairly bad (some of the CG croc attacks where even the boat is CG are also a mess to watch as they go by too quickly, are badly edited and come off as vague and shitty), it’s a little better than average for a TV movie, and the physical prop for the crocodile itself it’s good enough when it’s used… thought it’s still pretty cheap looking, as they have to CG vehicles like hydroplanes.
So, yeah, it’s just pretty unoriginal AND pretty subpar, coupled with the fact that they didn’t even bothered to try again and go for that comedic but not fully parodical tone the first one had, regardless if you liked it or not they clearly made an effort there, which earned him a cult following.
Here, not even a semblance of attempt, which can’t really be excused with the lesser budget and this being a TV production. This exist for sequelization’s sake alone, but heck, i think i enjoyed Alligator II: The Mutation a bit better in comparison.
On the flipside, it’s just not that bad, so if you’re planning to marathon the series or for the sake of seeing all killer crocs/alligators film, it’s fairly harmless and easy to get through, though you’d wish you were seeing the original instead.
The movie ends with the main characters sending the surviving crocodile eggs to a lab, so going by “direct-to-video sequels” tradition, this plot point should be followed upon in Lake Placid 3.
Maybe. We’ll see.