Some traditions die hard, to the point of never actually properly getting fazed on, and one of the fundamental ones for horror as a whole is titling the next installment of your series as “The Final Chapter”. Heck, even the Saw series did it a couple of years earlier, you can bet Lake Placid was gonna go for that low hanging fruit as well.
Though, one could argue that for many Saw fans that one does still feel more like a final chapter, despite two more films in the series having been released after.
But again, i’m getting off track, we’re talking about the fourth movie in a series of killer crocs, and a sequel to Lake Placid 3, which seems pointless to specify, but considering that these kind of movies will claim “sequelage” regardless of their plots being even vaguely connected, it’s important to specify if they can live to this self-made claim of continuity and crap.
Though we have the movie basically retcon what happened at the end of the previous one, as Reba, despite looking pretty dead if not partially eaten by the croc… did survive, we’re pulling this one out of our asses to have Yancy Butler play Reba here too (and i kinda get it, she was definitely the better character of Lake Placid 3, by far), as contrived as her becoming a EPA agent.
Though she’s somewhat important here, as she joins the local sheriff to hunt down any remaining infant crocodiles and to build an electric fence for protection, but the plot is more about a local high school swim team going on a bus tour and accidently entering the Black Lake area instead of Clear Lake, and another crazy member of the Bickerman family, Jimmy Bickerman, played by Robert Englund, always good to have him, even if the movie it’s Lake Placid 4 or The Midnight Man.
What does his character do there anyway? Why he comes with a hunting squad/posse, all to poach the eggs from the unique breed of giant crocodile the lake now houses, since they are valuable and he basically got the short end of the stick, by not inheriting the old Bickerman farmhouse, or much in the terms of cash and stuff.
Yeah, Englund it’s clearly wasted on this type of character, but boy he’s a class act in pretty much any film he is, so it’s good to have him do his stuff, despite not being in much of the actual movie.
Despite the CG still being crap as it was in the two previous sequels, this is BY FAR the better one, no doubt about it, in pretty much every way, from presentation, humour, acting, cast, even the script from David Reed (also writer for Lake Placid 3) is a bit better this time, the direction is way better, with shit happening at a good pace, making for an entertaining croc based direct to video flick.
Even if it plays the “Final Chapter, forreal” card and then has an open ending.
Just in case.
Still, it also gets points for some decent practical effects among the crappy CG crocs.
I’d say you can skip directly to this one after watching the original, because it’s the second best, and you don’t need the context from the third one for Reba waking up in the bloody supermarket, heck, even in terms of lore this gives you all need to know… which isn’t much, so it’s easy to sum up very briefly. Really, this should have been the second movie in the series, but what can you do?
As abudantly made clear, this wasn’t the end for the franchise, as 3 years later we got the crossover nobody really asked per sé, but nobody really did fight against as it’s hard to really dislike the basic appeal of pitting monster against monster in a fight to death, with Lake Placid VS Anaconda.
Yep, i was about to say it’s kinda pathetic they couldn’t find another killer animal series to crossover with, but who am i kidding, it’s a perfect fit. Let them fight.