Plot: After his friend is devoured by a massive crocodile, a man makes a report at the sheriff’s office, only to be greeted by laughs of doubt. After all, the odds of Lake Placid once again being prowled by giant crocodiles seem low, but a trip to the morgue reveals the horrific truth. All that was recovered of the victim was a pair of severed arms, so Sheriff Riley (John Schneider) tries to formulate some kind of plan to keep the lake safe and eliminate the crocodile menace. He teams with wildlife expert Emily (Sarah Lafleur) and crosses paths with big game hunter Struthers (Sam McMurray), so the team has a mixed batch of intentions, to say the least. As the crocodile racks up more bodies, the bitter Sadie (Cloris Leachman) could hold the answers to solve the killing spree, but she holds a familial grudge. Can Riley somehow make Lake Placid safe once again or will the crocodile ensure no one survives to enjoy nature’s splendor?
Entertainment Value: Lake Placid was a passable creature feature, but it focused too much on the mediocre human stories and never fully embraced the b movie craziness that was right there. Lake Placid 2 was a made for television sequel, so the budget shrunk and the star power waned, but it is still decent fun and makes better use of the b movie cheese potential. The movie to television might seem restrictive, but the first movie was light on blood to start with and thanks to an unrated version of Lake Placid 2, none of the genre elements are absent. The production values and overall polish take a nosedive from the original, but I think this sequel is actually more fun, as it embraces the cheese. I still wish the crocodile attacks were more frequent and creative, but this film does at least put more focus on the crocodile mayhem, an area the original certainly lacked in. The human stories are also a little more fun this time around, as the cast runs with the camp value in the material. This means routine scenes have an over the top feel and while not totally outlandish in approach, the scene chewing helps add some fun to an otherwise forgettable script. Of course, if you don’t like b movie style vibes and so bad, you can’t help but laugh visual effects, perhaps you won’t get as much out of Lake Placid 2. I still don’t think it is a classic of the “when animals attack” realm, but it has some fun moments.
The unrated version of this one has a few brief, but welcome topless scenes, as some ladies soak in the sun at the dangerous lake. I appreciate seeing a little sleaze this time around, as the original seemed to avoid it at all costs. On the blood front, we have the humorous morgue scene where a pair of torn off arms are revealed on the slab, but there’s not a lot of the red stuff here. I was glad to see more attacks of course, but the blood is low end CGI and looks ridiculous, though that is in line with the rest of Lake Placid 2’s visual effects. The gore looks like an old video game, with blurry and cartoon like visual presence, but it is the crocodiles that are the most memorable special effects creations, without question. The crocs are Scorpion King level bad, as if a Playstation 1 game donated the design elements. I am not a big believer in CGI, but when it looks this outlandish, I’m entertained. The dialogue has some awful one liners as you’d expect, but the cast is why the lines work as well as they do. The script is pretty generic and doesn’t push the b movie elements as hard as it could, but the cast steps in to dial up the camp and earn some laughs. Cloris Leachman is too restrained to be a good replacement for Betty White, but John Schneider embraces the campiness and is a fun lead. On the overall craziness side of things, the b movie vibes earn a point and the outrageous CGI kicks in as well, but that’s about it here.
Overall Insanity: 2/10