Plot: A group of environmental activists have arrived in a lush, tropical locale to look into reports of toxic waste being dumped in the area. As the friends explore the region and try to track down information, the man behind the ecological terror is hard at work to increase his profits. Foley (Bill Wohrman) has indeed been polluting the area with radioactive waste, but he plans to continue to do so, perhaps even increasing his nefarious acts, should the cash be there. His wealth affords him protection even from the law, as The Judge (Van Johnson) is happy to overlook his violations, as long as the pay keeps rolling in. But another threat lurks in the waters here, as a giant, mutated crocodile has been stalking the area and eating people alive, though hunter Joe (Thomas Moore) is on its trail. As the toxic sludge keeps flowing the crocodile keeps swallowing up victims, can the ecological activists find some way to end the madness or is too late to restore the tropical splendor?
Entertainment Value: I do love the “when animals attack” genre, so of course I had fun with Killer Crocodile, which unleashes a nice cocktail of b movie elements. I wouldn’t rank it with the craziest or bloodiest movie of this type, but it has a wonderful crocodile and I love the nature vs. environmentalist narrative, so there is a lot to like this with this Jaws knockoff. The narrative is simple and to the point, which allows ample time for the crocodile to take center stage and the movie is quite generous in that regard, as this animal does indeed attack and often. In this genre, sometimes we are teased with our beast or only given the full onslaught in the final act, but Killer Crocodile wheels out this ridiculous monster all the time. I don’t think anyone would mistake this for a real crocodile of course, but it is super fun to watch in action and lends a nice b movie charm, so no complaints there. A wacky, outlandish creature creation can work wonders and this movie benefits greatly from how ridiculous this crocodile is, as any scene with the beast is a good time. I do wish it was snappier and more insane, but Killer Crocodile is still a fun ride and for those who appreciate animal attack cinema, it earns an easy recommendation.
The characters in this one are too focused on protecting the environment and trying to stay alive, so there’s minimal sleaze here. In terms of bloodshed, the movie uncorks a number of crocodile attacks and some do have some splashy results, but this isn’t wall to wall carnage by any means. The beast chomps down on numerous people, leading to severed limbs, some of which are gushing crimson, others which are clearly rubber, which is still hilarious. There’s also eye trauma, some squishy guts, a facial mutilation, and an explosive headache, the latter of which is the crown jewel of the gore here, shown in vivid detail. The attacks also yield some minor blood here and there, as well as big laughs and some memorable sights. The dialogue in this one produces some fun lines, whether because of wooden deliveries of generic banter or over the top histrionics that are a blast to watch. Not as many wild or quotable lines as I’d like, but Van Johnson alone brings enough to the table to put some points on the board. Between Johnson and the crocodile itself, the needle moves on the insanity scale a little, but Killer Crocodile never commits to full tilt craziness.
Overall Insanity: 4/10
The Disc: Severin Films has given us Killer Crocodile on Blu-ray, with a fresh 2k scan sourced from the original negative. The movie looks fantastic here and much cleaner than expected, though some light debris is seen at times. Those instances are minor at worst however, while detail and depth are rock solid, colors look natural, and contrast is on the mark. I’d have to think this is likely the best Killer Crocodile has ever or will ever look on home video, another terrific treatment from Severin Films. On the audio front, you can choose between Italian and English soundtracks, with optional English subtitles provided as well. The extras include four new interviews, with makeup artist Giannetto De Rossi, actor Pietro Genuardi, actor Richard Anthony Crenna, and cinematographer Federico Del Zappo discussing the production of Killer Crocodile. You can also watch the film’s trailer.
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