DECEMBER 21, 2012
The Mayans got nothing on Blood Surf (aka Krocodylus), which came a lot closer to ending the world (and by world I mean HMAD) than they did, because despite their terrible math skills and fondness for human sacrifice, nothing they ever did was as atrocious as a particular scene in this pretty lousy movie. That said, it's a good thing they were wrong, because if I had to spend all of eternity knowing that the last movie I watched was a piece of crap killer crocodile movie, I'd renounce all religion and ask to be sent to a void nothingness.
So what was the scene, you ask? Well, as this is a killer croc movie that's also a Jaws ripoff, we get about as many scenes on land as on the water, so there's a bit where they're trying to lure the croc into a trap they've set up on the island. Assuming Mr. Odile was a ladies' man, the two female leads suddenly stop and flash the thing in order to distract it and keep it going in the direction they want. Now, I'm already groaning loudly, but then one of them puts the cherry on top and says "I guess that's what you'd call a 'Croc-teasing'!" AAAAAAAAARGH!!! GO TO HELL, MOVIE.
Now, maybe if I was drunk off my ass I'd laugh at that, but I was regrettably sober, and even drunk I'd probably still find plenty to dislike about this clunky, brain-dead movie. For starters, they squander their biggest asset - that it's a killer croc movie and NOT a killer shark movie, despite the fact that it starts out as one. It would never sustain an entire film, but there's actually a new idea here - extreme sports guys have decided to intentionally get sharks to come after them while they surf (by putting their own blood in the water), which will then be filmed and used for whatever channel airs idiotic sports like "Shark Surfing", I guess. So you're figuring it's a killer shark movie, and while very stupid, at least it's not too Jaws-y.
But then we discover that it's not a shark they have to worry about, but a 31 foot crocodile (I'm not a croc-ologist, I'm not sure if any species of croc grows that big normally or if this is some rare "monster" - if the latter there's no nuclear waste/science experiment/whatever explanation), followed by a decent enough chase from the shoreline to the middle of the jungle on the island where they are now all trapped. And then some pirates show up, and you're thinking that this will be one of those "enemies work together to fight a common threat" deals, which is fine. Alas, it is not to be; the pirates more or less exit a few minutes later and then everyone's back on a boat, captained by a guy with a score to settle with this particular creature. In other words, they had the rare opportunity to make us only THINK they were ripping off Jaws and then surprise us by going off in a different direction, but instead they opt to just go ahead and rip off Jaws more than was previously thought necessary. Nice one.
And they botch it even further, killing off the Quint guy with like 25 minutes to go, leaving him unable to even get close to settling his vendetta. Our heroes are one of the idiot surfers and the two "croc-teasers", one of whom gets chomped when she decides to get close to the thing even though there are still 7-8 minutes left until the credits. Also, of course the two survivors have a bit of an attraction to each other, but it's a bit odd because her name is Cicely and he shortens it to "Cic" (or "Sis" to the ear), so if you miss their introduction you might spend the movie thinking that they're brother and sister and will thus find the final scene where they finally go at it either super disturbing or kind of hot, depending on whether or not you're from Kentucky (OOOH, SNAP).
As for the monster, it's probably the least of the movie's problems, for a change. It's a rubber monster, one that changes sizes constantly, but at least it's not a CGI thing 100% of the time, and they go with the puppet for just about every closeup, saving the digital model for the wide shots (I'm guessing they didn't have a full puppet, just the head, tail, and a claw or two). They also have a miniature model for its (not actual) demise, which is probably the weakest effect in the movie as the set around it is still pretty much just normal rocks and grass, plainly giving away its mini-ness. Oddly, the director is James Hickox, who made his debut on the not bad Children of the Corn III, which ALSO had a rather poor miniature effect in its climax. Still, even bad miniature work takes more effort than generic CG models, and there's enough practical stuff to forgive the other issues. And besides, I'll never tire of seeing an actor actually being inside of a giant monster head as it chomps down on their limbs - who cares if you can practically see the serial number on the model? It's still a million times better than a cartoon.
Either because they don't know what they're doing or simply figured no one would care, Netflix's stream of this high caliber flick is squeezed horizontally into a 1.33:1 image, so if you're watching on your browser everyone will look thinner and taller than they should. However, if you're watching on Xbox (not sure about other consoles), you can tap the image size button (right-most one on the interface) to put it on stretch mode, which is ironically used for people who are watching legit 1.33 images and don't want the black bars on the left and right. But in this case, it's the only way to see the image properly. Not that it's worth the trouble, and if you're watching this thing anyway you deserve the potential headache from watching 90 minutes of Squeeze-o-vision.
"Croc-teasing". Christ in heaven...
What say you?