Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Killer Crocodile, Environmentalists vs. Monster

Their hearts may be golden, but sadly, we end up cheering for the beast. From Italy, 1989's "Killer Crocodile." A pristine story might have enlightened us on the dangers to nature due to man's neglect and greed. Perhaps there is some of that in our monster film, but the prevailing message is that man is real stupid and deserves to be croc bait.  Sadly, Van Johnson is in this film as a corrupt judge, and lunch for the monster, but we will not mention him anymore as our memory of him should not be tarnished by this performance.
A 50 foot crocodile eats two fishermen and Conchita. The annoying Conchita was one of six environmentalists studying radiation levels in a swamp.  Her friends are so incensed at her demise they find the nearest town and demand the authorities do something about it.  At first the corrupt officials want nothing to do with an investigation as they are covering up illegal waste dumping in the swamp. Even the coroner classifies the death as a boat propeller accident. Finally, the corrupt townies relent and agree to go into the swamp and kill the croc. Now the kids are upset because the officials are going to kill an endangered species. Kevin (Anthony Crenna) is the leader of the ecologists and is indignant about saving the monster.  The two gals, Pamela (Sherrie Rose) and Jennifer (Ann Douglas)...neither attractive...claim man is at fault for Conchita's death, not the croc...right.
The croc continues to go through schmucks like crap through a goose, and the activists team up with a Quint-like figure, the hunter Joe (Ennio Girolami). After the croc eats another environmentalist, Kevin has a change of heart and now seeks to turn the thing into a purse. The strategy? Joe has a good one. Travel deep into the swamp and yell insults to the monster, as crocs are sensitive. I'm not making this up.  As Joe and Kevin team up, the croc continues to hunt townspeople, environmentalists, and of course his pursuers. As the shotguns, harpoons and explosions fail to slow down our toothy friend, the final confrontation will blow the ending to "Jaws" away.
Will the Green Peace rejects in this film set the environmentalist movement back a century? Is Joe's strategy of insulting the croc at all helpful in building up the self-esteem of the reptile community? Would Van Johnson ever regain his "Caine Mutiny" form after his performance in "Killer Crocodile." Cheesy Italian fun, no doubt, but as bad as this film is, the ending makes it a worthwhile experience.

2 comments:

  1. Maybe Van had some debts to pay off. So, Richard Crenna's son is involved in this? I am certain Dad is probably quite proud. This is probably the type of movie where I would be cheering on the crocodile. As always, terrific review, Christopher! I always enjoy reading them.

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  2. Haha, it sounds like it would make a good Troma movie... I gotta see this!

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