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'LAKE PLACID 3': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Second sequel to the cult classic 1999 horror / comedy film 'LAKE PLACID'. Having been a fan of the original film it is pretty disappointing to see it take the sequel rout that so many seem doomed to (like 'LOST BOYS', 'TREMORS' and 'STARSHIP TROOPERS' for example, the 'FROM DUSK TILL DAWN' direct to video sequels were actually pretty good compared to others). These sequels (this one and it's 2007 predecessor) were actually released as original made for television Syfy network movies first and then as 'unrated' video releases quickly after. They have a great deal of nudity as well as graphic gore and it appears as though the films were filmed with two versions planned, to capitalize on both markets (Syfy network television and 'unrated' DVD).
This third film stars Colin Ferguson (from TV's 'EUREKA'), Yancy Butler (an old favorite of mine and she still looks hot, and is hilarious as well) and none other than Michael Ironside. Ferguson plays Nathan Bickerman a game warden who relocates his family to Lake Placid and into the house of his late aunt Sadie (played by Cloris Leachman in the second film, who was the sister of Betty White's Delores Bickerman character from the original film). She was killed by a crocodile in the end of the second film but Sheriff Tony Willinger (Ironside) assures the Bickermans that all the killer crocs are gone from the area. Unfortunately Nathan's son Connor (Jordan Grehs) discovers some baby crocs near by and secretly feeds them until they grow into deadly crocs as well and start terrorizing the locals once again. Butler plays a tough and foul mouthed hunting guide hired by a college student (Mark Evans) to find his girlfriend (Kacey Barnfield) who went hiking in the area with another guy.
The film is quite a bit better than the last chapter, especially the acting. Some of the supporting actors are still pretty bad but Butler, Ironside and Ferguson all give better performances than the material has to offer them. The directing and writing is about what you'd expect from this type of film but it does have it's quirky funny moments. The film's main problem (as with the last one and all Syfy network films) is the horrible special effects. The CGI is so bad and painful to watch that it ruins the whole film. This is especially disappointing with this film considering it had potential in other areas. The last chapter was just an all around bad film (although Leachman and John Schneider were entertaining in it). These films really should go back to the 'old school' plastic critter effects, they'd be a lot cooler if they did so. I know they don't have a lot of money to spend but no effects would be better than the CGI were subjected to.
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