Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Thanks to the kind folks over there at Dread Central dot Com for snagging the DVD artwork for this flick when it hits the shelves.

Here is the question we asked ourselves as we sat down to watch the Sci-Fi Original Motion Picture ‘Lake Placid 3’. Can ‘Lake Placid 3’ further sully the good name of ‘Lake Placid’ any worse than ‘Lake Placid 2’ managed to do? The answer is ‘no… it cannot’. This isn’t to say that ‘Lake Placid 3’ is any good because it is, undoubtedly, absolutely awful. In fact about an hour and a half into this movie, a movie that the IMDB lists as having no director though I’m sure somebody yelled ‘action’ from behind the camera, I muttered under my breath… ‘damn… this movie sucks ass’. But it is far better than ‘Lake Placid 2’ for whatever that’s worth. Plus the Yancy Butler Effect was in full effect. Can’t ever count out the Yancy Butler Effect.

Our film starts out with a couple of crazy kids jumping out of a pickup truck they hitched a ride in to go enjoy some fun and sun by the beach. I believe this is the first of a couple of nude scenes in this movie but because of the fact we saw this on TV you might want to wait to catch this on the eventual DVD release if nudity in bad horror flicks is really important to you. I gotta be honest with you and let you know that if they do have nudity in the DVD release then these ladies they cast in these roles might be worth the wait. There’s no way in HELL I’d watch this movie again to see a couple of nude scenes but if you want to watch it, I’d understand you waiting. Anyway these kids get eaten by baby crocodiles.

Moving along we meet zoologist Nathan Bickerman (Colin Ferguson), his wife Susan (Kristy Mitchell) and their young son Aaron (Nils Hognestat). Nathan is the grandson, I believe, of the Cloris Leechman character in the last movie and is back at the lake to clean up her effects. To cut to the quick, young Aaron sees some of these baby crocs playing down at the lake and feeling neglected by his parental units he takes to feeding them and treating them like pets. Stupidest kid ever.

A couple of years later young Aaron is still feeding these crocs who are now the size of SUV’s and have taken to eating giant elk. The odd thing is that despite the fact they are eating these elk they still wait patiently for Aaron to steal frozen chickens from his parents house and they happily eat those as well. But they aren’t eating Aaron for whatever reason. Unfortunately I was kind of hoping they would eat Aaron.

Anyway there’s all kinds of branching storylines in this movie in addition to the idiot kid who feels neglected. Michael Ironside shows up as the city cop who swears the lake is croc free, a quartet of young hikers show up for some fun in the sun and more nudity I didn’t get to see, Yancy Butler jumps on board as a hard nosed poaching guide always looking to blast big game illegally and some young man has joined her in searching for his girlfriend who is among these hiking kids who are destined to die.

Eventually all hell breaks loose as this movie has various ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ type standoffs with giant crocs standing in for insane gang bangers. What I didn’t know, at least before watching this movie, is how combustible giant crocodiles are. I’m talking like atomic bomb combustible. Sprinkle a little gas on a giant croc and you would think it would just smolder a bit.

One of the things I liked about this movie, shot Bulgaria like every other movie recently made, is that the filmmakers had the good sense to import minorities for their bustling city shots. That really helps in selling the audience that you aren’t just shooting just another horrible Bulgarian based horror movie. Anyway, this version of ‘Lake Placid’ kind of gets back to the original concept of ‘Lake Placid’ which includes humor among the croc carnage which, while appreciated, didn’t work all that well because the humor was hardly effective and the croc carnage consisted of some of the worst croc CGI ever. We probably still would’ve opted for more poorly produced croc carnage over having to listen to our characters constantly angst over each other with all of the ‘neglected kid’ melodrama and ‘I miss my girlfriend’ nonsense that we had to suffer through. This put us in the unfortunate position of hoping everybody in this movie, not played by Yancy Butler, eventually got eaten by a giant crocodile. Watching young actress Kacey Barnfield bounce around was fun and all but she could’ve got eaten up too. Wouldn’t have been mad at that. That girl has a future by the way. I don’t know if it’s in movies, but it’s in something that’s for damn sure.

Despite the fact ‘Lake Placid 3’ isn’t all that good it might still be worth watching, aside from the naked people we didn’t get see, just to watch Yancy Butler in action. Man, this young lady seems to really get into these otherwise throwaway roles and jumps in feet first. See the flick ‘Wolvesbayne’ for an example the Yancy Butler Effect in full effect. She brings this movie up, all by herself, from sub-par to delightfully mediocre. Not easy to do. In fact they need to give her character in this movie her own show. That is if… well… I’m not going to spoil it for you.

‘Lake Placid 3’ is not good, admittedly, but it is better than its predecessor and it does have Yancy Butler in it straight chewing up scenery. That’s not all bad where I come from.

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