Lake Placid (film)
Lake Placid is a 1999 American monster horror comedy film written by David E. Kelley and directed by Steve Miner. It is the first installment in the Lake Placid franchise. It stars Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Betty White, Meredith Salenger and Mariska Hargitay. The plot revolves around a giant, 30-foot-long (9 m) man-eating crocodile which terrorizes the fictional location of Black Lake, Maine, United States, and also follows the dysfunctional group who attempt to capture or destroy the creature.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steve Miner|
|Written by||David E. Kelley|
|Music by||John Ottman|
20th Century Fox|
Sony Pictures Television (Television/Digital)
|Box office||$56.9 million|
The film was produced by Fox 2000 Pictures and Stan Winston Studios (which did the special effects for the creatures) and principal photography was shot in British Columbia, Canada. The film was distributed by 20th Century Fox and released in cinemas in the United States on July 16, 1999, and in the United Kingdom on March 31, 2000. It grossed $56.9 million worldwide and was followed by five made-for-television sequels, starting with Lake Placid 2 in 2007.
In Aroostook County, Maine, Marine fish and Game officer Walt Lawson is attacked and bitten in half by something unseen in Black Lake. Sheriff Hank Keough, Fish and Game officer Jack Wells, American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Kelly Scott, and mythology professor/crocodile enthusiast Hector Cyr go to the lake to investigate. A series of strange events occurs, including Kelly and Hank's canoe mysteriously flying into the air and flipping, the discovery of a severed toe and a severed moose head, and the decapitation of Burke, one of Hank's deputies.
Later, as Hank and Hector argue, a bear attacks them, but a giant saltwater crocodile then leaps out of the water and drags it into the lake. Later, after finding Burke's severed head, Jack, Kelly and Hank witness Mrs. Delores Bickerman, one of few people living on the lake, feeding a blindfolded cow to the enormous crocodile. Mrs. Bickerman reveals that she has been feeding the crocodile for years after it followed her husband home. It eventually killed him. She is placed under house arrest for initially lying to the police.
Hector decides to take Deputy Sharon Gare on a trip in his helicopter, and lands it in the cove where the crocodile lives. While he is diving, it targets him, but he and Gare escape. Jack and Hank plan to allow Maine Fish and Game to kill the crocodile when they arrive, but Hector suggests instead that he lure it out of the water and drug it. Jack reluctantly accepts the proposal, and they use one of Mrs. Bickerman's cows, dangled from the helicopter, as bait. After a few hours, the crocodile lunges at the cow. Hector pulls up, loses the cow, and crashes the helicopter into the lake. The crocodile comes on land and attacks Jack and Kelly. Kelly is knocked into the lake, but she makes it to the helicopter just in time.
The crocodile then gets trapped in the helicopter. Despite Hector and Kelly's protests to let the animal live, Jack grabs a gun and shoots it. The gun is revealed to be a tranquilizer rifle. As Hector comes out of the water, a second crocodile attacks him, but Hank blows it up with his grenade launcher. Florida Fish and Game officers arrive seconds later. They load the crocodile on a truck and take it to Portland, Maine to figure out what to do with it. The last scene shows Mrs. Bickerman feeding bread crumbs to many baby crocodiles, implying the two adults were a mating pair. During the ending credits, the surviving adult crocodile is seen tied to the back of a flat-bed truck, speeding down a road.
- Bill Pullman as Jack Wells
- Bridget Fonda as Kelly Scott
- Oliver Platt as Hector Cyr
- Brendan Gleeson as Sheriff Hank Keough
- Betty White as Mrs. Delores Bickerman
- Meredith Salenger as Deputy Sharon Gare
- David Lewis as Walt Lawson
- Tim Dixon as Stephen Daniels
- Natassia Malthe as Janine
- Mariska Hargitay as Myra Okubo
- Jed Rees as Deputy Burke
- Richard Leacock as Deputy Stevens
- Jake T. Roberts as Officer Coulson
- Ty Olsson as State Trooper
- Adam Arkin as Kevin (uncredited)
- Frank Welker as Giant Crocodile, Cows and Bear (creature vocals)
Almost the entire film was shot on location in remote locations in Lincoln, Maine, which stood in for the fictional locations of the film in the American state of Maine. Some scenes were shot in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia. Three different lakes in British Columbia stood in for the fictional "Black Lake": Shawnigan Lake, Buntzen Lake and Hayward Lake.
|Film score by John Ottman|
|Released||July 27, 1999|
- Track listing
- Main Title (2:25)
- Hector's Here (1:11)
- Close Call (3:59)
- Udder Preparations (4:02)
- Love Games (2:25)
- Reluctant Passengers (1:46)
- Morgue / Scary Beaver (4:11)
- Scouting (2:22)
- Here He Comes! (4:57)
- Making a Move /Jack (2:11)
- Swimming With Croc (3:36)
- Hector's Mind (2:48)
- Weird Things / Dinner Time (2:51)
- Ground Rules (1:43)
- Trapping Croc / Resolution (5:30)
- The Lake / Hitching a Ride (1:03)
Video game tie-inEdit
Croc Drop is an interactive game produced in 1999 to promote the film Lake Placid from the same year.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 40% based on 77 reviews (31 fresh and 46 rotten), and an average rating of 5/10. The site's critical consensus reads that the film was a "faux horror schtick" that "fails to elicit any laughs or scares." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 34 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert described it as "completely wrong-headed from beginning to end". Empire gave the film four out of five stars, saying "You can enjoy Placid as a straightforward camping-holiday nightmare, or as a sly, ironic take on the same. It works deliciously as both."
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- Ebert, Roger (July 16, 1999). "Lake Placid". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2015-09-06 – via RogerEbert.com.
- "Lake Placid". Empire. Retrieved 2015-09-06.