Well, it's a new day here at DVDTalk. The sun is shining. Birds are singing. And yet another crappy Sci Fi Channel killer animal movie has wormed its way onto home video.
Yep, life is good.
In this go-round called Croc (presumably called so because the title Crocodile has already been taken), we've got a young surfer dude named Jack who owns and operates an animal zoo theme park in Thailand with about 20 guests who are way too enthusiastic as they watch his show, which consists of elephants putting basketballs into hoops and dumb guys putting their heads in the mouths of crocodiles. It seems that the evil Konsong land developers next door want Jack out so they can take his land. These chain smoking, gun wielding Konsong brothers send an animal protection lady and a tax agent after him, and try to scare his tourists away with well-timed explosions. Bummer, dude.
In the meantime, a 20 foot crocodile chomps upon Thai locals and foreign tourists alike (not even kiddies are safe in this one). This king-sized crocodile is just the way the Sci-Fi Channel likes its killer animals: fast-movin' and fake-lookin'. When the body count starts ticking upward and their plans to derail Jack fail, the Konsong brothers break into Jack's park late at night and free some of his crocodiles in the hopes that everyone will think Jack is negligent and responsible for the killing spree.
The subterfuge doesn't last long, though, and Jack and his friends team up with the movie's star Michael Madsen (who doesn't show up until halfway through the movie) to take out the croc. Typical killer animal mayhem ensues.
Croc is as silly as it sounds, but it's admittedly not entirely awful. Michael Madsen is always fun to watch. Most people know him as a Quentin Tarantino staple since he's appeared in Reservoir Dogs, Natural Born Killers, and Kill Bill, but I've always thought his quintessential role was as the absurd assassin hero of the first two Species flicks. Like that character, Madsen winces his way through the second half of Croc entertainingly enough. The movie, shot in Thailand, also makes nice usage of exotic Thai landscapes. Thai actors populate the film, and their stilted English is strangely charming.
Still, this is Sci-Fi Channel stuff and it doesn't really rise above their dubious standards.
Croc is given an anamorphic widescreen presentation (though the trailers and menu are full screen). The image quality was surprisingly fair and in line with what you'd expect from a professionally produced DVD product.
About a month ago, I reviewed another Rhino-released Sci-Fi Channel flick called Maneater which had its share of audio problems. Croc, released by the same company, is a considerable improvement. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is fine: the score is at times at bit intrusive, but it's otherwise clear and consistent. There are no other audio tracks on the disc.
Trailers for Furnace, Maneater, In the Spider's Web, and Blood Monkey play automatically when the DVD is inserted. There's no link to these trailers in the menu system.
That's it for extras. The menu only offers two options: Play and Scene Selection.
There's some cheesy B-movie fun to be had with Croc, and a movie starring Michael Madsen can never falter completely. Still, despite some nice Thai scenery, this is strictly by-the-books and cheap. Wade into the waters only if you're into this genre.