Roger Corman's latest production for the SyFy Channel, Dinocroc Vs. Supergator, stars the late David Carradine in his final film appearance as a man named Jason Drake, a millionaire playboy type who is basically up to greedy no good shenanigans when he hires a team of super scientists to use their super scientist brains to come up with a way to grow super sized food. Why? So he can use the technology and methods they develop to grow super sized animals and sell them to the army of course! Things more or less go as planned until the resulting experimentation results in the creation of two monsters - they being the titular Dinocroc and Supergator - and before you know it they bust out of the lab and start eating people left, right and center.
With Drake's business and reputation on the line, he realizes he'd better take care of this little problem he's unleashed on the world as soon as possible, which is where a mercenary type called The Cajun (Rib Hillis) comes into the picture. Drake hires him to take down the monsters, but complicating matters just a bit is the presence of a game warden named Cassidy (Amy Rasimas), a foxy lady who looks good in tight clothes but who absolutely means business. In the middle of all of this is FBI investigator Paul Beaumont (Corey Landis) who is out to dig up as much dirt on Drake as he can but Drake and his hot right hand lady, Victoria (Lisa Clappteron) have got other ideas about all of this.
Shot in and around Hawaii, Dinocroc Vs. Supergator has a nice, fresh, light, tropical look to it and the exotic scenery and various backgrounds make for a fun location for all of this mayhem to play against. The film, as you could probably guess, isn't the most serious of movies and it's tongue is firmly in cheek pretty much from start to finish, but odds are pretty good that if you're reading a review for a Corman production called Dinocroc Vs. Supergator that your expectations are already in check in that regard. The cast all seem to be having a good time with the material here, with Landis hamming I up rather effectively and getting a few good laughs out of his, sometimes just for his wardrobe alone. The rest of the cast are fine as well, with Clappteron and Rasimas adding a bit of sex appeal and Carradine playing his typically coy, sly self as well here as he has in the countless other B-movie's he made a career out of.
Not surprisingly, at least if you've seen any of the other multitudinous SyFy creature feature movies that have been churned out on what seems like a monthly basis for the last few years, all of the effects work in this picture is done with CGI, and sometimes more successfully than others. The opening scene, which sets the stage nicely for the carnage to come, is actually done rather well but some of the later scenes aren't quite as effective and the graphically created digital beasties do sometimes come across as video game characters rather than movie characters. The pacing drags a bit in the middle after the solid start, but picks up again in the last third and it turns out to be a fun watch. If you're indifferent to logic gaps, don't require movie characters to make smart decisions and can look past the questionable CGI effects work, this turns out to be a fun, entertaining B-movie - nothing more, nothing less, but that's more than you can say about a lot of similar material.
Dinocroc Vs. Supergator looks okay in this AVC encoded 1080p 1.78.1 widescreen transfer from Image but it's far from amazing. The hokey digital effects stick out like a sore thumb here but that's the way the movie was made and not an issue with the disc itself - though it seems to conflict with some really nice, colorful, crisp cinematography. Colors are nice and bright and bold and well defined and black levels tend to be pretty strong as well. Flesh tones look decent as well and there aren't any problems with compression artifacts outside of a few noticeable spots. Some noise creeps into the picture and haloing is evident frequently. The transfer winds up a very erratic one, sometimes looking very impressive, but falling into some messy territory when things get effects intensive and the best way to describe the picture here is probably inconsistent.
The only audio option on the disc is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix in English. No alternate language dubs are supplied though subtitles are provided in English and Spanish. The lossless surround mix here is okay but it's hardly reference quality material and for a movie with a few rather over the top action sequences, things are surprisingly flat at times. Rear channels are used now and again but not as enthusiastically as you could hope they would be, while bass response is mediocre at best. This is a very front heavy mix and doesn't offer that much more surround activity than a standard stereo mix does - it gets the job done and there are no problems with hiss or distortion or any issues with the levels - but it's really nothing to write home about. Good, but not great.
The only extra of any substance is a commentary track with director Jim Wynorsky which covers the origins of the project, working with Carradine (Corman had worked with him in the past), effects work, location shooting and of course the monsters themselves. It's a pretty decent track that moves at a very relaxed pace but which offers up some good information and which is worth a listen if you dug the feature. Aside from that, look for the film's trailer, trailers for a few unrelated properties also available, menus and chapter stops.
Dinocroc Vs. Supergator is just as ridiculous as its title would lead you to believe but at least it's entertaining and fairly well made. There's a sense of fun about this one that keeps it from hitting rock bottom and while it's still nothing more than cinematic junk food, that's ok - it doesn't try to be anything more than that and it does what it does well. Recommended for monster movie junkies, a fun rental for everyone else.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.