Friday, January 21, 2022

#2,697. Killer Crocodile (1989) - Spotlight on Italy


An Italian schlockfest of the highest (lowest?) order, Killer Crocodile is a Jaws rip-off that’s so goofy, so hilariously over-the-top, you can’t help but feel some affection for it. 

A team of well-meaning researchers heads into the swampy marshes of a tropical island, trying to determine whether or not someone is dumping toxic waste into the water. But there’s more than poisonous sludge in this particular swamp; it is also home to an enormous crocodile, which is less than hospitable to strangers. 

Joining forces with Joe (Ennio Girolami), an experienced crocodile hunter, the researchers set out to destroy the mammoth croc. Unfortunately, the killer reptile seems to be always one step ahead of them. 

We get our first glimpse of the title creature less than a minute into Killer Crocodile, and it’s not the least bit impressive. In fact, you’re more likely to chuckle than scream whenever the monster pops its head out of the water. Even more ridiculous than the crocodile is the movie’s dialogue, some of which is side-splittingly hilarious, and there are moments that were clearly “inspired” by Spielberg’s 1975 classic (aside from a scene in which one character fires a rifle at the charging beast - a la Roy Scheider’s Chief Brody - the score by Riz Ortolani often sounds like it could have been co-written by John Williams). 

The attack scenes in Killer Crocodile are the film’s most inspired moments, and the gory effects, the work of frequent Fulci collaborator Giannetto De Rossi (Zombie, The Beyond, etc), are a definite highlight.

Killer Crocodile may not be a good movie, but it’s damned entertaining! 

 Also, keep an eye out for Hollywood legend Van Johnson (The Caine Mutiny), who appears in a handful of scenes as a corrupt judge.
Rating: 7 out of 10

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