Lake Placid

on July 16, 1999 by Tim Cogshell
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   "Lake Placid" is "Jaws" with a crocodile-there's no way around it. Trying to capitalize on the recent success of the horror comedy genre, the movie opens with a person being bitten in half, which, along with a few similarly gruesome moments, accounts for the horror. The so-called comedy is simply an overabundance of sophomoric humor about breasts, severed toes and heads.
   An audience might enjoy "Lake Placid" as kitsch, but one has to wonder how the likes of Bridget Fonda ("Jackie Brown") and Bill Pullman ("Independence Day") found themselves playing antagonistic suitors in this unabashed B-movie.
   Special effects guru Stan Winston's ("Terminator," "Jurassic Park") giant mechanical crocodile is notable if only because it is in fact an "actual mechanical crocodile." There's very little CGI in the movie, which is a welcome change from numbingly slick virtual reality; a robot reptile is much more appropriate for the campy carnage at hand. Starring Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda and Oliver Platt. Directed by Steve Miner. Written by David E. Kelley. Produced by David E. Kelley and Michael Pressman. A Fox Release. Horror/Comedy. Rated R for violence and sexual references. Running time: 88 min
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