CROC (TV MOVIE)
(director: Stewart Raffill; screenwriter: Ken Solarz; cinematographer: Choochart Nantitanyatada; editors: Laurie McDowell/Kant Pan; music: Mark Ryder/Charles Olins; cast: Michael Madsen (Croc Hawkins), Peter Tuinstra (Jack McQuade), Sherry Phungprasert (Evelyn Namawong), Elizabeth Healy (Allison), Scott Hazell (Theo), David Asavanond (Som), Tawon Saetang (Andy Konsong), Wasan Junsook (Konsong, older brother); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Charles Salmon; Thai Occidental; 2007)
“A cheesy horror film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A cheesy horror film produced by RHI Entertainment and filmed in Thailand for Sci-Fi Channel television. Stewart Raffill (“Lost in Africa”/”The Ice Pirates”) directs this killer croc film without distinction. It’s written by Ken Solarz as a formulaic monster pic. The action is framed around the efforts of the foreign owner of a Thailand animal-farm to keep his place when a greedy neighbor tries to take over his property.
In Thailand, the young American surfer Jack McQuade (Peter Tuinstra) runs a tourist animal theme park with the help of his nephew Theo (Scott Hazell) and Jack’s sister (Theo’s mom) Allison (Elizabeth Healey). Problems arise when their new neighbor, the mean-spirited local land developers, the Konsong brothers (Tawon Saetang & Wasan Junsook), want Jack’s property to build on and are willing to go through both legal and illegal means to get it. They set off a series of incidents that include disturbing explosions and surprise visits by an animal welfare agent, bill collectors and tax collectors. Animal investigator Evelyn Namwong (Sherry Phungprasert) refuses to close the farm for minor violations after her investigation and is fired by the corrupt public officials.
When two teens at a nearby beach resort are eaten by a crocodile, the bad neighbors send goons to release three of Jack’s main attraction crocodiles in the nearby swamps. Thereby Jack’s crocs are blamed for the murders and he’s forced to shut down. The real killer crocodile strikes again and eats a young boy. This incident is filmed by a tourist and it shows a 20-foot salt water crocodile. Since the man-killer is apparently a different animal, Jack’s farm is allowed to reopen.
When a big reward is offered by the locals for the capture of the man-eater, legendary professional crocodile hunter Croc Hawkins (Michael Madsen) joins the hunt. This leads to predictable adventure film fare, with an heroic rescue in the climax– a bang drum is used to free one of the croc hunter’s legs caught in the jaws of the man-eater.
The exotic Thai scenery makes for pleasant viewing, but the many Thai actors speaking in a stilted English, the awful CGI visuals, and the misused stock footage were just some of the reasons this telecast was a turn-off.
REVIEWED ON 3/7/2017 GRADE: C+