Lake Placid (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steve Miner|
|Produced by||David E. Kelley
|Written by||David E. Kelley|
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Editing by||Paul Hirsch
Stan Winston Studios
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||82 minutes|
Lake Placid is a 1999 American monster horror/comedy film. It was written and produced by David E. Kelley, directed by Steve Miner, and stars Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Betty White, Meredith Salenger, and Mariska Hargitay. The plot revolves around a giant, 30-foot-long man-eating crocodile which terrorizes the fictional location of Black Lake, Maine, United States, and also follows the dysfunctional group who attempt to capture or destroy the creature.
The film was produced by Fox 2000 Pictures and Stan Winston Studios (which did the special effects for the creatures) and principal photography was shot in British Columbia, Canada. The film was distributed by 20th Century Fox and released in cinemas in the United States on July 16, 1999, and in the United Kingdom on March 31, 2000. The film was a financial success at the box office and it spawned three made-for-television sequels, Lake Placid 2 in 2007, Lake Placid 3 in 2010 and Lake Placid: The Final Chapter in 2012.
In Lincoln County, Maine, a marine Fish and Game officer is attacked and bitten in half by something unseen in Black Lake. Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson), Fish and Game officer Jack Wells (Bill Pullman), American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda), and mythology professor/crocodile enthusiast Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt) go to the lake to investigate.
A series of strange events occur, including Kelly and Hank's canoe mysteriously flying into the air and flipping, the discovery of a severed toe and a severed Moose head, and the decapitation of a Fish and Game deputy.
Later, as Hank and Hector argue, a giant saltwater crocodile leaps out of the water and drags a nearby bear into the lake. Jack, Kelly, and Hank visit Delores Bickerman (Betty White), one of few people living on the lake. After finding the deputy's severed head, they witness her feeding a blindfolded cow to the enormous crocodile. Delores reveals that she has been feeding the crocodile for years after it followed her husband home. It eventually killed him. She is placed under house arrest for initially lying to the police.
Hector decides to take one of Hank's deputies on a trip in the helicopter, and lands the helicopter in the cove where the crocodile lives. While he is diving, it attacks him, but he escapes. Jack and Hank plan to allow Florida Fish and Game to kill the crocodile when they arrive, but Hector suggests instead that he lure it out of the water and drug it. Jack reluctantly accepts the proposal, and they use one of Delores' cows, dangled from the helicopter, as bait. After a few hours, the crocodile lunges at the cow. Hector pulls up, loses the cow, and crashes the helicopter into the lake. The crocodile comes on land and attacks Jack and Kelly. Kelly is knocked into the lake, but she makes it to the helicopter just in time.
Despite Hector and Kelly's protests to let the animal live, Jack grabs a gun and shoots it. The gun is revealed to be a tranquilizer rifle. As Hector comes out of the water, a second crocodile attacks him, but Hank blows it up with his grenade launcher. Florida Fish and Game officers arrive seconds later. They load the crocodile on a truck and take it to Portland, Maine to figure out what to do with it. The last scene shows Delores feeding bread crumbs to many baby crocodiles, implying the two adults were a mating pair. During the end credits, the surviving adult crocodile is seen tied to the back of a flat-bed truck, speeding down a road.
- Bill Pullman as Jack Wells
- Bridget Fonda as Kelly Scott
- Oliver Platt as Hector Cyr
- Brendan Gleeson as Sheriff Hank Keough
- Betty White as Mrs. Delores Bickerman
- David Lewis as Walt Lawson
- Tim Dixon as Stephen Daniels
- Natassia Malthe as Janine
- Mariska Hargitay as Myra Okubo
- Meredith Salenger as Deputy Sharon Gare
- Jed Rees as Deputy Burke
- Richard Leacock as Deputy Stevens
- Jake T. Roberts as Officer Coulson
- Warren Takeuchi as Paramedic
- Ty Olsson as State Trooper
- Robbin WIlliams as State Tropper
Almost the entire film was shot on location in remote locations in Lincoln, Maine, which stood in for the fictional locations of the film in the American state of Maine. Some scenes were shot in Vancouver and Surrey, B.C. Three different lakes stood in for the fictional "Black Lake"; these were Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island, B.C.; Buntzen Lake, Anmore, B.C.; and Hayward Lake, Mission, B.C.
Although Lake Placid was a financial success at the box office, critical reception was mixed. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 39% rating with the critical consensus being "Faux horror schtick fails to elicit any laughs or scares." Roger Ebert described it as "completely wrong-headed from beginning to end". Empire gave the film four out of five stars, saying "You can enjoy Placid as a straightforward camping-holiday nightmare, or as a sly, ironic take on the same. It works deliciously as both."
Three sequels follow the film Lake Placid. All are television/Syfy films and were not as successful as the original.
Lake Placid 2, produced by Sony Pictures and the Sci Fi Channel, is a made-for-television movie aired as a Sci Fi Channel original movie on April 28, 2007. Changes from the original film include a completely different cast, filming locations in Bulgaria and a severely reduced budget. The unrated DVD release of the film was distributed by 20th Century Fox and released on January 29, 2008.
Lake Placid 3, produced by Syfy, starring Colin Ferguson. Aired on August 21, 2010 and was released as a DVD on October 26, 2010. Lake Placid 3 have two versions; The TV version was rated R, the DVD version was unrated and contains nudity.
Its final sequel, Lake Placid: The Final Chapter or Lake Placid 4 was released on September 29, 2012. Yancy Butler, who starred in the third film, reprised her role as Reba who survived being attacked by a crocodile at the end of the third movie.
- Lake Placid (1999) - Box Office Mojo
- Lake Placid (1999) - Release dates
- Lake Placid (1999) - Company credits
- Lake Placid (1999) - Filming locations
- Lake Placid (2000) - Trivia - IMDb
- Lake Placid - Rotten Tomatoes
- "Lake Placid Review." EmpireOnline.com.
- Moviecensorship.com Detailed info and pictorials.