Lake Placid (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lake Placid
Lake placid ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve Miner
Written byDavid E. Kelley
Produced by
CinematographyDaryn Okada
Edited by
Music byJohn Ottman
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 16, 1999 (1999-07-16)
Running time
82 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[1]
Budget$27–35 million[2][3]
Box office$56.9 million[3]

Lake Placid is a 1999 American comedy horror film[4] written by David E. Kelley and directed by Steve Miner. It is the first installment in the Lake Placid film series and stars Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Betty White, Meredith Salenger, and Mariska Hargitay. In the film, a giant, 30-foot-long monstrous saltwater crocodile terrorizes the fictional location of Black Lake, Maine, the film also follows a dysfunctional group who attempt to capture or kill the beast.

Lake Placid 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 theatres in the United States on July 16, 1999,[2] and in the United Kingdom on March 31, 2000.[5] It grossed $56.9 million worldwide and was followed by five low-budget made-for-television sequels, starting with Lake Placid 2 in 2007.


In Aroostook County, Maine, Fish and Game officer Walt Lawson is scuba diving in Black Lake when he is suddenly attacked and bitten in half by an unknown creature.

The next day, Sheriff Hank Keough, Fish and Game officer Jack Wells, and American Museum of Natural History paleontologist Kelly Scott go to the lake to investigate the incident with mythology professor and crocodile enthusiast Hector Cyr joining them. After Kelly and Hank's canoe is flipped over, they discover a severed human toe and a moose head. Meanwhile, Hank's deputy, Burke, has his head bitten off when his boat is attacked while Wells and Cyr are diving.

The following day, as Hank and Hector argue, a large American black bear arrives, but a gigantic 30 ft (9.1 m) long saltwater crocodile leaps out of the water, snatches the animal in its jaws, and drags it into the lake. After finding Burke's severed head, Jack, Kelly, and Hank witness Delores Bickerman, an elderly hermit living near the lake, feeding a blindfolded dairy cow to the giant crocodile. She reveals that she has been feeding the reptile for years after the crocodile followed her husband Bernie home and eventually killed him two years ago when he got between the croc and a runaway horse. Afterwards, she was placed under house arrest for initially lying to the police.

Hector decides to take Deputy Sharon Gare on a trip in his helicopter and unexpectedly lands it in the crocodile's territory. While he is scuba diving, he is confronted by the creature, but he and Gare escape after distracting it with an inflatable raft. Later, Jack and Hank plan to allow Florida Fish and Game to kill the crocodile when they arrive, but Hector suggests instead that he should lure it out of the water and tranquilize it into unconsciousness. Jack reluctantly accepts the proposal and they use one of Bickerman's cattle, dangled from the helicopter, as bait.

After a few hours, the crocodile soon appears and rears up as it lunges at its prey. Hector pulls up and loses the animal, but crashes the helicopter into the lake. The crocodile comes on land and begins to pursue Jack, Kelly, and the group. Kelly is knocked into the lake by the crocodile's tail, but she makes it into the helicopter in time. The crocodile catches up to Kelly and prepares to make its move, but is itself trapped in the helicopter. Jack grabs a gun and shoots it, but the firearm turns out to be a tranquilizer rifle. As Hector comes out of the water, another crocodile attacks and bites him, but Hank blows it up with his grenade launcher. Soon after, Florida Fish and Game officers arrive, where they load the neutralized crocodile onto a truck and take it to Portland, Maine to figure out what to do with it.

One week later, Bickerman is shown feeding bread crumbs to many baby crocodiles, revealing the two adults were actually a mating pair. The surviving adult crocodile is later seen tied to the back of a flatbed trailer, speeding down a road somewhere.



Lake Placid was produced by Fox 2000 Pictures, Phoenix Pictures, and Rocking Chair Productions.[6] The 32-foot (9.8 m) long crocodile was created by Stan Winston Studios.

Some of the film's scenes were shot in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia. Three different lakes in British Columbia stood in for the fictional "Black Lake": Shawnigan Lake, Buntzen Lake and Hayward Lake.[7]


Lake Placid
Film score by
ReleasedJuly 27, 1999
Film scores
LabelVarèse Sarabande

The soundtrack for the film was composed and conducted by John Ottman, and released by Varèse Sarabande.[8]

Track listing
  1. Main Title (2:25)
  2. Hector's Here (1:11)
  3. Close Call (3:59)
  4. Udder Preparations (4:02)
  5. Love Games (2:25)
  6. Reluctant Passengers (1:46)
  7. Morgue / Scary Beaver (4:11)
  8. Scouting (2:22)
  9. Here He Comes! (4:57)
  10. Making a Move /Jack (2:11)
  11. Swimming With Croc (3:36)
  12. Hector's Mind (2:48)
  13. Weird Things / Dinner Time (2:51)
  14. Ground Rules (1:43)
  15. Trapping Croc / Resolution (5:30)
  16. The Lake / Hitching a Ride (1:03)


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 47% based on 95 reviews, with an average rating of 5.10/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Betty White's delightful supporting turn may be worth the price of admission alone, but Lake Placid is swamped by a smarmy script and inability to deliver on the creature feature mayhem".[9] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 34 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[10] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.[11]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one out of four stars, describing it as "completely wrong-headed from beginning to end". He put it on his list of the 10 Worst Films of the Year.[12] Andrew Collins of Empire gave the film four out of five stars, writing that "you can enjoy Placid as a straightforward camping-holiday nightmare, or as a sly, ironic take on the same. It works deliciously as both".[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lake Placid (1999)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Lake Placid (1999)". The Numbers. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Lake Placid (1999)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  4. ^ "Lake Placid (1999)". AllMovie. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  5. ^ "Lake Placid". Radio Times. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  6. ^ "Lake Placid (1999) – Production Credits". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Retrieved September 6, 2015.[dead link]
  7. ^ Willistein, Paul (July 16, 1999). "Bridget Fonda Identifies with Hard-to-like 'Lake Placid' Film Character". The Morning Call. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  8. ^ "Lake Placid - John Ottman". AllMusic. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "Lake Placid". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  10. ^ "Lake Placid Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  11. ^ "Lake Placid". CinemaScore.
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 16, 1999). "Lake Placid movie review & film summary (1999)". Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  13. ^ Collins, Andrew (January 1, 2000). "Lake Placid Review". Empire Online. Retrieved July 7, 2020.

External links[edit]