Warning, this is a spoiler based review
Congratulations if you can actually get hold of a copy of this Italian Horror movie, it's not available on region 1 DVD and it is only available on region 2 if you buy from one particular seller on amazon and are willing to pay through the nose for it. It's sequel, Killer Crocodile 2, isn't available on dvd in region 1 or 2, I didn't check through other regions, but if you actually want to see this movie you can find it through not entirely legal means on the internet.
We open on a couple of guys sitting on a boat discussing the current state of the river they are fishing on, I already don't have too many high hopes for the movie as the camera is moving about a fair bit, but I'll give it a chance, I could be wrong, it could turn out to be really good.
The scene changes again and we see the crocodile's foot, followed by the crocodile's head, I'm willing to forgive the movie a lot of shortcomings if it keeps me entertained with a fair amount of death scenes. The crocodile watches the man with the guitar and a woman with a big 80's boom box set up some towels on the shore line and the guy starts playing his girlfriend a pretty little tune on his guitar.
The girl looks bored and slightly annoyed because the guy has taken up all the room on the towel, meaning she has to sit in the mud, ah, last of the true romantics. The guy finishes his song and wants sex, but the girl decides she wants to go for a swim instead. The girl swims around for a bit and beckons her boyfriend in and he ignores her and plays his guitar, then in the movie's second JAWS rip off, the girl gets pulled under, then pops back up and begins screaming and then he takes his sweet time about getting in the water to help.
The guy with the stick reminds them that they are not on holiday and they are looking for signs as to why the river is polluted and then tells off Mark for using too much film. Mark hands off a used roll of film to Pamela and asks her to take care of it for him. Mark notices that the further down river they travel, the less wild life they see, they haven't seen any birds for miles, Pamela agrees with him. Jennifer says that she's been checking the water samples and the further they go the more polluted the water becomes and it is man made pollution from some sort of chemical plant.
The dark haired girl says that there is no chemical plant on the island and she's lived there all her life, the guy with the hat deduces that someone must be bringing the industrial waste to the river in order to dump it from some place else.
Mark snaps some photos and the dark haired girl and Pamela measure how deep the water is and test the solidity of the river floor, telling Bob that it's about a metre deep and relatively solid. Bob swears that as soon as he has a reading he will get back on the boat and so the crew help him lower himself into the water.
Bob swims over to the barrels and takes a reading with a technical gizmo,shouting back to the boat that it's radioactive. The crew shout to him to get the hell out of the water and get back to the boat and so they pull him back up and he declares things are worse than they initially thought and this is much stronger than your typical industrial waste.
|Despite what it may look like, Kevin is not played by Greg Sestero|
That night the boat crew are camped out somewhere, and all except for Kevin who has gone to bed early, are sat around a camp fire discussing how tired they are and how they have had a long day. The little dog wanders off from the camp and starts barking at something unseen in the bushes and runs all the way to the boat where he starts barking at the water. Cutting back to the camp we hear the dog cry out and the dark haired girl goes looking for him.
She calls out for the little dog, but of course the dog doesn't respond, she wanders through the bushes and eventually comes to where the boat is docked. She kneels by the waters edge and finds the dog's collar, then the crocodile jumps up and she remains perfectly still and allows the croc to get her, very polite of her really.
The next morning the crew begin to take down their camping equipment and wonder about the whereabouts of the dark haired girl and the dog, they decide to see if she's down by the water as she's typically an early riser. The girl is finally given the name 'Conchita', but since she's dead now there's not much use to having a name. They think she may have wandered off and gotten lost so they pack up the boat and begin to go down the river very slowly, calling out her name.
As they travel down the river, the boat hits something, implied to be the crocodile, which knocks Pamela into the water. They drag her back up into the boat and dry her off with towels, they decide to head back to the village where they should be able to recruit some locals who know the area better and come back later to look for Conchita.
The boat makes it back to the village docks where there are some other boats and a villager greets them and helps them tie the boat to the dock, while a mysterious man watches on. The group bundle themselves into a truck and head into the village and ask where they can find the police. Some locals tell them that there are no police, but there is a judge and points them in the right direction.
Pamela reckons that the judge is being paid off by the guy who is dumping the waste, the judge threatens to arrest them, but Kevin threatens him with reporters so he backs off. The group head back to their boat and we cut to the mysterious guy from earlier at a desk being served coffee by a girl in an office. The judge comes in and tells the man that he will have to stop dumping his stuff in the swamp.
Back on the boat the group consults the information that they have gathered but they run into some fell logs and mud and the boat becomes stuck, they use their big stick to try and budge their boat but seem to be having no luck so the guys jump into the water to attempt to rock it free, but the crocodile is watching them. Pamela strips off her clothes and gets into the water to help while Jennifer attempts to steer the boat free, Pamela swims to grab a branch to help lever the boat free and ends up bumping into Conchita.
|Oh hai, Pamela!|
The doctor says it's probably a crocodile, the mystery man, Ken Foley, is back in the room and suggests it was murder and says he is a reporter. The judge says that the group should come up with proof that they had nothing to do with Conchita's death, this is despite the fact that they reported her missing, then they went looking for her, then they found her and returned her body to the village, which isn't the smartest plan if you murdered someone.
Another man enters the room called Joe, and he asks the doctor what he thinks killed the girl, the doctor changes his tune and says it could have been a boat propeller and Joe says that's crap and it was definitely a crocodile, a large one at least 20 feet.
Back at the group's boat, Jennifer says that she'll never be able to forget what happened to Conchita, Kevin agrees that they're all upset so they owe it to Conchita to get to the bottom of things. They wonder if they could get Joe to help them track the crocodile or prove that Foley is polluting the river. Kevin approaches Joe and offers to buy him a beer as we see the crocodile sneaking up to the dock in the background.
Kevin, Joe and the gang sit down at a cafe/bar and they ask Joe about the waste that's being dumped into the river. Meanwhile a little girl plays with a dolly by the river while some other kids toss a ball around and the crocodile sneaks up on them, two of the kids decide they're going home, and another one accidentally knocks the dolly out of the little girls hands where it falls into the river and the JAWS theme makes a triumphant return.
Well, when I say help, they just stand on the shore line in a big crowd watching the little girl scream for help instead of actually doing anything useful.
The croc waits at the bottom of the dock, hoping that the little girl is going to slide into it's mouth, and instead of just pulling the little girl up, some idiot comes over and hangs himself off the side of the dock too and attempts to push her up, which is utterly stupid as his legs are much longer than the little girls and well within biting distance.
The group and Joe arrive and Kevin & Bob run into the water and Joe stands on the end of a short dock with a gun. Kevin grabs a piece of wood and stabs the crocodile in the mouth, which looks very silly and very revealing that it is as model, as if it wasn't obvious enough before. The little girl slides into the water and Bob catches her and he and Kevin swim the girl to safety whilst Joe shoots at the crocodile from his boat.
The crocodile decides he's had enough fun for the day and swims off, but only after Joe had shot it about a dozen times first. Later we see Kevin and Bob and the others enter a bar and approach the judge and Joe, asking if they're going to kill the crocodile. I like the environment and crocodiles as much as the next guy, but this thing is a menace so I hope these idiots aren't going to get all conservationist at this point in time.
So the group try to make some idiotic arguments and I'm on the side of the judge, because the group are acting like blind people. Joe goes to buy some big bullets in order to blow the crocodile up and we cut to a shipping yard where we see Foley speaking to a man, then we cut back to Joe who is being harassed by the group again.
Joe rightly tells the group they're idiots, all the group care about is their own agenda and they refuse to even entertain the idea that it's a good idea to kill the stupidly huge crocodile. This kind of agenda pisses me off, I hate hunting for sport and I really, really hate the shark fin industry for the damage they are doing to the shark population, whalers, trophy hunters, I really hate that stuff. However, when people say you shouldn't kill anything, I think they're idiots. If there's a dangerous wild animal hunting people and your choice is limited to either killing it or allowing it to continue killing people, you kill the animal. If there's other options then that's great, but in this case they need to kill the crocodile.
On the river Pamela and Jennifer discuss feeling guilty over the death of Conchita, Mark says that they shouldn't feel guilty and they should be fighting to save the crocodile, you know, the one that ate their friend and her little dog too. Mark wonders if the size of the croc has to do with the radioactive waste and Jennifer dismisses the idea completely because she's a moron. Jennifer suggests it could be a marine crocodile which grow larger, Mark thinks this is stupid and says it's the radioactive waste, so he and Jennifer start to argue about it.
The boat breaks down mid-river and the group realise they are now stuck in the swamp, unless of course someone wants to swim back into town. Joe travels down the river and ties his boat off at a spot where there is a hut structure with a large hole in the side of the building. Joe finds a large tooth and cautiously enters what could be the crocs lair. He goes up the stairs and checks out some manly croc scars in the mirror, then leaves again.
|Hey guys, let's camp right on the rivers edge, the croc will know we're on it's side!|
Pamela wakes in the middle of the night to see the crocodile watching them, she wakes up Kevin, but when he looks out nothing is there. Mark wakes up too, followed by Bob and Jennifer, but they see nothing in the water. Mark hops up and grabs his camera and sits on the boat to take a photo of the crocodile. The others try to persuade him to get out of the very large wood and metal boat and get back inside the totally safe, cloth tent.
The boat starts to rock and it appears that the croc has grabbed the anchor line and begins to pull the boat out onto the river with the three men board, leaving the two girls on the shore. The girls call for them to come back, but obviously the guys don't have much control over it and so they float into the darkness.
The crocodile attacks the boat with it's tail and Mark almost falls into the water, but Kevin pulls him back. They wonder what they will do now and Mark says that because they have a rope he will swim to shore and pull in the boat, he knows the shore isn't far and the crocodile has swam away now so he fancies his chances. Kevin says that he will go and hands Bob the end of the rope to tie off.
Kevin swims into the darkness and makes it to the shore, where he begins to tie off the rope to a tree stump, but it appears that the croc is back as the boat rocks and Bob falls into the water, so Mark shouts for him to swim, even though he's two feet away from the boat and Mark could easily pull him back up.
The croc slinks off to digest his meal of Bob and photographs and it cuts to the next day. Kevin and Mark have managed to get the boat to the shoreline and have lit a fire, technically, they should not be far from the girls, but the girls are nowhere to be seen. A boat comes down the river and they try to attract it's attention as Joe is driving the boat. Joe merrily waves to them and picks them up, then goes and picks up the girls.
Joe brings the group back to his hut house from earlier and Pamela freaks out when she sees a snake on the balcony, but Joe assures her that the snake is his pet. Back at the village a little boy calls for the judge, telling him that Joe is radioing him. The judge speaks to Joe on the radio where Joe tells him that croc has eaten someone else and he should inform the county sheriff. Where the hell is this movie set anyway? Don't tell me America because it doesn't even vaguely resemble America, it has a more South America/Carribean feel to it and all. *backtrack through movie* I found a sign from an earlier point saying that they were in Santo Domingo which is in the Dominican Republic.
The judge talks to Foley and tells him that Joe is probably right and he should call in the county boys, but Foley tells him not to call in anybody, because he's an idiot and is more worried about his chemical waste being discovered. In Joe's hut the group are sat about looking very depressed because of the death of Bob and Kevin sits and doodles a drawing of the crocodile which is quite good so I don't for a second believe that he actually drew it, not that it looks anything like the big fake as hell crocodile anyway.
Joe tells them they can find some food on the shelf and tells him to give some to the girls, Mark asks what it is, but Joe says that if he's hungry, he'll eat it and if he's going to ask questions, he can put it back on the shelf. Joe asks Kevin if he still thinks the crocodile should be saved and thankfully Kevin has come to his senses and says that if he gets chance he will kill it. It only took the croc killing his close personal friend, Conchita, her little dog and the two men who tried to save the little girl weren't important enough for him to give a shit.
Mark sits outside in a deck chair and Kevin joins him, Mark asks Kevin if he meant what he said, Kevin says that he does though he doesn't expect Mark to understand. Mark blames himself because he tried to take the photo, Kevin blames himself because he brought the group there.
In the morning the judge sets out on his boat with Foley, the judge warns Foley that the boat is too big for the swamp, but Foley ignores him because he knows fuck-all and think he's always right. They come to the discarded barrels which the group found earlier and Foley hands the judge a gun and tells him to keep watch whilst he's working.
The judge tells Foley they can't blow the barrels up because they'll pollute the whole swamp, but I think it's a little bit late for that to be honest. Foley tells the judge to stop worrying or he'll tell people who the judge really is, the judge reveals that he is an ex-con, but says he's not a killer and if they pollute the swamp it will affect everyone. Foley punches the judge and knocks him into the water, the judge screams for help because he can't swim, but Foley drives off and leaves him there.
Then... *sigh* something truly ridiculous happens.
Once it's done that Foley falls into the water, then kind of pushes himself into the mouth of the crocodile, it's hard to convey in screencaps.
Joe says they'll deal with that later, he tells Kevin to pull in and they come across the body of the judge which is bloody and half eaten. Joe tells Kevin to keep his eyes open for the croc and then we see said croc slinking through the water. Back at the house hut, the girls and Mark wonder how things are going. Joe and Kevin slow the boat down and Joe tells Kevin that when he gives the signal he should speed up, then Joe begins to hit the water with a big stick.
We see some bubbles and the body of Foley rises to the surface, Joe taunts the crocodile, but there's no sign of it yet so he tells Kevin to head for the shore. They drive slowly up river, keeping a careful look out and Joe says he needs bait so he cuts his forearm with a knife and drips blood into the river.
|Because Joe is badass|
|And rides the crocodile like a surfboard|
He takes the boat back down the river, back towards the hut house where Pamela is complaining that there isn't enough food. Kevin tells them that the croc got Joe and he is now determined to kill the crocodile. They search the house for weapons and Mark finds some gas and suggests making molotov cocktails.
Pamela questions what has happened to Kevin, so he tells her and Jennifer to stay there and he and Mark head out on the boat. The guys search the swamp and we see the crocodile watching them. Kevin spots a nest of crocodile eggs, Mark is unsure if they should destroy them but Kevin doesn't think twice and shoots the eggs from the boat. The crocodile is a bit pissed off about that and launches itself at the boat, rocking it.
Joe's hat goes flying through the air and Kevin catches it and puts it on and we see that Joe is injured, but alive and on the river bank. Kevin puts the hat on and Joe tells Kevin to use the propeller on the croc. Mark screams for Kevin to hurry and Kevin struggles to get the motor going, but eventually he does and throws it into the mouth of the croc where it chews up the crocodile, killing it and for some reason making the crocodile explode and burst into flames.
The guys float the boat down the river, beaten, exhausted, but elated that they have succeeded. Kevin offers to return Joe's hat, but Joe declines. As they move down river they hear some splashing sounds and the camera cuts to a lone egg hatching. End of Movie.
For all the dodgy stuff in this movie, the shoddy camera work, the very fake looking crocodile, the painfully bad dubbing and some of the effects work, this is actually not that bad a movie. The pacing is pretty good and unlike Alligator or Black Water, I didn't feel bored waiting around for something to happen, something always seems to be going on and pushing the plot forward and for that I salute the movie.
Though I did keep a tally of the amount of times the movie directly stole from JAWS and though I didn't mention all of them in the review itself, it was far too numerous to completely forgive.
For a movie made in 1989, it weirdly feels like it was made in the 70's, perhaps it was the quality of the film or the haircuts sported by the lead actors, but it felt like a much older film than it actually was. Saying that however, I did enjoy this movie.
For all the crocodile looked very fake most of the time it was on screen, the death scenes were pretty entertaining. I did think the environmental message shoe-horned in was pretty stupid, but thankfully the characters dropped that attitude eventually which allowed me to stop hating them.
Joe is the most badass character in the movie and I think it might have been a slightly better one had he been the main character all along, but it would be a bit late in the day now for them to change that.
6 & 1/2 out of 10
No. of blatant JAWS rip offs: 17