Lake Placid 4: The Final Chapter (2012)
Here we are again. Another Saturday night … another SyFy Original … another LAKE PLACID flick!! Can you believe we’re on the third sequel?? LAKE PLACID 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER picks up directly where part three left off, with Game and Wildlife agent Reba (Yancy Butler) fighting off a killer croc. After this sequence, we jump to the opening credits and then get right to the fun. Was there a need for another LAKE PLACID flick? Does it seem silly that the authorities haven’t gone into the area and wiped out every last croc? Is this really the last LAKE PLACID flick?
LAKE PLACID 4 jumps right into the fray as we join Reba (the aforementioned Yancy Butler), Sheriff Giove (Elizabeth Röhm), and an engineer from the Army Corp of Engineers as they discuss the benefits and stupidity of the large fence that’s been built around Lake Placid in order to control the killer croc population. It seems these are rare crocs that “must be protected.” But if you’re wondering what food source the crocs will turn to after they eat everything in the fenced in area, well that’s obviously a point that writers David and Mairin Reed completely ignored. As expected the crocs turn to the nearby human population to munch on. Well duh!! We get all the typical side stories and love interests as the story progresses and there’s nothing here that particularly original. But I found myself, like always, having a pretty good time. Yeah, yeah, yeah … you know me by now. A SyFy flick has to be really bad for me to hate it. I find SyFy Originals (for the most part) to be simple-minded fun and ya don’t have to invest a whole lot into watching them. LAKE PLACID 4 delivers in this respect. There won’t be any awards being won here, but if you’re looking for giant crocs chewing their way through the cast then this is the film for you.
What’s become typical in the LAKE PLACID franchise is to have someone, usually a ‘name’ celebrity, popping up from the Bickerman family. In the original film it was Betty White (as Delores Bickerman) who started all the problems by feeding the lil baby crocs. In part two it was Cloris Leachman taking on the role of Delores’ sister, Sadie Bickerman. In part three we get a younger Bickerman, here being played by EUREKA’s Colin Ferguson. Finally in THE FINAL CHAPTER we get perhaps the biggest name yet in the Bickerman role: Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. Englund, as always, is terrific and puts in a typically grandiose performance as a backwoods croc poacher. He adds both an element of menace and comic relief in LAKE PLACID 4 and as expected out-acts the other cast members. The rest of the cast do great jobs, but Englund definitely stands out. No matter what role Englund plays he’s always fantastic. He’s a real actors’ actor. He loves to be in front of the camera performing, and the camera loves him.
The other scene-stealer is Yancy Butler. I admit that I was pretty hard on Butler in one of her films I saw last year, but her performance in LAKE PLACID 4 was fantastic. She was the ‘Yancy Butler’ I was used to seeing: Strong, sexy, a killer body, and she was a big presence in the film. She was great!!
The story unfolds in a pretty standard fashion but that’s okay with me. I don’t watch SyFy Originals with the hopes of seeing a film that re-defines the genre. I want action, giant ‘things’ attacking stupid people, bloody scenes of said attacks, and skimpily clad women bouncing around. LAKE PLACID 4 has all this and more. Okay; maybe not more, but definitely not less. LAKE PLACID 4 is exactly what you think you’re gonna get. It’s not out to re-invent the wheel but it keeps everything moving along at a brisk pace and has lots of croc-related violence. Could you go elsewhere to get your fix of cheesy, B-movies? Of course you could. But why would you when the SyFy channel does them so damn well??
LAKE PLACID: THE FINAL CHAPTER is airing on the SyFy channel on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 9pm ET/PT. Check this one out (though I don’t believe for a second this is indeed “The Final Chapter”).
Director: Don Michael Paul (who directed 2 eps of the USA Network series, SILK STALKINGS … sweet)
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 4 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer