26th Jul2015

‘Lake Placid vs. Anaconda’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Corin Nemec, Yancy Butler, Stephen Billington, Robert Englund, Skye Lourie, Oliver Walker, Ali Eagle, Annabel Wright, Laura Dale, Georgina Philipps, Nigel Barber, Heather Gilbert | Written by Berkeley Anderson | Directed by A.B. Stone

Roger Corman and folks at The Asylum have a lot to answer for… That’s all I’m saying.


Sharknado. A film that proved you don’t have to have a lot of money or great CGI to pull in an audience on the Syfy channel. All you need is a giant creature and a ridiculous concept! Since the debut of THAT film, it seems like Syfy have greenlit any and all monster movie scripts that they’re sent. Hence we come to Lake Placid vs. Anaconda.

A few years ago the idea of these two monster-movie franchises coming together – especially given they weere originally made by two different studios (Lake Placid was a Fox production, whilst Anaconda came from Sony/Columbia Pictures) – would have sounded as improbable as this movie. But thanks – or not thanks, depending on your opinion of these flicks – to Roger Corman and his giant monster movies and The Asylum and their monster-vs-monster “hits”, we’ve finally come to this. And I doubt Lake Placid vs. Anaconda will be the end of Syfy’s foray into franchise mashing monster movies!

Given the fact his movie mixes together two exisiting franchises it’s odd to not that it rips off a third… You see, Lake Placid vs. Anaconda starts out like a rip-off of Jurassic Park/World, with the idea of genetically modified snakes and giant crocodiles on the loose seemingly ripped from the pages of the Spielberg-produced dinosaur movies. Only this movie has seemingly been made on a budget that probably would have only paid for an extra or two on the set of those sumer blockbusters! Though that “homage” doesn’t last long, once we’re past the set-up of this flick it’s swiftly into the same territory as the previous Syfy-produced Lake Placid movies – complete with topless chicks and all (yes, it seems that topless women and OTT sex scenes are now a staple of this film series, although you still can’t beat Lake Placid 3‘s Roxanne Palleton that “front”).

The story itself sees the scientists of the Wexler Corporation trying to gentically modify an anaconda, in a continuation of the story set up in Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid. Said anaconda escapes its confines into the woods of Clear Lake, home of the giant crocodiles of the Lake Placid franchise. Much fighting and human-eating ensues. Simple.

I’m not one to bash these Syfy produced creature features, I’ve seen enough of them – and more importantly enjoyed enough of them – to know what you’re getting yourself into with these movies. But then I hadn’t experienced Lake Placid vs. Anaconda yet. This may be a new low for even this type of movie. You see, it seems not only did someone want to blend these two franchises into one on the SMALLEST of budgets (the CGI here looks like early 90s era creature effects – have we not moved on since then?) but they also had a fetish for sorority chicks in horror movies because that’s the ONLY explaination for why the film spends so much time with the gang of sorority sisters BEFORE they are terrorised by the killer crocs of this movie; well that and maybe because they spend the entire film topless and/or in bikinis! This is definitely a case of this anaconda movie don’t want none, unless you got [semi-naked] buns hun…

As for the rest of the cast, Yancy Butler returns as Reba – who has now become the local Sheriff (if you remember ,she was originally a poacher, then became and EPA agent) and Robert Englund is back as Jim Bickerman, the poacher from Lake Placid: The Final Chapter. The pair are joined by Syfy movie stalwart Corin Nemec – who once again battles a killer crocodile, only at least this one isn’t full of nano bots (I’m talking about Robocroc in case you didn’t know); as well as former soap star Stephen Billington (Coronation Street, Hollyoaks) who continues the Lake Placid tradition of being a British actor playing an American – something which has been a staple of this series since Syfy took over the reigns. He also gets one of the BEST death scenes in either franchises history!

There’s always talk of the law of diminishing returns when it comes to horror franchises and Lake Placid vs. Anaconda proves that point. Worth a watch if you’ve seen the rest of the films in either series and/or you love these kinds of Syfy channel creature features but probably not for those looking for the ridiculous OTT fun found in Sharknado and its sequels…

Lake Placid vs. Anaconda is released in the UK on September 7th.


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