Lake Placid [1999]

Viewers get three times the crocodile action in this low-budget sequel to 1999's horror-comedy Lake Placid. John Schneider is the small-town sheriff investigating a string of attacks on swimmers in the same lake that played host to the monster croc in the previous picture; Cloris Leachman is the blithely amoral sister to Betty White's character, who shares her sibling's penchant for nurturing the beasts. Shot in Bulgaria (which accounts for some of the bit players' accents) and released Stateside on The Sci-Fi Channel, Lake Placid 2's won't win over fans of the first picture, which at least offered a few laughs and chills; this film's chief virtue are the bloody attacks and a touch of skin from the supporting players. Otherwise, it's a minefield of leaden dialogue and performances (Schneider and Leachman are fine, but the cast of teen victims are dreadful, save Alicia Ziegler), and the CGI crocs look threadbare at best. Undiscerning horror fans looking for a few camp laughs may be the picture's best audience. --Paul Gaita

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